Many new amputees struggle with questions about how shower time should work and what is best for their prosthesis and the stump. The truth is that there are many ways that amputees can handle shower time, with or without the prosthetic leg on. Your choice will depend on the type of prosthetic leg you have and what your preferences are. If you are a new amputee, these answers to commonly asked questions can help you decide what's best for you.
Can you use your prosthetic leg in the shower?
Some prosthetic legs can be used in the shower without protection. These prosthetic legs are generally made for use in water and are not just shower safe but may be safe in rain or even for use in some water sports. Your prosthetist will be able to tell you exactly what level of water activity your prosthetic leg can handle. Prosthetic legs that are not made for use in water may take on water and can be difficult to dry.
If your prosthetic leg can't be used in the shower, what's the best way to take a shower without falling?
Many amputees use a shower stool in the shower if they don't wear the leg. This enables them to sit safely in the shower and clean their bodies without falling. In fact, even if you can use your prosthetic leg in the shower, it's a good idea to take a shower without your prosthetic leg from time to time because it's an opportunity to clean your prosthesis extra well. Take the time to examine your stump for sores and areas of concern. If you do use your prosthesis in the shower, be sure to wash and dry your stump afterwards.
What kind of protection is available for prosthetic legs that aren't supposed to get very wet?
If your prosthesis is alright to take in the shower but shouldn't get very wet, you can use a product called a shower bag. The shower bag wraps around your prosthesis and ties to your body on the thigh. As an alternative, if you are an amputee with an old prosthesis, you may also be able to use your old prosthesis as well.
When you have questions about the best ways to get through normal activities like showering, speak with your prosthetist. Getting expert advice is especially important if you're thinking about doing something that could impact the functionality of your prosthetic limb (like taking it in water).