Beginning the Prosthetic Fitting Process
There are a number of steps involved in the prosthetic fitting process. You and your family may have some concerns or questions regarding this fitting process. Please know our team is here to answer any of your questions and we will be by your side through each step of this new journey.
As your limb is healing, a cloth shrinker will be prescribed by your physician to help control swelling. During your first appointment at POSI, an evaluation is performed by a prosthetist which includes learning about your pre-amputation activities and future goals. The information gathered by your prosthetist will be used to determine an appropriate design of your prosthesis. Having a proper prosthetic fitting is paramount in obtaining your goals and resuming your normal daily activities.
Casting for your Prosthetic Fitting
Once clearance from your surgeon for a prosthesis has been received, the prosthetic fitting process truly begins. Your limb will be hand-casted in our in-house fabrication lab to capture the exact shape of your residual limb which will guarantee an intimate socket fit. Check out our 3D printed prosthetics for more intricate designs.
Diagnostic Test Socket
Before delivery of the final prosthesis, there will be a number of fittings in a diagnostic test socket (DTS). A diagnostic test socket is a transparent plastic utilized to confirm that the socket is fitting properly. You will walk in the diagnostic test socket aligned on your definitive componentry (knee/foot). During this stage of your prosthetic fitting, the fit of the socket and the alignment will be fine-tuned and then transferred to make the definitive prosthesis.
Physical Therapy with Your Prosthetic Fitting
Upon receiving your new prosthesis, you will begin working with a physical therapist. A physical therapist will help assist you in learning to walk and gain better mobility and control with your new prosthesis. Although there are many steps in a prosthetic fitting, we hope that providing this information has answered some of your questions and concerns. For more information or to schedule an appointment contact us today.
Your surgeon will provide clearance for a prosthesis when the limb is healed from surgery. About 2 to 4 weeks after clearance you will be able to take your first steps with the prosthesis. (See prosthetic fitting process).
For more information and to read stories from our patients visit our Featured Patients of POSI page.
A prosthesis could be worn throughout the course of the day. A new prosthetic wearer or a new prosthesis, would require a wearing schedule to acquaint the residual limb to the prosthesis. Proper volume management of the residual limb throughout the wearing time, would also determine the length of time the amputee could wear the prosthesis.
There are different methods of suspension of the prosthesis.
They are: anatomical, suction, elevated vacuum, shuttle-lock (pin type) systems and lanyard systems.
- Anatomical suspension utilizes the contour of the bony prominences of the residual limb to hold onto.
- Suction system area used with either a cushion liner, with or without sealing bands, or direct skin contact of the residual lib. The socket has a a one way valve to expel the air out of the socket, which creates negative pressure in the socket to attain suspension.
- The elevated vacuum system utilizes an external pump to draw the air out of the socket and obtain negative pressure inside of the socket to achieve suspension.
- The shuttle lock system consist of a pin that is threaded to the distal end (bottom) of the liner, which then engages to the locking mechanism attached to the distal end of the socket to achieve suspension.
- The lanyard system often used with transfemoral (above knee) prosthesis. It consists of wearing a liner, attached at the distal end of the liner is a Velcro strap or braided string. Then is is fed through the locking mechanism and pulled out of the bottom of the socket to obtain suspension.
A socket that is fit properly, will be more comfortable to wear for prolonged duration. A proper fitting socket melds together, proper weight bearing areas, relief of bony prominences, and have total contact on the residual limb.
Phantom sensation ( or limb) is the feeling that an amputated limb is still attached and is moving appropriately with other body parts. Phantom sensations ( or Limb) usually will disappear or decrease over time.
Phantom limb pain is pain that feels like it is coming for a body part that is no longer there. This is a real sensation that originates in the spinal cord and brain. For many people, phantom pain dissipates over time with prosthetic utilization, but for others managing phantom pain can be challenging. You and your doctor can work together to treat phantom pain with medication or with other therapies.
Read more about Phantom Pain.
The right physical therapist will have extensive experience serving other amputees and is willing to work with you to achieve your short term and long term goals. The ideal therapist is one who has specific amputee gait training and has knowledge of how your prosthetic componentry works. The therapist is a part of your rehabilitative team and should feel comfortable working with your prosthetist to achieve the best outcomes for you. The relationship between the therapist and your prosthetist will have a significant impact on your outcome.
Unique to the individual and cause of amputation. Your surgeon will provide clearance for a prosthesis when the limb is healed from surgery. About 2 to 4 weeks after clearance you will be able to take your first steps with the prosthesis. (See prosthetic fitting process)
A well fit lower extremity prosthesis should be used daily for up to 16 hours and for a lifetime. It benefits those who have multiple co-morbidities. Often there is improvement in mobility compared to pre-amputation for those who were managed for limb salvage.
You will be working with your prosthetist more closely than any other health care provider therefore you should ask questions before committing to a prosthetist.
- How many patients with your level of amputation has this prosthetist worked with?
- Ask about their success rate.
- Is the prosthetist you’re considering licensed and certified?
- Do you like the prosthetist?
Don’t take our word for it. Read some interviews with POSI patients on our featured patients of POSI page.
OUR TEAM CAN HELP!
Schedule your complimentary evaluation today.
POSI prosthetist and technicians are trained and certified by the following manufacturers for use of their products:
Ossur: Touch Bionics, I-Limb
Otto Bock: Bebionic, Michelangelo
100 Brick Road, Suite 315
Marlton, NJ 08053
440 Horsham Road, Suite 2
Horsham, PA 19044