Questions About Prosthesis
Will the prosthesis let me do everything I was able to before?
Your prosthesis will not be as capable as a natural limb, but it will allow you to regain much of the function you have lost. The limitations of your prosthesis depend on the type of prosthesis you receive and your personal health and abilities. Your doctor, physical therapist and prosthetist will all work to ensure you get the most from your prosthesis.
How will the limb stay on?
There are different methods for attaching prosthetics. Some use suction or vacuum with a suspension sleeve, while others use straps or a pin mechanism attached to a roll-on liner. You can discuss the options in detail with your prosthetist.
How can I prepare for my first prosthesis?
Exercise is a very important part of preparing for your first prosthesis. The stronger and more flexible you are, the easier it will be to maneuver your new prosthetic when you receive it. Your physical therapist can help you by teaching you some exercises designed to address your unique needs. You can even begin isometric strength training while you are on bed rest and then graduate to a wide variety of exercises as you heal.
After your sutures have been removed and the primary wound has healed, you can also begin making efforts to desensitize your residual limb to prepare it for continual contact with the prosthetic. Gently massaging the stump of your residual limb is a great way to do this. For other recommendations on how to desensitize your residual limb, consult your physician.
Will it hurt to walk using a prosthetic leg?
Once your stump, or residual limb as it is often referred to, has healed, and as long as your residual limb was properly wrapped and shrunken, you should be able to use your prosthetic leg with little to no pain. You may feel some pressure but pain should be at a minimum. Your prosthetist will create a schedule for using your new prosthetic leg that will allow your residual limb to adjust gradually, avoiding any pain. If you do feel pain while wearing your prosthetic leg, you should notify us right away.
How long will it take to get my prosthetic limb after the amputation?
You will be fit for your first temporary prosthetic limb after your surgical wounds have healed and the swelling in your residual limb has been minimized. Most patients are fit for their first “temporary prosthesis” or “test socket” by 4 to 6 weeks post-surgery, but it could be sooner or later depending on how quickly you heal.
How long will the prosthesis last?
Depending on the specific limb and use, the lifetime will vary, but it’s typically 3-5 years. However, during your first year of recovery after amputation, it is not uncommon to have parts of your “temporary prosthesis” replaced from time to time, especially the portion of the prosthetic limb that surrounds your residual limb, commonly referred to as the “socket”. As your limb changes during the first year, the socket may be replaced several times. This is a normal part of the healing process and commonly referred to as “limb maturation”.
Can I swim or shower with my prosthesis?
Not unless your prosthesis was specifically designed to be used in water. Most standard prosthesis cannot be worn swimming or in the shower. However, there are prosthetic limbs that can be worn in the water. Make sure to discuss this with your Superior prosthetist as these types of requests are commonly accommodated.
Questions About Superior
What are your hours of operation?
Superior Orthotics & Prosthetics is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. We have an emergency on-call service that can help you if you have a problem with your brace or prosthetic in the evening or on the weekend. Please call us today to make an appointment to meet with a practitioner and discuss your individual needs.
Will my insurance pay for my treatment?
Many insurance plans cover orthotics and prosthetics. Benefit plans vary; therefore please contact your insurance carrier or our office to discuss your individual coverage.
What information do I need to bring with me to my first visit?
On your initial visit, please bring a form of identification, your prescription, your insurance card(s) and any other billing information.
What should I expect during my first visit?
One of our practitioners will meet with you and perform an initial evaluation. They will ask you a lot of questions about your injury, lifestyle and personal expectations. Because we perform a variety of orthotic and prosthetic services, feel free when you call to schedule your appointment to ask how long your visit will take.
Do I need to be referred by my doctor?
All treatment paid for by insurance carriers requires a physician referral.
I am facing an amputation, what should I do first?
Contact our office at 615.340.0068 for a free consultation. We will discuss your options as well as talk with you about what to expect in the year(s) ahead.
Does Superior Orthotics & Prosthetics send their work off site for manufacturing or do you do it in-house?
Superior believes that you deserve the best, so we manufacture all of our orthotics and prosthetics on-site. By doing our own modification and manufacturing, we can have total control over the process and ensure that you are given the highest quality product available.