Learning to Walk With Your New Prosthesis

Learning To Walk With Your Prosthesis

If you are a fitted with a prosthesis, you will learn to walk in the physiotherapy gym.

Sometimes you may start by using a temporary prosthesis until your own is ready. You will be taught how to put the prosthesis on and off and to get onto your feet from sitting. Before the walking starts, you will be shown how to stand and get your balance and take steps.

Once you are up moving, the therapist will help you decide what aid (walker, crutches or canes) you will need to walk with your prosthesis and begin training with that aid.

Once you have learned how to walk with your prosthesis, you may also be shown:

  • How to go up and down stairs and ramps
  • How to walk on carpet and gravel
  • How to get up from the floor and get down onto the floor from standing 

General Tips:

  • Walk often but for short periods - your strength & stamina takes time to return.
  • Rest as soon as you feel tired - walking when overtired can cause accidents!
  • Do not stop using your aids (crutches, canes, walker) too soon! You could develop bad walking habits.
  • When going up stairs or slopes – move your good leg first. When coming down stairs or slopes – move your prosthesis first. The canes or crutches always go with the prosthesis.

Remember: Try not to compare yourself to the other people around you. Not everyone will reach the same level of walking. For example, some people may only go short distances because of their heart problems. Others cannot walk far because of their arthritis. And others may not be able to walk at all. Set a goal that is reasonable for you.