Helpful Winter Tips for Prosthetic Users

Winter can be challenging for prosthetic users due to the cold weather, snow, and ice. The freezing temperatures can cause limb discomfort and affect the fit of prosthetic devices and slippery winter weather conditions can make it dangerous for travel.  However, there are ways to overcome these challenges to help ensure you can enjoy the winter season safely and comfortably. Here are some tips to help amputees navigate the winter season:

  • Dress appropriately: Wear warm clothing and accessories like gloves, hats, and scarves to help keep your body warm. This can help improve circulation and prevent your residual limb(s) from getting too cold. 
  • Safe home: Try and keep your home’s sidewalks and steps clear of ice, slush, and snow for easy and unimpeded travel.  Ask a neighbor, family, or friends to assist if you can.
  • Keep your prosthesis covered: Use a prosthetic cover to help protect it from the elements. This can also help improve the fit and comfort of your prosthesis by preventing moisture buildup.
  • Use non-slip footwear: Choose boots or shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls on snow and ice.
  • Keep your prosthesis dry: Moisture can affect the fit and comfort of your prosthesis, so be sure to dry it thoroughly after exposure to snow, ice or rain.
  • Keep your skin dry: It’s important to keep your skin dry.  Take the time to dry off your liner as well as your skin and be sure to check to see if your skin is O.K. If you are having a problem with skin irritation or have any other issues or questions, please make sure you contact your Union Orthotics & Prosthetics Co. prosthetist or doctor who you work with for your prosthesis.
  • Check for damage: Cold temperatures can cause damage to sensitive prosthetic components, so be sure to check for any signs of wear or damage regularly.

Remember to proactively consult with your prosthetist for additional advice on how to ensure your prosthesis stays in top condition and functions optimally this winter. If you have any questions on footwear, protective coverings or would like us to "tune-up" your prosthesis this winter season, please talk with your prosthetist at your next office visit or call Union O & P at 412-622-2020 and we will be able to assist.

About Union O & P
Union Orthotics & Prosthetics Co. is a family-owned and operated company with over 100 years of service in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. We have always been dedicated to providing the highest quality of patient care with a professional and compassionate approach. Our services and techniques are continuously being upgraded to achieve the highest standard of excellence.

Union Orthotics & Prosthetics Co. and De La Torre Orthotics & Prosthetics Co. now offer 19 locations throughout Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Services may vary by location.