1. Do I need a prescription from a physician?
Yes, each of our patients are required to have a physician's prescription before we can fabricate a prosthesis or orthosis. We can help determine the specific type of device that is needed by performing a thorough evaluation and working with your physician.
2. Are your practitioners and technicians ABC certified?
Yes. Our practitioners are among the most well educated in the O&P field. International Prosthetics and Orthotics only employs practitioners who are certified by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics (ABC) or who are working to complete their NCOPE residency (National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education).
3. How long will it take to get my prosthesis?
It typically takes approximately one month for delivery of a new prosthesis for a new amputee. That month consists of multiple visits to our office. These visits include obtaining an impression of the limb, socket fittings, prosthetic alignment and final fitting. Each case is unique and other types of visits may be required as necessary.
4. Is my prosthesis/orthosis covered by my insurance?
This all depends on your specific insurance plan, type of coverage and other factors. If you are insured individually or by your employer, you can check your policy. We are happy to help you determine your coverage with any insurance plan you may have.
5. Will my residual limb shrink/change?
Yes. Immediately following your amputation surgery your residual limb will be swollen and may have a bulbous shape. Over time, it may shrink down to a more cylindrical or conical shape, or it may just get smaller overall. The most common method of aiding in the residual limb shrinkage is an ace bandage or a stump shrinker. The ace bandage is wrapped in a figure 8 around the limb. A shrinker is an elastic sock that fits snugly around the limb. Both are very effective ways of encouraging shrinking and reducing swelling.
6. Will I be able to go back to work?
Many amputees are able to return to their current jobs without any complications. Some may need to have job modifications and others may change jobs completely. You should speak to your employer about your intentions and capabilities. If your amputation has disabled you to the extent that future employment is impossible, you could be eligible for disability-related benefits from the Social Security Administration.
7. Can I purchase an off the shelf brace instead of getting something custom?
This is dependent upon the patient. If a physician has referred you to us and recommended a specific type of orthosis/brace, you may need an item that is custom fabricated. Our staff of practitioners and technicians are highly qualified to fabricate custom orthotic devices as well as fit off-the-shelf items.
8. Will wearing the brace affect my skin?
While wearing any type of orthotic device you must take good care of your skin to prevent skin breakdown. Skin breakdown can be any type of sore, red, raw, or blistered areas on the skin. To avoid skin breakdown you should: bathe or shower on a daily basis, keep the orthosis clean with mild soap and water or non-toxic cleaner, and avoid skin creams or lotions under the orthosis. If you experience skin breakdown, contact your practitioner and or/physician for further instructions.
9. Can I fix or adjust the orthotic device myself?
No. Attempting to fix or make adjustments to an orthosis yourself can lead to personal injury or possible damage the orthosis. If you feel an adjustment needs to be made, or the orthosis is damaged in any way, contact your Orthotist immediately.
10. How long will my brace last?
This will depend largely on the age and activity level of the individual patient. A very active patient will normally put more "wear and tear" on the orthosis and may need a replacement sooner than someone who is less active. Additionally, when an orthosis is fit to a younger patient it will need to be replaced more often due to consistent growth.