Navigating Winter Weather on Your Prosthesis

a sidewalk covered in snow

Winter can bring some pretty rough conditions: snow, ice, and slushy sidewalks to name a few, and if you're using a prosthesis, these conditions can seem that much worse. These conditions are not only inconveniences, but they are dangerous and can be damaging and very expensive on your prosthetic equipment.

As an amputee there are many considerations you should be aware of in order to prevent injury or unnecessary expenses.

When ice, snow, sleet, or the melting of ice and snow are in the forecast, it is important to wear boots, or solid shoes with excellent grip. GRIP IS KEY! This is what can help you keep your footing.

Don't be afraid or ashamed to use a little support. If you are an amputee, a cane, crutches or a walker can be great in providing a little extra support. That extra stability can go a long way in helping navigate these treacherous conditions.  If you'd like to go a step further in your bad weather preparation, ice tips for your cane or crutches are available at most pharmacies.

Not only do you need to be careful in the snow and on ice, but as an amputee you need to be paying careful attention to those areas where you think you're safe. These "safe" areas are those that have been treated with salt or sand, but often create a barrier between your prosthesis and the ground that you might not recognize until it is too late and you've already slipped. Walking slowly through treated areas and with the support of a cane or railing can help avoid tragedy.  

So remember when you go outside this winter, wear shoes with grip (preferably rubber soled), don't be ashamed to use a little support, and be aware of salted areas.

So remember when you go out this winter, wear shoes with grip (preferably rubber soled), don't be ashamed to use support, and be aware of "safe" areas.