After receiving your prosthesis, your prosthetist and financial counselor will be available to answer questions and help with any problems pertaining to your prosthetic care. If further medical consultation or physical therapy is needed, we will help with referrals. Your financial counselor is your advocate to assist with financial issues.
You may need a prosthetic check-up if …
- You haven’t seen your prosthetist in at least six months.
- You’ve experience weight gain or loss, even if it’s 5 lbs.
- Your activity level has changed.
A prosthesis is a mechanical device. For your car to function properly, it must be serviced regularly. Your prosthesis must be maintained as well. It’s important that you have the alignment checked to prevent physical problems.
Depending on your activity level and lifestyle, your prosthesis should last anywhere from two to four years. It will require maintenance and at some point, replacement. Just as shoes wear out, so will a socket and a prosthesis. When in doubt about whether or not a new prosthesis is required, your physician, physical therapist or prosthetist should be contacted.
You will also need prosthetic supplies, such as suspensions sleeves, liners, socks, etc. Please contact our office for any supply needs.
A socket will normally require replacement when one of the following takes place:
- The socket is worn out and/or cracked. Usually a socket will last 2-4 years depending on your activity level.
- The socket is discolored.
- The socket no longer fits. If the wearer has gained more than 2% of body weight, the socket will not be comfortable and donning will be difficult. More than 2% of body weight loss may cause the socket to rotate or the limb to actually piston within the socket.
- There is a change in the size or shape of your residual limb.
- You’ve had revision surgery.
Life as an amputee and with a prosthesis can be overwhelming. That’s why developing a good emotional support system is vital for most patients. This can include family member and friends; your prosthetist, physical therapist, and physician; a professional counselor; an amputee support group; and publications and Web sites for people who use a prosthesis. Again, a good source of information and encouragement is the book You’re Not Alone.
Our patients tell us that one of the most helpful emotional supports they have found is getting to know other amputees. That’s why amputee support groups are springing up all over the world. Within groups like these, patients share their feelings, frustrations, ideas and encouragement. Sometimes, the act of helping another person can be a huge step towards personal healing. Don’t try to go it alone or be too independent. Your recovery will be quicker and your life happier if you reach out to others and allow them to reach out to you.