Wearing a prosthesis for the first time is a little different than wearing a pair of glasses for the first time. A prosthesis is not a bionic as seen in sci-fi movies. It is an artificial replacement for a missing limb. A prosthesis will never be as natural as your own limb, but it will help you to do many things effectively if you are willing to combine your energy and self motivation to learn how to use it. The most important pathway to success is working with your doctor, prosthetist and physical therapist to address all of your concerns, and then to work with them on the process of designing, fitting, and training, which are a neccesary requirement to be a succesful wearer.
There are many things that should be done both physically and mentally for someone to be succesful as a prosthetic wearer.
–you must work through your feelings of having loss your limb and decide how you are going to choose to live your life as of now.
–regain your strength through exercise that is neccesary for walking and balance control.
–doing and following the neccesary instructions of taking care of your residual limb to help shape your residual limb, prevent contractures and desensatize nerve endings.
No, if we are contracted with your insurance company, we can only bill the contracted rate. If we are not contracted, we make every effort to keep costs at a minimum and negotiate rates with your insurance company.
–plan on making follow-up visits to your prosthetist a normal part of your life. Proper fit of your socket and proper alignment are essential to maintaing a proper working prosthesis. Like any other mechanical device, routine maintence and adjustment are needed from time to time. Small adjustments can make big differences.
You should see your prosthetist every 6 months or if either of the following occurs:
–you have experienced weight gain or loss, even if it is five pounds or 2% of your body weight.
–your activity level has changed
–it is important to note that in the hot months of the year with activity changes, limb volumne changes may occur which will require you to have fitting concerns.
Contact us for local support groups. The amputee coalition of America also has listings of support groups nationwide—www.Amputee-coalition.Org.
Before you are fit with a prosthesis, you should to try to wear a shrinker as much as possible during the day and night. Remove the shrinker to bathe. You should have two shrinkers to alternate while you are washing one. Shrinkers can be either hand or machine washed. Once you receive your prosthesis and start wearing on a regular basis. You don’t have to wear the shrinker as often. It is still a good idea to wear the shrinker to bed to control any swelling that may present over night. You do not need to wear your shrinker while wearing your prosthesis.
Every prosthesis is custom molded to each individual. There is a socket that fits on your limb. The componentry (suspension system, knee, foot, ankle, cover) are connected to the socket. There are different cosmetic applications available and the patient has the opportunity to choose what they desire. These options are discussed during the initial visit.
Feeling your toes is referred to as phantom sensation. Phantom sensation is a feeling that originates from the part of the body that is missing. Phantom sensation/pain can present in other ways, such as pain in the knee or ankle, itchy skin, or cramping of muscles. The cause of this phenomenon is not clearly understood. Some believe that it originates from a psycological source, in that the body has not adjusted to the removal of the body part. Some belive that it originates from the cut end of the nerves severed. This is a very common experience after an amputation. There are no sure remedies, but there are techniques that people find useful to treat the sensation or pain. The most common approaches for treatment are medication, mirror treatment, stump stimulation and cognitive therapies.
Discontinue use of your prosthesis, contact our office or your prosthetist as soon as possible for further instructions.
Remain calm and contact our office or your prosthetist immediately. If after hours, call our practitioner on call at 859-263-7712 and you will be directed of further instructions.
It is not recommended that you wear your prosthesis to bed. Wearing the prosthesis for an excessive amount of time will most likely cause harm to your limb.
If you are ever in need of new liners, socks or some other supply there are 2 things you need to do.
–call our office at 859-263-7712 and inform your prosthetist of what you are in need of.
–any item needed that you want your insurance to cover will require a doctors order for the particular items needed.
–a prosthesis can last for several years. The length of time depends on the amount of time the patient wears the prosthesis and what type of activities it is used for. Prosthesis are designed to be very strong and durable. However, it is a good idea to have your prosthesis checked out every 12 months to ensure it stays in good working condition. Liners will usually start to wear out in 6 months, but they can last up to 12 months or longer. Just like your prosthesis, the longevity of the liner depends on the amount of usage.
–a change in weight can cause a dramatic effect on how your prosthesis fits. Regularly scheduled evaluations are a must to maintain a proper fit of your prosthesis.
No, this is not recommended. With the prosthesis left uncovered, the water will rust the metal componentry.
Gel liners need to be cleaned after each use. Warm or cold water, never hot with a mild soap is recommended. Allow the liner to air dry. It is also recommended that once a week you wipe the inside of the liner with rubbing alcohol. Sticking to a daily cleaning routine will cut down on the amount of odor from your liner.
Socks are needed when your limb changes volume. Here are some indications when socks are needed.
–socket feels loose
–pain on bottom of limb
–socket spins when walking
Our clinical office patients are seen by appointment, so we prefer that you call one of our offices first. Each patient must be seen by a clinician for measuring, adjusting and delivery of the device. It is our professional responsibility to insure that the device we provide fits and functions properly.
Once you have been evaluated and your prosthetic device has been determined by the clinician and submitted to your insurance, we will have a price as set by your insurance. We will work with you to assure your insurance is billed correctly and you have a good understanding as if what, if any, will be your cost. After your initial visit, we will be able to tell you what will be your expected cost if any.
Custom prosthesis orders consist of multiple appointments to ensure a proper fit and correct functioning of the prosthesis. This is also determined by your limb condition and strength. When you are seen by one of our staff clinicians, a determination and scheduled timelines are then set. Every patient is different for each has their own specific challenges and frequency of appointments needed. Normal completion of a prosthetic device should take no more than 2 to 3 weeks with additional appointments in that time line. It is also determined by insurance approval and all neccesary documentation from your physician that ordered your prosthesis.
–we understand that you are anxious to return to activities of dailey living on your new prosthesis, so we do our best to deliver your system in a timely manner.
Many insurance plans will cover a prosthesis and all neccesary supplies. The percentage of coverage differs from company to company. This will depend on your insurance plan, the prosthetic device needed and your diagnosis. Depending on your insurance, you may have a deductible, copay or a percentage of the total cost that you will be resposible for paying. It may also be dependent upon weather you have had a similar prosthesis delivered to you within a certain time frame determined by your insurance. The billing specialist at our office will be able to inform you of your coverage. Insurance coverage is not a gaurantee of full payment.