Travelling with devices

Like any trip, travelling with a device requires good planning and preparation. If you use a prosthesis, orthosis or wheelchair, your mobility to a large extent depends on the optimal function of your device.

When travelling, your device may be exposed to different conditions and stresses in unfamiliar surroundings compared to your everyday routine. We have compiled some useful information to ensure you are well prepared and can enjoy every minute of your trip.

Please note, these are tips and suggestions. If you have any doubts contact your prosthetist, orthotist or wheelchair provider directly.

Travelling with a prosthesis

What do I have to consider before a trip?

  • Check the function and comfort of your prosthetic device well in advance.
  • Check your residual limb carefully for changes (shape/volume/pressure points).
  • Check the liner and/or knee joint cover for fit, tears or holes and check the condition of the foam cover or protector.
  • You may want to make an appointment with your prosthetist to rule out any risk factors in advance.
  • Find out in advance about prosthetic clinics at your destination.
  • Remember the battery charger, power supply and/or the 12 V USB charger adapter for your prosthesis.
  • We also recommend taking an adapter for all common socket types or a power bank for charging while you are on the go. If possible, put these items in your carry-on luggage so they are easily accessible.
  • Make sure your prosthesis is fully charged before starting your trip.
  • Ensure you have a few spare parts and accessories including medical and cosmetic products, such as spare valves for the socket, a donning aid or disinfectant for wounds in your luggage.


What do I have to consider when flying?

  • When passing through body scanners or metal detectors, watch out for any unexpected behaviour of your prosthesis.
  • If you have limited mobility, ask your airline at the airport or the travel agent about assistance.
  • The lower pressure in the aircraft can lead to volume fluctuations in the residual limb. Take some padding material with you in case this occurs. Talk to your prosthetist about possible solutions.

What should I do if I have problems with my prosthesis in a foreign country?

  • If you suspect a defect in your prosthesis (e.g. damage, loss of function, problems with electronics), contact your prosthetist directly.
  • As your first point of contact, your prosthetist will coordinate further steps and the best possible local support together with Ottobock Customer Service.
  • You can find important information such as the serial number of your prosthetic component on the inside of your joint.


Please choose an appropiate format:

Checklist for Travelling with a Prosthesis

To assist you with planning for your trip, we have compiled a checklist with the most important points to help you when travelling.


Travelling with a computer-controlled orthosis (e.g. C-Brace®)

What do I have to consider before a trip?

  • Check your orthotic device for function and comfort well in advance.
  • You may want to make an appointment with your orthotist to rule out any risk factors in advance.
  • Make sure that your orthosis card is completely filled out. Always carry it with you, especially when travelling abroad. It contains important information about your orthosis so you can be treated in an emergency and makes it easier to go through security at the airport, for example. You can obtain the orthosis card from your orthotist.
  • Find out in advance about orthopaedic clinics at your destination.
  • Remember the battery charger, power supply and/or the 12 V USB charger adapter for your mechatronic orthosis.
  • We also recommend taking an adapter for all common socket types or a power bank for charging while you are on the go. If possible, put these items in your carry-on luggage so they are easily accessible.
  • Make sure your orthosis is fully charged before starting your trip.


What do I have to consider when flying?

  • Make sure you have your orthosis card so you can identify yourself as an orthosis wearer when you go through security.
  • When passing through body scanners or metal detectors, watch out for unexpected behaviour of your orthosis.

What should I do if I have problems with my orthosis in a foreign country?

  • If you suspect a defect in your orthosis (e.g. damage, loss of function, problems with electronics), contact your orthotist directly.
  • As your first point of contact, the orthotist will coordinate further steps and the best possible local support together with Ottobock Customer Service.
  • You can find important information such as the serial number on the inside of your joint.


Travelling with a wheelchair

What do I have to consider before a trip?

  • Check whether your wheelchair is in good technical condition and optimally adapted to your needs.
  • You can use Google Street View or Wheelmap.org to learn about the surroundings at your destination. Is the terrain suitable for your wheelchair?
  • Contact your accommodation provider to determine whether the conditions there meet your needs or can be adapted.
  • Ensure your transfer to the hotel by asking in advance whether the vehicle is accessible for you as a wheelchair user. A video that shows how to fold up your folding wheelchair may be useful for transport.
  • Inquire in advance whether there is a wheelchair dealer that is familiar with your device in the vicinity.
  • Prepare sentences in the local language to describe frequently occurring problems, e.g. "I need a new battery/joystick/arm support (...)" or "I have a flat tyre."
  • Ask your wheelchair dealer whether the instructions for use for your wheelchair are available in the local language.
  • Put together your medical documents (e.g. diagnoses, medication plan) and have them translated into English, or even better, into the local language at your destination.
  • Stock up in advance with sufficient quantities of the medication you need and enquire whether a doctor's certificate is necessary for bringing them into the country.
  • Find out whether you need international health insurance for your destination.


What do I have to consider when flying?

  • Contact the airline so they can provide enough personnel for you. A transport wheelchair is used for transport from the gate to your seat and into the airport after landing.
  • If the airline requires one, you will need a MEDIF (medical information form) from your doctor stating that it is safe for you to fly.

What should I do if I have problems with my wheelchair in a foreign country?

First call your wheelchair dealer and describe the problem. They will then coordinate with Ottobock Customer Service so the optimal solution can be found. Your wheelchair dealer will then coordinate the further steps with you. A certified local dealer can often solve the problem.

For power wheelchair users

  • Check the condition of your power wheelchair's batteries. They should be able to reach your destination without having to be connected to the power supply. Find out whether an adapter is needed for sockets in a foreign country.
  • You need an IATA document for the current year to transport batteries on the plane. You can obtain information on the battery model in your wheelchair from your wheelchair dealer. Power wheelchairs must be disconnected from the power supply during the flight. The fuse has to be taken out, or the switch to disconnect the battery must be activated.

Tip:

Prepare brief instructions with photos of the most important steps for pushing the wheelchair, switching it on and off and activating the fuse switch. Attach these to your wheelchair where they are readily visible and protected from rain. This prevents potential damage from improper handling by the airport personnel.



USB Charging Cable

USB Charging Cable

The USB adapter cable is finally here. You now have an alternative to the usual charging process - giving you more options & independence.

USB Charger