Prosthetic Timeline - P&O Care - Prosthetic and Orthotic Care

Healing

Female Doctor Holding Stethoscope Speaking with Patient on Hospital Bed - P&O Care - Prosthetic and Orthotic Care

The time elapsed immediately after surgery until the incision line is fully healed (and prosthetic fitting can begin) varies for each patient. It is especially important to prevent falls, strengthen muscles and reduce swelling prior to prosthetic fitting.  It is great to be connected with a prosthetist in this stage so you can begin discussing your goals and the type of prosthesis you will receive.  Education is very important at this stage, because the more you know about your recovery, the likelihood that you will be successful. It is also great to have someone in your corner that you can call if you have questions about your recovery. P&O Care practitioners will monitor your healing progress and report back to your physician if you should have any difficulties.

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Fitting

The prosthetic fitting process includes the impression (casting), fabrication and fitting of your prosthesis. The entire process takes approximately 2-3 weeks to complete, consisting of at least three appointments with your prosthetist.

When your residual limb is fully healed (no scabs are present), a plaster impression (cast) of your limb will be taken. If you’ve ever broken a bone before, you’ve probably worn a cast. This cast is a little different because once hardened, the cast is immediately removed. Just like a baker needs a pan or a mold to bake a cake, your prosthetist needs a mold of your leg to create a custom prosthesis just for you.
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Approximately one week after casting, you will take your first steps with a test or check socket. You will learn to take your first steps within the parallel bars, which allow you to use your hands to gently apply your weight on the prosthesis. Just like a dental temporary, a temporary prosthetic check socket allows your prosthetist to ensure maximum comfort and function of the prosthesis.

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Approximately one week after your check socket fitting, you will receive your new prosthesis! Your prosthetist will review how to properly use and walk with your new prosthesis. During the final delivery, your prosthetist will again check the height, and make sure that it is comfortable and functioning properly.  A new prosthesis is like a new pair of shoes and often a “break in period” or “wearing schedule” is used to

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Training

Man with Prosthetic Walking with the Help of Balancing Beams - P&O Care - Prosthetic and Orthotic Care

Your prosthetist will teach you the basics of walking with your prosthesis, however we strongly encourage working with a physical therapist to get the most out of your prosthesis. A physical therapist can help fine tune your gait mechanics and increase your confidence and strength. P&O Care can help you find a physical therapy group that is experienced and convenient.

In the beginning, you will practice walking and weight shifting in your prosthesis within the parallel bars. As you become stronger and more confident with your new prosthesis, you may begin to use a walker or a cane outside the parallel bars. Should you need any adjustments to your prosthesis during your physical therapy session, your prosthetist may be able to visit you to make adjustments on-site! Read more about our mobile units here.

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