Prosthetics FAQs

When will I be fit with my prosthesis?

A limb needs to be fully healed before it can tolerate prosthetic use. An incisions need to be closed and any swelling left from surgery should be gone. Usually a compression garment or shrinker is used during the time between amputation and prosthetic fitting. This device helps reduce swelling and desensitize the limb, preparing it for the pressures of a prosthesis.


How are the parts of my prosthesis chosen?

The parts chosen for someone’s prosthesis will take into account many aspects of the user’s life. Weight, strength, range of motion, activity level, goals, and hobbies are all important in the design of a prosthesis. Prosthetic components differ in durability and complexity. A prosthetist needs to determine the best combination for the optimal outcome, a proficient user.

Does it hurt to walk on a prosthesis?

Pressure inside the prosthesis is common, but pain should never be part of wearing a prosthesis. It is important to communicate with your prosthetist about any pain you are having. There are many types of adjustments that can be made.


How often will I see my prosthetist once I have my prosthesis?

Adjustments to your prosthesis are not uncommon, especially when you receive a new socket or an entirely new prosthesis. These adjustments will become fewer and further between. It’s a good idea to check in with your prosthetist every 6 months, even if you aren’t having any problems.


What kind of progress should I be making?

Learning how to use your prosthesis is different for all patients. Your prosthetist is a good resource for questions and exercises. Physical therapy is also strongly encouraged. These sessions will help reinforce good habits and help you to treat your prosthesis as a part of you. Progress with a prosthesis can usually be tracked by the type of assistive device the patient is using. Many patients start out using a walker or two crutches. They might progress to one crutch or a quad cane. There are no strict guidelines about how long each of these devices is used for. Safety is the overlying issue, and we always recommend a prosthetic user progresses at a safe speed.


Are phantom pains common?

"Phantom pain" refers to the periodic sensation or feeling of a limb that has been amputated. In the beginning, many amputees experience phantom pains. In most cases, the pain will decrease with time. Phantom sensation may be something a patient experiences for many years, but frequently there isn’t pain associated with these occurrences.