Prosthetics fitting process
The prosthetics fitting process involves several steps.
- Protect your limb. Be careful not to fall or do anything to damage your limb as this could delay the prosthetic fitting process.
- Allow the suture to heal. Follow instructions given to you by your doctor or nurse.
- Prevent knee flexion contracture, maintaining the ability to fully straighten your knee. This will retain your full range of motion at the knee and enable a more natural walking pattern.
Once the surgical site has healed:
- This will typically take 3–4 weeks with no complications.
- Staples or stitches will be removed.
- A shrinker will be applied. This is a very tight piece of fabric that goes over your residual limb. It helps to decrease swelling and begin to shape the leg, thus getting it ready for a prosthesis.
Check socket fitting
When your limb is healed and the shape is ready for a prosthesis, you will walk on a check socket or diagnostic prosthesis. This is typically 2–4 weeks after the shrinker has been worn, depending on how quickly your leg takes shape.
A preparatory prosthesis will be made after successful check socket fitting. This is typically worn for 6–8 months. During this time, your limb will change in size and various adjustments will need to be made to your prosthesis as you become more proficient in walking. The socket can be customized with designs or decals.
A definitive prosthesis will be utilized once your limb has matured and size of the leg has stabilized. It will be made of carbon fiber for decreased weight and increased strength. The socket can be customized with designs or colored to match your skin color.