Frequently Asked Questions
Should I contact Premier Prosthetic Center before my amputation surgery?
Yes. Our prosthetist will meet with you before your surgery to evaluate your mobility and lifestyle expectations post-surgery. In many cases he can work directly with your surgeon to determine specific surgery techniques that can enhance your ability to utilize a prosthesis.
When can I be fitted for a prosthesis?
- Once the sutures are removed following amputation surgery, you can be fitted with a “shrinker sock”. The shrinker is used to control swelling of the residual limb and/or shrink it in preparation for a prosthetic fitting.
- When the wound is healed and tissue swelling has decreased, usually 3-6 weeks after surgery, a prosthetic measurement and fitting will take place.
Why is physical therapy needed?
It is recommended that you receive physical therapy before and after receipt of your prosthesis. This allows the therapist to provide much-needed pre-prosthetic strengthening and post-prosthetic gait (walking) training. This helps prevent you from forming movement habits that could cause you pain and difficulty with mobility long-term.
How long will it take me to walk again?
Most patients return to normal function within several months after amputation surgery. Recovery rates depend on a timely, comfortable prosthetic fitting, good follow-up care, and the patient’s health and goals.
Can I sleep in my prosthesis?
No. The prosthesis should be removed before going to bed.
How do I care for my prosthesis?
The stump and liner should be washed daily to avoid irritation and infection. Mild soap and warm water are recommended. The liner should be cleaned once a week with rubbing alcohol to kill possible bacteria.
Is my prosthesis waterproof?
No, prostheses are not generally waterproof. However, there are specially-designed prostheses that are waterproof. Ask your prosthetist about waterproof prosthetic devices.
How long will my prosthesis last?
Prosthetic components are designed to last from two to four years, depending on how they are used. The socket is also designed to last for two to four years, although most sockets must be replaced sooner as a result of changes in the residual limb such as weight loss, revision surgery or increased activity level.
How can I tell if my prosthesis needs to be replaced?
Cracking and popping noises, excessive hip pain and strain, and issues with alignment are all signs that a prosthesis is reaching the end of its wear cycle.