Prosthetics in Nigeria: Advantageous or disadvantageous
In Nigeria, accidents that damage limbs and the human musculoskeletal system are not unnatural. They are often regarded as orthopedic trauma. Diseases too can render a limb (upper or lower) so deteriorated and sickened that amputation becomes the only option left if the patient’s health is to be salvaged.
So what happens after amputation and the patient is left missing a limb or more?
To some, especially to the average Nigerian without access to funds for proper medical rehabilitation, amputation cases remain without prosthetic or orthotic care. On a brighter scope, prosthetic limbs are given as part of rehabilitation to those who can afford them.
Are prosthetics beneficial to amputees or is it just another medical practice in need of further improvement before general recognition can be ascribed?
In this article, we will highlight the leading advantages and disadvantages of prosthetics to amputees or victims of orthopedic trauma.
Advantages of prosthetics
Better mobility: Through the use of prosthetic limbs, amputees stand a better chance of being able to stand, sit, walk, run, jog, jumping and perform other feats of mobility previously limited by the loss of that limb.
Better still, the attachment of an artificial limb comes with the restoration of free arm-leg movement while playing a solid role in the rehabilitation of the patient or amputee.
The benefit of better limb action: There are instances where amputees with leg-related orthopedic trauma have outlined their ability to walk longer distances ever since the attachment of a prosthetic limb. Arm amputees with prosthetic limbs will always note a significant increase in their gripping and lifting ability.
Boost to the health of the patient: When we talk of health, we are talking about the mental health of the amputee. The biggest problem of these patients is the fall in self-confidence levels that comes with losing one or more of their limbs.
Prosthetic limbs when attached to a patient are a confidence boost that gives the amputees reason to live and go about their daily business again.
Support to the physically weak: Attaching a prosthetic limb to a patient of old age will give their bodies the ability to move again through playing the roles of absorbing shock from external forces and giving the strength to their limbs to move again.
Disadvantages of prosthetic limbs
The numero uno which comes with an artificial limb is the cost of actually getting one attached to the amputated limb of an orthopedic trauma victim.
The treatment of orthopedic trauma through the application of prosthetic limbs is open to people with access to money to afford artificial limbs. Similarly, artificial limbs have not been completely absorbed and immersed into Nigerian society in such a way that they will be accessible and generally accepted.
The only solution to this conundrum is an introduction of orthopedic specialists to public health and the addition of prosthetic rehabilitation centers.
On a side note, other disadvantages could come in the forms of:
- Sick diseases come from a negative reaction of the skin around the amputee’s limb with the prosthetic itself.
- The problem of painful attachment and detachment of the prosthetics with the joint of the amputee.
Orthofit Orthopedics is aware of the need for the promotion of prosthetics to all orthopedic trauma victims especially amputees in the city of Enugu.
Through the application of administering prosthetics to amputees and the application of other musculoskeletal rehabilitation techniques, we are creating the restoration process for all victims.