AmpTips: How To Shower Without Getting Your Prosthesis Wet

AmpTips: How To Shower Without Getting Your Prosthesis Wet

As a right-side below-the-knee amputee (RBKA), showers were always a hassle. There was always the question of how I could shower and be able to stand up without getting my leg wet. Sure, I could always take it off and stand on one foot, but then I risked falling and injuring myself (which I did once). I also had extra legs laying around from when I would get new ones and tried that, but I hated getting the wool socks wet and it hurt to stand in an empty socket. They make these rubber boot things called Xero-Sox, but those never seemed to quite fit up over my thigh well enough and were big and bulky..  Several years after having gotten the pin-lock system

Several years after having gotten the pin-lock system, I stacked old milk crates atop each other and would sit in the shower on those. It worked well enough, though when others would need to shower, they had to hassle with taking them out of the shower, getting water all over the floor in the process. Finally, I came up with a way to just use a garbage bag to solve my problems. They’re cheap, I can wear my leg (almost) as intended, and don’t have to worry about ruining it.

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Depending on your height, a tall kitchen bag should do. If they aren’t tall enough, you might need to try trimming a black bag down to about 4″ above the top of the prosthesis.

 

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2) Place your prosthesis inside the bag and wrap the top edges inside of the socket. Again, depending on your height, you might want to trim the edges of the bag to be sure you don’t have too much excess plastic inside. You should be able to still don your prosthesis without too much bunching.

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3) Pu your prosthesis on just like normal. If you wear the pin-lock system, be careful not to get the plastic caught in the locking mechanism. Vacuum systems be sure you don’t push the bag in too far that it doesn’t let the ring make contact with the inside of the socket.
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4) Flip your liner down around the top of the prosthesis (rather than having it up and around your thigh. This will create a seal around the top of the bag which won’t allow your prosthesis to get wet. It will also keep your liner (for the most part) from getting wet while allowing you to still stand as normal in the shower. When I’m finished in the shower, I simply remove the prosthesis, dry out the liner, use a washrag to clean my stump and liner, then put everything back on. Be careful not to fall as it may be slightly slippery. You can place tub clings in the bottom of your shower for extra slip prevention.

If you haven’t thought of this before, it’s the best way I’ve found to shower without too much extra hassle and you don’t have to haul a big rubber boot or shower chair with you when you go on vacation or are away from home. Let me know what you think! Have you tried it out? Do you have some other method you want to share?