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Tips for Traveling with Your Prosthetic Device

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August 12th, 2020

Are you getting ready to take a trip? You’ve got your tickets and are ready to pack your bags, but what about traveling with your prosthesis? You may be curious if you need to take any additional steps when planning a trip with your prosthesis. From packing to flying, there are several tips that may help you travel easier.

Preparing for Travel with Prosthesis

Part of traveling is preparing everything ahead of time for a smooth, enjoyable trip. You pack plenty of clothes, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and everything else you may need while traveling. You may arrange for someone to house sit or feed your cat. Just like all the other steps you take to get ready before jumping on the plane, you also want to make sure you’re prepared for traveling with your prosthesis.

Taking a few extra steps before arriving at the airport can help you avoid issues while you’re trying to relax during your vacation. With a little extra planning and preparation, you can rest assured that your trip will be as fun and enjoyable as possible and that you’ll have everything you need to have a great time.

Inspect Your Prosthetic Device

Whether you’re going on a vacation or a business trip, the last thing you want is to deal with a broken prosthesis. Before traveling, be sure to inspect your prosthetic device for signs of wear or breakage. Some examples of things you should look for are cracks, tears in the liner, loose parts, or strange sounds. Also, if you notice skin irritation, you may need adjustments to your prosthesis.

If you do notice these signs before your trip, consider visiting your prosthetist to have them corrected it before you travel. A quick trip to your prosthetist can help you identify whether you need to replace worn parts before you travel, make necessary adjustments for comfort and proper fit, or just tighten up any loose screws.

Keeping your prosthesis in good repair is important at any time, but especially when traveling. This can help you avoid the hassle of trying to find a prosthetist last minute during your trip for a broken or worn out prosthesis. It can also help reduce the risk of experiencing pain, swelling, skin irritation, and downtime while traveling due to a worn out or improperly fitting prosthesis.

Packing Extra Supplies

Another good idea for traveling with your prosthesis is packing extra supplies in case you need them. It’s always better to have extras and not use them than to be stuck without the supplies you need. Take some time to create a list of everything you may need to keep your prosthesis and limb clean, dry, and in great working order.

Some extra supplies you may want to pack for your trip include:

  • Prosthetic socks
  • Donning sleeves
  • Shrinkers
  • Extra liners
  • Lotion
  • Extra sealing sleeve
  • Chargers or batteries
  • Spare prosthetic screws
  • Small tool kit with a screwdriver and allen key

This small kit of supplies could make the difference between a bad trip and a great trip. Extra supplies can help you have peace of mind that you’re prepared for any potential issues and can remain comfortable in many different situations.

Going Through Airport Security with Prosthesis

Many people worry about going through TSA at the airport. However, knowing what to expect can help you be prepared for the process of getting through airport security with your prosthesis.

First, it’s important to note that you do not need to take off your prosthesis during your TSA screening. Simply inform the TSA officer that you have a prosthetic device and they can help you through the process. TSA may need to perform additional screening on your prosthesis, such as a swab to test for explosives. This may require you to pull your pant leg or shirtsleeve up to allow them to swab your prosthesis. You also have the option to voluntarily remove your prosthesis and send it through the x-ray machine should you wish to, though this is not required and is based on your personal preference.

When you walk through a metal detector or advanced imaging machine, if your prosthesis sets off the alarm, the TSA agent may need to perform additional screening. For example, they may require you to do a self pat down of the area and then test your hands for explosives. If you’re unable to perform a self pat down, the TSA agent can also do this for you.

At any time, you can request a private screening in a private screening area. You can take a witness of your choosing, like a family member or travel companion, with you to your private screening after they pass through TSA security checks.

If you have specific questions or concerns, the TSA has a hotline where you can talk to a TSA representative. In addition, they can also transfer you to a passenger support specialist to help you during the screening process. You can call the TSA CARES hotline at (855) 787-2227 for your trip.

Tips for Flying

Flying can cause swelling which can affect your prosthetic fit and may also create discomfort when wearing your prosthesis. However, there are a few things you can do to help reduce swelling when flying. For longer flights, try to move around regularly if possible to increase blood flow and reduce swelling. Standing up and walking up and down the aisle in-flight every so often can help with this. In addition, you can also wear a shrinker to help control swelling while flying.

At Innovative Prosthetics, we provide custom prosthesis designs for amputees and service providers in prosthetics to help address your specific needs and fit your aesthetic. We offer in-house fabrication in our extensive lab for personalized socket design and high quality prostheses. From personalized prostheses to specialized care plans, we are here to provide an experienced tailored to you. Whether you are a patient or a medical professional, we are committed to providing the best prosthetic solutions for you. Contact us today to learn more about Innovative Prosthetics. We are here for you.

Every prosthesis is unique just like our patients.

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