What is an artificial leg price in South Africa in 2024?

What is an artificial leg price in South Africa in 2024?

Over 1 million annual limb amputations are done globally, and the International Diabetes Federation predicts that the number of amputees will reach 435 million by 2030. Below-knee amputations are the most common, but thanks to technology and science, amputees can use their limbs again using prostheses. This article highlights the price of artificial legs in South Africa and other factors to consider.

Artificial legs price in South Africa
Amputee athletes can get back on the field with customized artificial legs. Photo: Caia Image
Source: Getty Images

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Amputation is usually the last medical option following unsuccessful endovascular or vascular treatment of the affected area. Limb problems are caused by ailments like osteomyelitis (infection of the bones), diabetes (most common), blood clots, or blood vessel disease, also called peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

How much does a prosthetic leg cost in South Africa?

How much does a prosthetic foot cost in South Africa? The price of artificial legs in South Africa varies according to grade. A new single lower-grade prosthetic leg for sale costs about R20,000, while a higher-quality one costs between R50,000 and R160,000. The price of a below-knee prosthesis is generally lower.

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Statistically, below-knee amputees usually regain normal mobility and can return to their routine activities. Amputees are advised to get the approval of a qualified prosthetist and orthotist before getting a custom-made prosthesis that fits within their budget.

Can I get a free prosthetic leg in South Africa?

Yes. The Amputee Blade Runners (ABR) is a South African NGO established in 2011 by prosthetists Aaron and Ryan to provide free running artificial legs for amputees. The two came up with the programme because insurance companies in the country do not cover amputees in athletics.

Prosthetic leg price in South Africa
The cost of artificial limbs varies with size, quality, and customization. Photo: Juan Algar
Source: Getty Images

What should you consider when getting a prosthetic leg?

Not every amputee qualifies for prostheses, and before getting one, you and your prosthetist should consider the following:

  • If there is enough soft tissue to cushion the remaining bone
  • The amount of pain you are feeling.
  • Range of motion of the residual limb
  • If the remaining leg is healthy
  • The amputee's level of activity before the amputation
  • Amputee mobility goals
  • Type of amputation (if below or above the knee)
  • What caused the limb amputation, and if it will affect the health of the residual limb.

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What are the signs of a poorly fitted artificial leg?

A poorly fitted prosthesis causes discomfort and prevents proper functioning. You need to adjust the equipment if you notice the following;

  • The artificial leg feels heavy and hard to move, indicating a loose fit.
  • The residual limb has blisters or open sores, indicating the fit is too tight or loose. In this case, you must see a doctor to treat the wounds and a prosthetist for advice on the way forward.
  • When you walk, the residual limb moves up and down the socket (pistoning), indicating a loose fit.
Cost of an artificial leg in Mzansi
Amputees should seek the advice of a qualified prosthetist. Photo: Johnny Greig
Source: Getty Images

Where can you find artificial limbs in South Africa?

You can find artificial limbs in several places across South Africa, including but not limited to the following;

  • M de Barros Orthotics and Prosthetics in Cape Town
  • Van Emmenis Orthotics and Prosthetics in Pretoria
  • Orthoworx with branches across South Africa
  • Du Toit Orthotics and Prosthetics in Gauteng
  • Meintjes & Neethling Pretoria

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How long should you wear a prosthetic leg?

A temporary prosthesis prescribed after your amputation lasts for a few months. After the residual limb stabilizes, you can get an artificial leg that lasts between three to five years. You should also change the prosthesis if you feel pain, discomfort, or loss of stability.

Proper maintenance of the artificial limb, especially cleaning around the socket area, is essential to ensure comfort and durability. Your prosthetist will advise on the appropriate cleaning process.

How far can you walk with a prosthetic leg?

The distance an amputee can cover depends on the type of amputation and how long they have used the artificial limb. Some people can comfortably walk as far as 305 feet.

How many hours a day can you wear an artificial leg?

Amputees are advised to follow the schedule recommended by their therapist. In the beginning, you will wear the leg for a few minutes and increase the time along your physical therapy journey. You should also examine your limb condition whenever you remove the prosthesis.

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Artificial leg costs in Mzansi
A loosely fitting artificial leg can hurt the residual limb. Photo: Andrea Migliarini
Source: Getty Images

How much does an artificial leg cost in Kenya?

The cost varies with the type of amputation, size, and customization needs. The price can be as low as Khs 40,000 (about $350) for a below-the-knee prosthesis to over Ksh 450,000 (about $4,000).

Artificial leg prices in South Africa are affordable, giving thousands of amputees hope to walk again. After getting the right fit, physical therapy automatically becomes part of your lifestyle, and you can do things independently.

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Caregivers are crucial in the recovery journey of patients. According to the South African Nursing Council (SANC), the profession has been growing, although more nurses are needed across the country.

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Source: Briefly News

Authors:
Alice Wabwile avatar

Alice Wabwile (Lifestyle writer) Alice Wabwile is a multifaceted content creator and Project Assistant at AfDAN, boasting over four years of experience. Holding a BCom degree from the University of Nairobi School of Business, she has cultivated a dynamic skill set through roles such as her tenure at Strathmore University's Data Science Department, where she contributed significantly to research. Recognized for her exceptional talent, she clinched the Writer of the Year Award. Beyond her professional endeavours, Alice is an engaged member of the Rotaract Club of Kabete. For inquiries, reach out to her at alicenjoro01@gmail.com

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