Frequently Asked Questions By Our Patients
My doctor says I will need an amputation. When should I contact a prosthetist?
You may contact a prosthetist as soon as possible, and you can begin by asking for referrals from your team of medical professionals. For exceptional care, the practitioner and facility you choose should be certified and accredited by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, & Pedorthics (ABC).
How long after I have the amputation surgery until I get my artificial limb?
Many factors help determine when you will receive the prosthesis. Most amputees are ready for an artificial limb after 6-8 weeks. The fabrication process generally takes 3-4 weeks, and you will have several appointments with your prosthetist to make sure it fits correctly. Once you receive your prosthesis, rehabilitation continues to maximize function and mobility.
Will my residual limb change size?
Yes, over a period of time following your surgery, your residual limb will shrink and gradually change shape.
Can I sleep with my prosthesis on?
No, it is recommended that you remove your prosthesis before going to sleep.
Can I wear different shoes with my prosthesis?
You can wear different shoes, but it is recommended that they be of similar heel height. The prosthesis is aligned with a shoe that you provide; changing the shoe and heel height can affect the fit of the prosthesis. A low heel walking shoe is best for maximum stability; altering your shoes can also be an option. Ask your prosthetist about prosthetic feet that accommodate high-heeled shoes.
Can I drive a car with my lower limb prosthesis?
An amputee will most likely be able to safely resume driving with the assistance of adaptive devices. Contact your car insurance company and local Department of Motor Vehicles for more information.
How often should I see my prosthetist?
Follow-up visits are recommended every 3 to 6 months for normal maintenance and care. However, an inspection should be performed if you’ve experienced even a slight weight gain or loss or if your activity level has changed.
Do I need a prescription for your services?
You will need a prescription for a prosthesis, an orthosis, and for all office visits.
Does my insurance pay for your services?
Many insurance companies partially or fully cover a variety of orthotic and prosthetic services. You may need preauthorization for an orthotic/prosthetic product or service; contact your insurance company with any questions to fully maximize your benefits.
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A Manual for Above-Knee Amputees
A Manual for Below-Knee Amputees
Amputee Coalition of America (ACA)
American Diabetes Association
Association of Children's Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics (ACPOC)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Information About Diabetes
Inner Wheel USA
International Child Amputee Network
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Limbs for Life Foundation
National Center on Physical Activity and Disability
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA)
Northwestern University Prosthetics Research Laboratory and Rehabilitation Engineering Research Program
Orthotic and Prosthetic Assistance Fund
Orthotics and Prosthetic Online
Orthotics & Prosthetics Standards and Credentials
Prosthetics Outreach Foundation (POF)
Prosthetic Research Study
Spinal Cord Injury Information Network
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)
Adaptive Sports Foundation
American Amputee Hockey Association (AAHA)
Amputee Sport and Recreation
Athletes Helping Athletes
Challenged Athletes Foundation
Disabled Sports USA
National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA)
North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, Inc.
Wheelchair Sports, USA
American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP)
American Board for Certification (ABC)
American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA)
National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics & Prosthetics (NAAOP)
National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE)