General Questions Archives - Prosthetic Orthotic Solutions International

How do I shower?

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The safest and most hygienic way to shower, is to use a shower chair. It would allow you to cleanse your residual limb at the same time you are washing your whole body. However, there are prosthesis that are specifically designed for showering for amputees that prefer, and are capable to stand, while taking a shower.

Can it get wet?

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Majority of the prosthesis components are water resistant. It could get wet in the rain and shallow puddles without damaging the device. Most of the current microprocessor controlled knees and feet/ankle complex are now water resistant, weatherproof, or waterproof.

How do I learn how to use my prosthesis?

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Your first steps using the prosthesis will be taken in the office during the fitting process. Upon receipt of the prosthesis you will participate in a PT gait training program to learn to walk. It would be beneficial to supplement PT by participation in an OT program where you will learn proper donning techniques and how to use the prosthesis in the house and community.

How long does a socket last for?

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The socket will fit appropriately until your body undergoes a physical change. Adjustments will be made to maintain fit for small changes. As a new amputee, your residual limb will change rapidly through the maturation process. Sockets may be replaced more frequently as your limb begins to mature. Weight changes of about 10 lbs or more will also affect socket fit. Even if there hasn’t been any significant change the active user can expect the socket to be changed on average 18-24 months.

How do you determine what is the most appropriate prosthesis for me?

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  1. Pre-amputation lifestyle – the most important indicator of potential utilization after amputation
  • Hobbies
  • Vocation
  • Terrain
  • Previous activities
  1. Objective testing – series of objective measurements that predict your potential mobility
  • Amp Pro
  • Timed Up and Go
  1. Participatory Interview – a review of the prosthetic options that are available for your individual management
  • Education of systems
  • Options
  • Pros/cons of each component

Where is my prosthesis made?

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There are 3 possibilities:

  • On site. Optimal ability for the practitioner to interact with the technician throughout the process.
  • Internal C-Fabrication. Some interaction between practitioner and technician. May be modified by the practitioner, may not ask. Who is modifying model.
  • External C-Fabrication. Likely providing the information model measurements to the technician. They have limited contact with practitioner, limited knowledge of the patient. Your model may be modified by the technician instead of your practitioner.

What is the difference between hand casting versus CAD measurements only?

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Hand casting is a wrapped impression of your limb and volume. It usually results with a superior fit of the residual limb. Highly customized to each individual. One off! CAD CAM/measurements can be done with measurements or digital scan, and utilizes a pre-determined template socket/shape that can work for the average of the patients. This does not give the clinician as much ability to modify the model or template as you would with an actual “positive” model. They can be effective but often are not detailed to the level of hand cast impressions. If measured only, not likely to result in a superior fit. The practitioner depends on the model template to create a generic model. Be cautious of measurements only to make a socket. Digital scans can be more effective than measurements, but also require a template of the average shape, and cannot accommodate uniqueness of individual amputation.