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Prosthetics Information

Your Questions Answered

These are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding prosthetics.

What happens to me if I live in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales?

The devolved administrations have individual funding responsibility for the provision of all health care in their respective countries. Blesma is working hard with the devolved administrations to help them develop equivalent services/systems to that in England.

I have heard that some bionic limbs are now waterproof, is that true?

Generally speaking, due to the nature of so called bionic limbs or Micro Processor Controlled limbs, they are not waterproof. The electronic systems and use of batteries make such limbs prone to severe damage if they come into contact with liquids. There is currently only one Micro Processor Controlled Knee device in use in the UK which has some waterproofing and although this is submersible in water for a short while and to a specified depth, it is not designed to be a swimming leg or for prolonged water activity. Any limb with metal parts will be susceptible to damage if used in water for long periods. For water sports and swimming, a specific water limb is advisable and is designed for that purpose. Your prosthetist will be able to give you specific advice on this. 

What is a cosmesis?

Cosmesis are devices/products that are designed to look as life like as possible and replicate parts of the human body. They have no functional purpose. Advances in materials have allowed for hi-fidelity realism

I have heard that I can get my prosthetic limbs insured, is this advisable?

Most people have their prosthetic limbs provided by the NHS if living in the UK (or MoD if still serving). The limbs remain the property of the issuing health service and if they are lost, stolen or damaged they should be replaced by the same health service at no cost to the patient. However, some may have purchased their own limbs, or extra limbs via a private provider and in such cases, it might be worth considering taking out insurance for these limbs as they can be very expensive to replace privately. For more information on insuring prosthetic limbs please contact the Prosthetic Support Officer on 0208 548 7080 or speak to your private limb provider.