Some answers to questions that you may be having as you begin your prosthetic journey.
Is it difficult learning to use a prosthesis?
Just like most things in life, those that are worth it, don’t necessarily come easy. It will take time, effort, strength, and perseverance to fully master using your prosthesis. Your prosthetist, therapist, medical providers as well as family and friends are here to support you and cheer you on. Rely on others for assistance when you need it and celebrate your successes. If you set your mind to doing it, you will be able to walk again!
What will I be able to do with my prosthesis?
You can reasonably expect to return to the activities that you enjoyed prior to amputation, but it may take some time to get there and require some adaptations. Learning to use a prosthesis will not come naturally overnight, but rather will take time, practice, targeted physical therapy and a positive “can do” attitude. Simply having a prosthesis will not enable you to do activities that you were unable to perform previously (e.g., running), however we find that many of our clients exceed their expectations post-rehabilitation. Our clinical staff is here to motivate you to achieve your highest potential.
When am I ready to use a prosthesis?
Generally, once your referring physician/ surgeon has removed any staples or sutures, you are ready to begin wearing a prosthetic compression sock (shrinker). This will be provided to you at your first appointment and ensures that your limb takes on a shape that can be fit with a prosthesis. It is usually worn for at least 2 weeks, during which we will submit for insurance authorization so that once your limb is ready to be fit, we are ready to proceed with a casting.
I am having a tough time coping with my amputation. Who can I speak to about this?
While everyone’s journey is unique, you may find it helpful to talk with other amputees who have been through a similar situation. We would be happy to connect you with one of our peer-support volunteers and recommend that you join the Las Vegas Amputee Support Facebook Group.
You can also find lots of helpful resources on the Amputee Coalition website, and on the Helpful Links page.
What transportation options exist?
Below is a list of transportation service options in the LV metro area. We recommend you call first to see whether your insurance will cover this service.
- Senior Services: (702) 452-1713
- Carevans Medical Transport: (702) 522-7700
- Medlife Transportation: (702) 648-8000
- GMTCare: (702) 979-9696
- LifeTrans Inc.: (702) 982-1000
- RTC Paratransit: (702) 228-4800
Do you have WiFi?
WiFi access is available to all our clients - please ask the front reception for the password.
Will I be in a private room?
The evaluations and castings are all done in private rooms. Once you are confident enough to walk outside of parallel bars, you may benefit from using our treadmill, stair, ramps and other devices in our central gym area. Safety is our priority, so if you have stability concerns, we may ask you to wear a gait belt when walking outside of bars.
Can I bring my emotional support or service animal?
Absolutely! However, we ask that non-certified animals remain outdoors, unless they are being seen for orthotic or prosthetic care.
What should I bring to my appointments?
To your first appointment, please remember to bring:
- Completed client paperwork - here.
- A valid ID or passport
- Insurance information and/or card
Prosthetic appointments may take a few hours, so we recommend bringing a book, laptop or anything else to help pass the time while you wait for the adjustments to be made. For the casting and fitting appointments, it is helpful to bring a pair of loose gym shorts and wear underwear, however if you forget them, we can provide you with some plain casting shorts.
Help! I’ve had an emergency related to my prosthesis, who do I call?
If you need to reach us during work hours (M-F, 8am-5pm) then please dial (702) 384-1410. If you need to reach us outside of business hours, we have a 24/7 prosthetic emergency hotline that will directly connect you with a clinician on-call (???).
If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.
How long will the prosthesis last?
Depending on your age, activity level and limb maturity, a prosthesis can last anywhere from several months to several years. In the early stages after limb loss, many changes occur in the residual limb that can lead to shrinking (muscle atrophy, swelling decrease, weight loss etc.). Once the limb has matured, and have reached your desired functional level, the prosthesis may only require some periodic maintenance and should last for an average of 3 years.
What if the prosthesis doesn't fit right?
If you are experiencing discomfort, please call us immediately and we will either schedule an appointment or explain a solution to you over the phone. We do not want a small problem to turn into something bigger!
Regular follow-ups are as important as the initial fitting. You can expect for your limb shape, alignment and goals to change over the course of your lifetime, and therefore it is important to regularly see your prosthetist we recommend at least every 3-6 months. You will also require replacement supplies such as liners, socks or sleeves.
Are there cosmetic leg options?
There are lots of ways we can individualize your prosthesis to reflect your unique goals and style. While some users enjoy the carbon fiber and exposed pylon look, others may want their prosthesis to closely resemble their opposite side in shape and skin tone. We also offer to laminate any fabric or logos into your prosthetic socket for no added charge!
Can I shower with my prosthesis?
We do not recommend showering while wearing with a prosthesis, as it prevents you from cleaning your residual limb and may cause a slipping hazard in a wet shower. If it is essential for you to wear a prosthesis in the shower, please consult your prosthetist first to determine the safest way to do this.
Can I get my prosthesis wet?
It depends on the type of prosthesis you have. In general, if a device gets splashed with water it should not cause damage, however, check with your prosthetist before submerging your device. Some parts of your prosthesis, such as the lock, knee, or foot may not be waterproof.
My leg, hip and back muscles are sore! Is this normal?
Walking with a prosthesis will require you to use your muscles in new ways which can lead to tired, sore muscles. This will improve over time with practice and physical therapy. Be patient and make sure to continue to follow your break-in schedule.
I notice a dark red spot on my leg whenever I take off my prosthesis. Should I be worried?
Keep a close eye on your skin, as pressure areas can begin as a red spot but can turn into a blister or wound if not addressed soon. If you are concerned, please call our clinic immediately.
How long can I wear my prosthesis?
It is important to let your body become used to the feeling and pressures of wearing a new prosthesis to avoid skin irritation - this also goes for experienced users! Typically, it is recommended to wear your prosthesis for no more than 3hr on the first day, and slowly increasing by 1hr per day. Continue to monitor your skin and listen to your body. If you are sore, then take a break.
If you are a first-time wearer, the above is even more important. Your skin will need time to become desensitized to wearing a prosthesis and tolerating pressures in areas where you may have never felt pressure before.
What insurance are you contracted with?
You can find an up-to-date list of our in-network providers here.
How much does a prosthesis cost?
Medicare, state Medicaid programs, workers comp and most private payer insurance companies will cover prosthetic care. We also see veterans. Depending on your benefits, the cost can vary. Even if you do not have insurance coverage, we have resources and partnerships that still allow us to provide the care that you deserve. Please give us a call to discuss these situations privately.
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