I may be undergoing an amputation, what is my first step?
Contact our office at 832-813-5278 for a pre-amputation consultation. Our practitioners, office staff, or our peer mentors will gladly answer any question you may have about your upcoming surgery.
How do I choose a prosthetist and prosthetic facility?
You will be working with your prosthetist more closely than other health care providers. Ask the following questions before committing to a prosthetist.
• How many patients with your level of amputation have they worked with?
• Ask about their success rate.
• Is the prosthetist you will be working with licensed?
• Do they stay up to date on current technologies?
• What kind of prosthesis would they recommend for you, why?
• Do you like the prosthetist?
How do I make an appointment?
Call us at 832-813-5278. Our office staff will review our schedule with you. We will try to work with your schedule the best we can.
What do I need to bring with me to an appointment?
Please bring your identification and insurance information. Pertinent information to the diagnosis you are being treated for, such as; medical records, previous prosthetic and/or orthotic devices will help us determine the best treatment plan for your needs.
How much will my prosthetic/orthotic care cost?
To find out about the cost of your prosthetic/orthotic care, please call our office and talk with a financial specialist. They will talk to you about your insurance coverage and copays. If you don’t have insurance, they will try to help you find funding.
Does your prosthetic/orthotic care cost more than other facilities?
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 to negotiate rates with your insurance company.
How soon after my amputation will I be able to walk?
That depends on how quickly you heal. A healthy person with good circulation and no post-operative complications might be ready to use a prosthesis 4 or 5 weeks after surgery. Patients that are prone to slower healing/recovery or experience complications may take longer.
Will it hurt to walk with my prosthesis?
No. Your prosthetist will provide you with an initial wear schedule so that you can become accustomed to your socket without experiencing discomfort. If your prosthesis hurts, call your prosthetist.
How long will it take to get my prosthesis?
The average below-knee definitive prosthesis requires 3 to 5 appointments for casting, fitting, and delivery. An average above-knee definitive prosthesis requires 4 to 6 appointments.
What kind of shoes can I wear with my prosthesis?
Almost any shoe can be used with your prosthesis – be sure to bring the shoes you wear most often when you are fit with your prosthesis. Unless diabetic shoes are required, athletic type shoes are often recommended – they are light in weight and usually have soles that prevent slipping. Your prosthesis will be fit for the heel height of the shoes you bring to your fitting. Talk to your prosthetist about the heel height of your shoe, as well as other footwear with a similar heel height.
My skin is red when I take off my device. Is that OK?
This is normal. Check the skin 20 minutes after removing your device. If the redness results from normal pressures, it will have gone away in this amount of time. If your skin is still red after 20 minutes, or the area hurts, stop using the device and call us at 832-813-5278
I am having to wear more prosthetic socks than when my leg was initially delivered. Can it be adjusted so that I don't have to wear so many?
Small adjustments can be made to the socket to reduce the number of socks needed. At first, these adjustments can be successful, but become less successful as atrophy/volume changes continue. Your prosthetist can determine where and how much your residual limb has shrunk and then determine a continued treatment plan.
My device needs an adjustment. Do I need to get a prescription from my physician?
Adjustments that do not change the structure or design of the device do not require a prescription.
How often should I see my prosthetist?
After initial follow up protocol for a new prosthesis, you should see your prosthetist every six months or if the following occurs:
• You’ve experience weight gain or loss, even if it’s only 5 lbs.
• Your socket begins to cause discomfort or feel uncomfortable.
• Your activity level has changed.
Is it normal to feel my toes or other parts of my limb that have been amputated?
Yes, it is. This is called phantom sensation, and most amputees experience it. If it is uncomfortable, speak to your physician about treatment options.
Do I sleep in my prosthesis?
No, prosthesis are designed to be worn during the day and removed while sleeping. We recommend that you wear a shrinker at night, especially if you are still experiencing volume fluctuations.
Can I do sports with my prosthesis?
Most people can resume their sports activities using their prosthesis. Some sports such as swimming and running require specially designed limbs – discuss all of your needs with your prosthetist at the initial evaluation.
Can I take a shower with my prosthesis on?
Not unless it was designed specifically for swimming or bathing.
Who is part of my healthcare team?
The healthcare team is any specialist that treats you during your pre, post, or rehab treatment. At a minimum it would consist of your physician and prosthetist or orthotist; a physical therapist is usually part of the healthcare team of a new amputee. Other specialists might be included depending on your needs: an occupational therapist, rehabilitation counselor, wound care specialist, speech therapist and social worker are just a few of the specialists who might be involved.
Can you help me get connected with a support group?
Yes, contact our office at 832-813-5278 for information about local support groups. The Amputee Coalition of America also has a listing of support groups nationwide – www.amputee-coalition.org.