The process of getting a new prosthesis is unique to each client, but usually it goes through the following steps:
Interview/ First Appointment
In the interview, we suggest that clients go to at least three different prosthetist/facilities to find the right fit for their needs. Clients should consider the technical part of it as well as if their personalities and preferences match the prosthetist, since this should be a long term relationship.
After the client has decided who is going to be the prosthetist, the first appointment usually is a long conversation to understand needs and expectations.
On that appointment, the client and the prosthetist will decide together what is the best prosthesis for this client lifestyle and needs.
After deciding what kind of prosthesis and socket will be better for the client, the prosthetist will then start the casting process.
Casting consists of taking the clients measurements and fabricating a cast that is an exact mold of the residual limb. This cast is made of plaster and it will be the “guide” for the prosthetist to fabricate the next step: the test socket.
In this stage, the prosthetist and you will choose an appropriate liner to your needs. A liner is a protective cover that will be between your residual limb and the socket, providing more cushioning and comfort. The liner also helps with the process of putting on the socket and keeping the residual limb from swelling.
After a few days that you have been casted, your test socket will be ready. A socket is a flexible attachment that connects the body (residual limb) to the prosthesis.
This first socket is just a test version, meaning that you are going to wear it for a few days and then come back so we can make all the adjustments need to make it more comfortable to you.
The test socket is not meant to be definitive, and it should only be used for a few days, otherwise it can fail catastrophically.
After trying the test socket for a couple of days, we will make all necessary adjustments to make the socket the best fit possible to you.
We will then fabricate your final socket – the one that you’re going to be using for your daily activities. The socket is made of several materials, such as a combination of acrylic resin, fiberglass, nyglass and carbon reinforcements, if needed.
If you have phantom pain, we can also laminate Farabloc into the socket, which helps in alleviating the pain for some people.
You can choose how your socket will look. We can laminate fabrics with all sorts of patterns and designs to your socket. We have clients wearing sockets that have flowers, animals, flags and even superheroes on it.
Fitting and Alignment
Once the final socket is ready, you’re going to wear your new prosthesis. In that final phase, the prosthetist will do the alignment so you can have the most natural and healthier gait.
This is when you will walk here on our office and tell us what fits well and what doesn’t. We will work to make your prostheses comfortable and functional to you.
You’re now all set with your new prosthesis!
In this phase, we hope that you can adjust well wearing a new prosthesis, but you may need to come back to our clinic to make adjustments.