Showering with a prosthetic leg

Is it possible to shower with a prosthetic leg? What are the options? And what if you prefer to shower without your prosthesis? We went in search of answers and this is what we found.

Check with your O&P professional

Well, to start, there is no one answer to the question of whether you can shower with your prosthetic leg. Most prostheses are not waterproof. But some can handle getting slightly wet (such as in an unexpected rain shower), but a daily shower is quite another story. That is why it is important to first ask your O&P professional whether your prosthesis can be showered with. Is the answer ‘No’? Do not take the risk of showering with your prosthetic leg because the damage can be considerable!

Bathing or swimming prosthesis

Is your prosthesis not suitable for use in the shower? Fortunately, swimming and bathing prostheses are available that are waterproof. These prostheses are specially designed to move safely in a wet and often slippery environment. A good example is the waterproof Aqualine prosthesis from Ottobock . Unfortunately, a swimming or bathing prosthesis is not usually reimbursed by insurance companies, So, make sure to be sufficiently informed by – yet again – your O&P professional.

Showering without a prosthesis

The downside of showering with a prosthetic leg is that your residual limb is covered, making it difficult to clean. Cleaning your residual limb is essential to prevent unpleasant infections. Showering offers a good opportunity to check your residual limb – when sitting on a chair or seat – for blisters and wounds. Prefer to wear a prosthesis in the shower? After showering, take a few moments to closely examine your residual limb and clean it.

4 tips for showering without a prosthesis

1. It is not easy to shower with only one leg. So, most people use a shower chair or seat. You can also use it when drying off.

2. In the evening, wash your residual limb well with hot water and soap, rinse it thoroughly and dry it vigorously to promote your blood circulation. Prefer to shower in the morning? Use cold water because hot water will make your residual limb swell and your skin softer. This can result in an unpleasant experience if you have an entire day with a socket and prosthesis ahead of you.

3. Some people find it easier to get around the bathroom with a walker. If you have experience using crutches, this is another possibility. Just make sure that you don’t slip and fall!

4. Most people install handrails next to the toilet, but a handrail in or next to the shower can also be useful, such as when standing up from a shower seat.