12 familiar situations for anyone with a prosthetic leg

From air escaping from your socket and difficulty getting into your car in a narrow parking space to a squeaking prosthesis, those with a leg prosthesis can experience challenging situations that people without a prosthesis may not even know exist. Do these situations sound familiar to you?

Many thanks to our hands-on expert Martine for her help in compiling this list!

1. Ugh, all those practical shoes

Buying shoes is challenging because you always have to find the right balance between what is possible to wear with your leg prosthesis and what you like. “I’ve wasted quite a bit of money on shoes!” says hands-on expert Martine. Sound familiar?

2. Open a pedal bin?

Virtually impossible with a leg prosthesis. The rubbish bins that you can open with your hand are much more preferable. Unfortunately, you don’t find them everywhere...

3. “How rude to come inside with dirty shoes”

But you can’t help it. Just try wiping your prosthetic foot on a doormat – it’s impossible!

4. Uh-oh, a port-a-potty!

Most events have portable toilets, but these are anything but easy to use for prosthesis wearers. They’re often unstable, the steps are narrow and steep and few have a handrail. Not very convenient.

5. Twisting and turning in the parking lot

A car parked a little too close to yours... For people without a prosthesis, this may mean a bit of twisting and turning, but it’s a huge problem for prosthesis wearers. After all, the door needs to be opened almost fully to get out of the car with a prosthetic thigh/leg, which is not always possible in a tight parking space.

6. Oh no, another pair of trousers ruined...

The back of long trousers often gets worn out where the edge of your prosthesis scrapes along the chair, resulting in having to replace your trousers quite often.

7. Crowded stairs

When walking up the stairs, do you place both feet on each step? That can get quite exciting on crowded stairs filled with people in a hurry.

8. Squeeeeaaak...

Some prostheses make a squeaking noise. At a quiet location like a library or church, that can sometimes result in surprised stares from others.

9. Oops!

It can get uncomfortable when air escapes from your socket when you stand up near other people. You really don’t have gas, but try explaining that...

10. Slippery when wet!

Ice and snow can be problematic. Since they stick to the sole of your prosthetic foot, you run the risk of slipping. This can make a short walk, such as from your car to your front door, a thrilling adventure.

11. “Any chance you have a different chair?”

Not every chair is made for those of us with a prosthesis. Getting up from a chair without an armrest, for example, can take a bit of effort, especially in a small space. And auditorium seats? They’re often very low or have a sloping seat.

12. Enviable glances

If people don’t immediately see that you wear a prosthesis, this can lead to staring when you use the disabled parking spot. Why are you parking there? You can walk, can’t you? While the energy you save by parking close to the entrance may very well make all the difference for you.