Before I get into the advantages of prostheses, let me clarify a few minor things. Prosthetic legs are artificial limbs that are used in cases of amputation.
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Either one or both legs may be subjected to amputation for a variety of medical reasons. Amputations can be performed above or below the knee, depending on medical conditions. A variety of factors can make the use of prosthetic legs easier. However, not everyone who has one or two leg amputations wants to or can wear prosthetic legs. There are, however, some big advantages to using prosthetic legs for those who are able and willing.
The first advantage is energy use. According to the Amputee Coalition, when the prosthetic legs are well fitted and the patients have good gaits, they expend less energy in walking, in comparison to walking without prosthetic legs or using crutches.
The second advantage is mobility. For people with two leg amputations, the choice is between prosthetic legs and a wheelchair. Some patients, even those with single amputations, prefer the comfort of a wheelchair or choose to avoid prosthetic legs for a variety of reasons including financial ones. But, prosthetic legs allow amputees the option of going upstairs, downstairs, in tight areas or even cars and other methods of transportation with more ease. Also, there are areas that are not accessible by wheelchairs, like older buildings.
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Although, there has been an increased awareness of making areas available to the handicapped. Most importantly, prosthetic legs provide a greater sense of independence thanks to that amazing prosthetic mobility.
Finally, there is the psychological advantage. People can gain a better psychological outlook on life by mastering the use of prosthetic legs, whether they are using one or two.
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According to the Amputee Coalition of America, amputees feel less discomfort with their conditions when wearing prosthetic legs because of the ability to blend in better with the crowd. Also, people who do not have the opportunity to wear prosthetic legs feel cheated and can become bitter and frustrated. I am proof of this situation. Whenever my prosthesis would break as a child, I would end up being in a wheelchair until my prosthesis got fixed. I always felt uncomfortable and frustrated with this, and I obviously couldn’t really blend in with my friends. Fortunately, I have good prostheses right now, and I am more careful with them so that I won’t break them again! Lessons learned!
These are the advantages that I have found for why I wear prosthetic legs. I know they are not for everyone. There are some definite disadvantages that many people find with prostheses, but we won’t focus on those today!