Helping those with limb loss find a prosthetist
Amputees and those with congenital disorders who wear a prosthetic device typically have a long-term relationship with their prosthetist. If you have never worn a prosthesis, we want to provide an outline of what you should expect during your journey.
Are you ready for a prosthesis?
Having a prosthesis can be a lot of work. You need to build strength in your muscles with physical therapy exercises to prepare for your new prosthesis. Having a physical therapist and prosthetist you can communicate with is extremely important for a successful outcome with your prosthetic device.
What is the best way to learn more about getting a prosthesis?
- Research Online – See our Patient Resources Guide
- Ask your Doctor
- Discuss with your Therapist
Before you can see a prosthetist, your doctor will need to:
- Document your current condition
- Diagnose your K-Level
- Collaborate among the members of your care team
After your diagnosis, you will want to find a prosthetist to collaborate with on your care team. Your physician will be the one to provide the referral to our facility. The next step is to evaluate which prosthesis will have the fit and function you are looking for.
After the appropriate device has been selected, you will continue your PT while your prosthesis is manufactured. Your prosthetist will fine tune your device and the socket over multiple visits. During the fitting process we will provide education and training so you can get the most out of your new prosthesis.
Step 1: Documenting your current condition
Your doctor will complete an evaluation checklist. This is when you should ask questions. This information will be the basis of the report being sent to your insurance company which ultimately determines the affordability of your prosthetic device.
- Physical Exam
- History of Amputation
- Functional Deficits
- Functional Level
- Motivation to use prosthesis
- Describe the condition of the residual limb
- Patient’s past experience with prosthesis
If a replacement prosthesis is needed, describe the condition of current prosthesis or component and your recommendation based on your functional level evaluation.
Step 2: Diagnose your K-level
Your doctor will confirm your K-level which determines the type of device your insurance will approve. The K-level is based on your daily activities and current physical condition. it is possible over time that you can graduate to a higher K-Level if you continue to progress in your abilities.
Step 3: Team Collaboration = Improved Prosthetic Care
On your first visit, options will be discussed to find the prosthetic configuration that allows you to get back to your daily activities and meet your future goals.
In addition to your doctor, your care team will consist of physical therapists and your prosthetist. Cohesive care during your rehabilitation will help you stay on track with your short and long-term goals to better improve your outcomes.
The team collaboration is a transparent process – the goal is patient education through communication with all members of the team. Collective input creates a clear plan which leads to higher patient satisfaction with improved functional results. After your final fitting, your prosthetic devices will need adjustments over time, so you will likely check in with your prosthetist once or twice a year.
“I believe that providing a prosthesis is just the beginning of my responsibility as a prosthetic provider, I am also involved in the education and follow up care of my patients”, says George. He is always eager to learn new methods and philosophies and share for the benefit of the team as well as the success of the patients’ prosthetic experience.Read George Villarruel’s Bio here…
Every patient is unique, physically and psychologically and we have the experience and compassion to guide them through this journey. We have put together a list of resources of organizations and articles to help you and your family members.
The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthotics (ABC)
The Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC)