Spanish[google-translator]

Prosthetic Patient Services

Many people facing the loss of a limb feel alone, frightened, confused and they often feel as though no one understands them. We can help.

Our experienced staff will walk with you as you heal and progress with your prosthetic care.

You will have lots of questions – don’t be embarrassed to ask your prosthesis about anything that concerns you. You and your prosthetist will spend many hours together during the initial fabrication and fitting of your prosthesis and for follow-up as needed for the remainder of your life.

You will quickly see that there IS life after amputation.

Measurement & Fitting

When you call:

Our receptionist will inquire as to your specific prosthetic needs.

We may ask you if you have a prescription and about your insurance.

We will attempt to schedule and appointment time that is most convenient for you.

 

Your First Visit:

Wear comfortable clothes to your appointment. Lower extremity patients should bring or wear shorts.

You will be asked to fill out some necessary forms while we make copies of your insurance cards and photo id. Please make sure that you have a current copy of your insurance information with you.

Arriving a few minutes before your scheduled appointment is recommended so that you will have time to complete any paperwork we may need.

 

In the exam room:

You will be shown to a patient room and one of our practitioners will begin his or her evaluation.

Please note that due to the unique nature or our work it is often difficult to predict the exact length of time needed to see each patient. While we try to stay on schedule as much as possible, occasionally we may fall behind. We appreciate your understanding in this matter as we want to give each patient whatever time is necessary to ensure that the prosthetic device they receive fits and is functioning properly. Please be assured that when it is your turn, you will receive the same high level of care and attention.

 

Initial Evaluation:

During your first visit, one of our practitioners will conduct an evaluation of your condition and the specific prosthetic device and components you need. The practitioner will ask you questions about your health and activity level in order to complete an accurate evaluation of your specific needs.

We ask that you be as factual and through as possible when answering these questions. The more information we have, the more effective we can be in designing and fabricating a device that is appropriate to your individual needs.

While the prosthetist will make many recommendations during the evaluation phase, their primary focus will be on listening to the patient describe their goals, limitations, and unique challenges.

We endeavor to assure that the practitioner who sees you initially will continue to see you for the duration of your visits. However, it is possible that due to scheduling difficulties you might occasionally need to see another of our other highly skilled practitioners.

 

Casting:

After your initial evaluation is completed, you may be cast or measured for the specific device you need.

The practitioner will cast you by taking a plaster impression of your residual limb using Plaster of Paris and /or plaster bandages. Once the plaster has dried sufficiently it will be gently removed. The plaster will then be cleaned from your skin and you will have completed your first visit.

Before you leave our office, you will make an appointment to return for fitting of your custom prosthetic device.

 

The Initial Fitting:

You will return to our office for your scheduled appointment. At this time, the practitioner will determine if the custom device fabricated for you fits and functions properly. You will try on your prosthetic device and the practitioner will observe you while wearing it.

Most prosthetics require adjustments in order to fit and function to their fullest. Often these adjustments can be made on the spot. More complicated devices and difficulting getting the best fit, may require more in depth adjustment and you may need to return for an additional fitting.

 

Final Fitting:

During this visit, the practitioner will make final adjustments to your prosthesis. You will typically leave wearing your device after this visit. Depending on the nature of your prosthetic device, all or part of the above steps may be required.

Due to the nature of prosthetics, you may require additional visits between the initial casting and the final fitting. Additional visits may be necessary to ensure that your finished prosthesis will fit and function properly and you are able to use it safely.

We will not be satisfied until we are certain that you have the best fit possible and a comfortable and safe prosthesis.

 

Continued Care

After receiving your prosthesis, your practitioner will be available to answer questions and to help with any problems pertaining to your prosthetic care.

If further medical consultation or physical therapy is needed, we will help with referrals.

 

REMEMBER – A prosthesis is a mechanical device. For your car to run properly, it must be serviced regularly. Your prosthesis must be maintained as well.

It is important that you have the alignment checked periodically and any problems or issues brought to the attention of your prosthetist immediately.

Depending on your activity level and lifestyle, your prosthesis should last anywhere from two to four years. It will require regular maintenance and at some point, replacement.

Just as your shoes wear out, so will your socket and prosthesis. When in doubt about whether or not a new prosthesis is required, your physician, physical therapist, or prosthetist should be consulted.

You will also need prosthetic supplies such as suspension sleeves, liners, socks, etc. Please contact our office for any supply needs.

 

Support Systems

Life as an amputee with a prosthesis can be overwhelming. That’s why developing a strong emotional support system is vital for most patients. This can include family members and friends; your prosthetist, physical therapist and physician; a professional counselor; an amputee support group; and publications and web sites for amputees.

Our patients tell us that one of the most helpful emotional supports they have found is getting to know other amputees. That is why amputee support groups are springing us all over the world. Within these groups, patients can share their feelings, frustrations, ideas, and encouragement. Often the act of helping another amputee is a huge step toward personal healing.

Don’t try to go it alone. Your recovery will be quicker and your life happier if you reach out to others and allow them to reach out to you.