Prosthetics Information for Patients
Boston Orthotics & Prosthetics is committed to providing excellent prosthetic care to both pediatric and adult populations. We strive to maintain the quality and integrity of each device and provide the highest quality patient care and services.
Prosthetic Patient Care
Our goal is to help you meet your present and future functional goals and desires. We understand and value each of you, our clients, as individuals. You are ordinary people, but because of your circumstances, are asked to do extraordinary things to move and function in an ever-changing world.
Maybe you lost limbs from a traumatic workplace injury, a motor vehicle accident, disease, or infection, while others experience limb differences from birth. Whether you are receiving your first prosthesis, or have worn a prosthesis before, we will design your device with a customized approach that matches your unique circumstances.
Your goals may range from learning to walk for the first time, to running a marathon. Perhaps you may want to explore a variety of sports, or play a musical instrument.
Your prosthetic devices will help you gain the confidence and ability to achieve your dreams. As Christopher Reeve once said, "So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
If you are new to Boston O&P or prosthetic care in general, you are probably asking yourself what to expect from the first visit moving forward. Our prosthetic care program consists of six basic steps:
We highly recommend meeting with one of our prosthetists if you are considering surgical amputation. This discussion will provide you with an opportunity to become acquainted with us, to share your desires and expectations, and to ask general questions about prosthetic care. It also allows us to create a customized treatment plan that will enable you to achieve your goals. If you are looking for a new prosthetist, a consultation will be equally helpful for similar reasons.
Your prosthetist works directly with your doctor, who provides general direction and management of your health and well-being. When you arrive for your evaluation, you will need to bring a prescription for a new prosthesis, or transfer of prosthetic services from your doctor. This will allow us to begin formulating a treatment plan for fabrication of an appropriately-designed device, or maintenance of an existing prosthesis.
During this visit, we will discuss your functional intentions and plan in detail. We encourage you to be prepared to engage in a conversation about what you would like to accomplish. This conversation will help us to help you. If you have uncertainty about these desires, we are here to provide answers and direction in this self-discovery process. Unlike other health care providers, there are no fees associated with consultations and evaluations.
Once your treatment plan has formalized, we must take a number of administrative steps prior to moving forward with your prosthesis.
The first step includes verifying insurance coverage. Prosthetic services provided by your insurance are listed under the Durable Medical Equipment clause. Additionally, we work directly with your doctor to create a detailed prescription that will specify the device or services you will receive. Your insurance company will be billed only when a new prosthesis, or maintenance to an existing prosthesis, is provided.
The shape of your limb affects the fit of your prosthesis. Prior to casting, we must establish that the size of your limb volume has stabilized - that it will not drastically change from day to day.
The prosthetic socket is the most important part of your prosthesis. As such, it is crucial that we accurately capture the shape of your limb. This is done with digital scanning technology (Computer Aided Design), or a fiberglass and plaster casting tape.
From this shape, we create a check socket. The check socket is a temporary device made from clear plastic material, which allows us to identify and resolve areas of discomfort and achieve an optimal fit to ensure the most comfortable wear.
Fit and Delivery
Once your device has been fabricated, you will meet with your prosthetist again. He or she will ensure the device meets your expectations and needs. Most importantly, we will teach you how to become an advocate for your own care, so that you can function independently.
An imperative aspect of prosthetic care is physical therapy. If you have not begun training with a physical or occupational therapist, it is important that you seek out these services to maximize the functional benefits of your prosthesis.
Even after you receive your prosthesis, our job is not over. So long as you have your prosthesis, we are available to support your needs. We will continue to provide ongoing visits. These are valuable because they allow us to provide patient education and ensure your prosthesis serves its purposes.
We advise that we see our prosthetic patients every three to six months. Customarily, our pediatric clients are seen every three months to accommodate anticipated growth, both in weight and height. Our mature clients are seen every six months for routine maintenance of their prosthesis. With a lack of proper management, prostheses are subject to mechanical failures.
We are committed to providing continuing education to schools, both at primary and secondary levels, to improve general awareness. We also provide ongoing in-service meetings to health care teams including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and more.
By creating open communication about prosthetic care within our communities, we hope to foster an understanding, appreciation, and acceptance for those with limb loss and difference.