Below Knee – Amputation
A Below Knee amputation, also called a Trans Tibial (TT) amputation, is one of the most common forms of amputation. In this amputation the leg is amputated below the knee (Through the tibia and fibula) leaving the patient with their own knee joint.
A below knee prosthesis is fairly easy to use and as a result is a highly functional prosthesis. Depending on the individual’s physical condition, with training on the prosthesis, independence from assistive devices such as crutches can be achieved after 4 to 12 weeks from the date of receiving the prosthesis.
With a below knee prosthesis the client would be able to do most things they did prior to amputation depending on their physical condition and the condition of their residual limb. They would be able to stand, walk and sit comfortably. They would also be able to negotiate ramps and stairs, ascending and descending foot over foot without much difficulty as well as walking on uneven terrain. Walking for longer distances without any issues or assistive devices can also be easily achieved. Some components can also be used in water. Please let the prosthetist know if using a prosthesis in water is an important factor to consider.
A Trans Tibial socket is custom made according to the shape and size of the residual limb and is the most important part of the prosthesis as it interacts with the residual limb to ensure comfort and function.
At Chin and Partners, we provide a 6 month guarantee on all our socket fits which means that we will ensure that the custom-made socket fits as securely and as comfortable as possible. This is essential as the residual limb generally varies in size especially for a primary (first time) prosthetic wearer. For the more experienced amputee this guarantee allows the individual the time and security to ensure the socket fits the way they know it should fit and feel. During this time there is no cost for any consultations or modification that we make to the socket and the client can come in as often as they need.
The prosthesis is suspended by various methods that would be discussed during the assessment consultation. The main suspension methods are suction or pin lock, both with a silicone liner. Weight bearing is distributed over the entire surface of the residual limb with contact but no weight bearing on the bottom of the residual limb.
A variety of feet with varying properties can be used with this type of prosthesis and this will be selected by you and your prosthetist.
Some patients prefer to have their prosthetic components exposed with the pylon and adaptors showing, other’s prefer the prosthesis to look more life-like while some want it to make a statement and stand out. We are able to provide for all these options. It is important to let the prosthetist know if the look of the prosthesis is important so that this design aspect is addressed.