Amputation - A New Beginning
There are nearly 2,ooo,ooo people living with limb loss in the United States. Approximately 185,000 amputations occur each year. The majority of amputees (54%) have lost limbs due to illness such as vascular disease which includes diabetes. Trauma is the second leading cause and accounts for approximately 45% of lost limbs. Amputations also occur due to limb deficiencies that were present at birth. The vast majority of amputations involve lower limbs (Amputee Coalition of America).
Limb loss is a life altering event. It presents physical, psychological and social challenges for amputees and their loved ones. The road to recovery is best navigated with an interdisciplinary team of specialists trained in the care of amputees. Your selection of Centers for Mobility Prosthetics as your prosthetic provider allows our caring and compassionate staff to work closely with your rehabilitative team. Our collective goal is to return you to a more active, independent, and mobile lifestyle by helping you become a successful prosthetic user.
A prosthesis is likely to be considered medically necessary as long as the amputee is strong enough and motivated to use it. Your prosthetist will work with you to establish realistic goals. If you are a lower limb amputee, the prosthetist will play a key role in fulfilling your desire to walk again. Each patient’s potential for ambulation varies based on their functional ability. The use of a prosthesis could be minimally limited to transfers and household ambulation. The prosthetist plans and builds a prosthesis while selecting specific components to help each amputee achieve their individual goals. For example, if a below the knee amputee plays golf, a prosthetic foot with certain features may be selected to assist in that patient's performance. In other words, the design of your prosthesis is based on your current and potential functional ability.
At CFM Prosthetics, we use the latest in prosthetic technology to customize the design, fit and fabrication of the most appropriate prosthesis for you. Our professional and caring staff will assist you and your family in understanding each step of the prosthetic process.
The Prosthetic Process - Step by Step
Step 1: Evaluate and Treat
With a written order or prescription from your treating physician your prosthetist will examine your limb, discuss your goals and begin a prosthetic treatment plan. This step is performed at our clinic. Under special circumstances we will come to your location, whether you are at home or in a hospital or a rehabilitation facility.
Step 2: Shrinkers
Once your residual limb is healed, you will receive shrinkers. Shrinkers are compressive garments worn on the residual limb to reduce swelling and reshape the limb in preparation for casting.
Step 3: Casting
After wearing shrinkers for approximately two weeks, your prosthetist will make a mold of your residual limb. The mold is used to create a diagnostic prosthesis.
Step 4: Diagnostic Prosthesis
The diagnostic prosthesis is normally ready a few days after casting. Your prosthetist makes adjustments to the diagnostic prosthesis with your input and once it fits comfortably the intermediate prosthesis will be fabricated.
Step 5: Intermediate Prosthesis
An intermediate prosthesis is worn until your limb stabilizes in volume. It is normally utilized for two to six months. Once the residual limb has matured, a definitive prosthesis will be made.
Step 6: Definitive Prosthesis
The definitive prosthesis is sometimes called a permanent prosthesis. This term is somewhat misleading because no prosthesis lasts forever. Your prosthesis will eventually need replacement due to wear and tear or physical changes in your residual limb. You will likely wear your definitive prosthesis for a long time.
Learning to Walk Again
CFM Prosthetics believes in the important role physical therapy plays in your ability to use your prosthesis to its fullest potential. After receiving your prosthesis, we will redirect you to your physical therapy program so you may learn to use your prosthesis to the best of your ability. Returning to physical therapy is an extremely important part of learning to walk with your prosthesis.
Other Supportive Services
At Centers for Mobility Prosthetics, our specialists are ready to assist you not only in the prosthetic process, but to assist you with any questions regarding your recovery.
At your request, CFM Prosthetics' Peer Visitors will provide voluntary peer visits at any time during your recovery from limb loss. While your limb loss experience is unique to you, a peer visitor has successfully adjusted to a similar loss. To request a peer visit call 713-773-0969.
CFM Prosthetics works closely with H.E.L.P., a non-profit foundation serving amputees as a resource for support group meetings, information, events, and social outlets. For more information about H.E.L.P. and a support group schedule, please call 832-304-3574.