As with many decisions in life, choosing the proper prosthetic facility that will work with you to provide a prosthesis is a very important decision. In many cases it may be suggested by a physician, nurse or rehab professional to go to a particular prosthetic facility, however it should be left to the amputee and their family to determine which prosthetic facility best fits them and their needs.
What Should I Look For In A Prosthetic Facility?
Contrary to the common perception, many prosthetic facilities are different. A facilities atmosphere, staff, technology and outcomes can vary greatly from facility to facility. Finding a prosthetic facility that is inviting, has a caring and knowledgeable staff, uses the latest technology and has successful outcomes should be the focus of choosing one that is right for you and your family.
First and foremost, a prosthetic facility should have an inviting atmosphere. Losing a limb can be traumatic. For many, it is a scary time. You and your family have many questions. Finding a facility that is inviting and has a caring environment allows you to begin the process of getting your questions answered and working with you to get you back to doing all the things you did in the past.
Amputees will need to build strong relationships with their Prosthetist(s) and supporting staff at a prosthetic facility. In order to get a successful outcome, amputees need to feel comfortable sharing information about themselves, their history, what they like to do, what they did in the past, and what they aspire to do post amputation.
A Prosthetist should ask questions, listen and work with you to determine the best path to a successful outcome. No one particular path is for everyone. Each amputee and their amputation is unique, and should be treated as such.
Prosthetic technology, ranging from prosthetic manufacturing to prosthetic components, is constantly evolving. Current manufacturing technologies allow prosthetic devices to be made in hours, rather than weeks or months. In addition, component technology varies as well. Each component is different and outcomes can vary from patient to patient. Know that not every prosthetic facility has the same technological capability. And although ALL these technologies may be foreign to you as an amputee, ask questions and compare the differences from one facility to the next. Questions such as;
“Do you have experience with all of the different feet, knees, elbows, etc. in prosthetics?”
“Do I get to choose which prosthetic components are right for me?”
“How will you make my prosthesis?”
“How long will it take to make my prosthesis?”
The best way to find out what kind of outcomes a particular facility produces is to meet their patients. Ask to talk to with current and past patients, and ask those patients about their experiences. Ask about the care they have received during their time spent at that particular facility.
At Fourroux, we encourage new amputees to meet other amputees. Our facility is a completely open facility and amputees are free to interact and share their experiences, in hopes that relationships are built with others that have experienced amputation.
How Long Does It Take To Get My Prosthesis?
The speed of this technology is just one benefit. It is extremely accurate, and allows us to spend more quality time with our patients learning about them and working together towards a successful outcome. It also eliminates the amount of downtime a patient experiences when a new prosthetic is needed.
It is not uncommon for many prosthetic facilities using typical and dated technology to take weeks, and in some instances months for a definitive prosthetic device to be delivered to an amputee. These long timeframes affect an amputees ability to be mobile and active.
How Much Does A Prosthesis Cost?
Prosthetic device range widely in price, depending on your level of amputation and also the type of prosthetic device you are looking for. Many insurances policies have prosthetic coverage, however the amount of coverage can vary from one insurance policy to another. Some may only cover a portion of your prosthetic device, while others may cover the entire cost.
At Fourroux, we work closely with you to determine the best prosthetic plan for you, which includes the type of prosthetic device that would benefit you most all while taking into consideration any insurance coverage you have and any final direct cost to as an amputee.
Is Wearing A Prosthesis Suppose To Hurt?
Wearing a prosthetic device should not hurt…period! When getting fit with your first prosthesis, or if it is your tenth prosthesis, it should not hurt when wearing it. You should not have to get used to pain!
It is important to understand, as with any intimate fitting device, there will be changes in fit. An amputee’s body will change day to day, as well as over long periods of time. However, pain should never be present. When an amputee loses that intimate fit and your prosthetic device begins to feel uncomfortable, it is time for you to visit your Prosthetist and have adjustments made to your prosthesis to regain that comfortable fit.
Education is a key component to being successful as an amputee. Asking the right questions is the first step in to educating yourself about living life as an amputee.
Find a prosthetic facility that meets all the requirements previously discussed. When searching for one, amputees and their family should visit multiple facilities. Ask questions, interview the staff, meet some of their patients and determine which facility is right for them.
At Fourroux Prosthetics, we invite amputees and their families to come visit, take a tour, interview staff and other amputees. See the technology, experience the process, and get your questions answered. All in a welcoming and friendly environment.
If you have a question concerning your prosthesis or prosthetic fit, or if you would like to experience the Fourroux difference, call 888-810-6220 today…or [click here] to have a Fourroux Representative contact you.