Prosthetic devices have come a long way thanks to modern technology. There was a time when a prosthetic hand was a carved piece of wood. Today there is a range of options, including the material its made all the way to fully customized detailing such as veins, tattoos, and even hair.
While some people with limb differences may choose a prosthetic device simply for function, the development of aesthetic appearances opens up a world of options and choices for those wanting to blend in. One may choose to be prostheses free and also want the option to put on a realistic device to go out to dinner. These options allow freedom to choose for those who have endured trauma and wish to avoid unintended comments in a public setting.
Form with Function
Whether you are in the market for a sporty metal prosthesis or a highly detailed device, function is a must. The art of prosthesis is not merely for aesthetic purposes. These prosthetic devices aid in overall physical function and comfort such as gait & posture, bone pressure, protecting tissue from further injury and other sensitive areas.
There are numerous options to be aware of that affect durability, quality, and price. Various materials and techniques used to make a prosthetic device have advantages and disadvantages.
Off-the-shelf choices come in standard sizes and are typically made from silicone or Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) with only basic or no details.
Pro: cost; Con: tend to stain easily & replaced more often.
Silicone prostheses are more lifelike and long lasting than PVC. These colorfast, more stain-resistant options typically last for years.
Pro: durability; Con: can tear more easily than PVC.
While most prostheses are made from some variation of silicone or PVC, there are other materials on the market. A cosmetic urethane ‘skin’ finish may be applied over a foam cover, giving the texture and feel of actual skin, while replication via high resolution 3D scanning & printing provides a replica (by reversal) of a sound limb with details down to fingerprints.
Whether you are looking for the first time, or replacing an older device, there are plenty of options to consider. Durability, function, and appearance are within your grasp.