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Prosthetics 

An experienced and qualified Prosthetic practitioner will be able to assist you by matching the correct prosthetic device for your specific needs. The majority of prosthetic devices require diagnostic fitting before a final socket can be manufactured.

 

The diagnostic socket will ensure that your definitive (Final) socket fits your residual limb as comfortably as possible. 

On average, once you receive your definitive prosthesis, depending on your activity level and other health related issues (comorbidities), you can expect your prosthetic device to be functional for the duration of the component warranties and approximately 4-5 years for the socket interface unit. (SIU) 

The SIU is normally manufactured from the highest industry quality carbon, glass fiber composites. In certain upper and lower extremity cases, the SIU can be manufactured using additive manufacturing technologies. In addition to normal conventional socket technologies supportive solutions exists for Osseointegration technology. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the main causes of limb loss are dysvascular diseases, trauma, cancer, and congenital anomalies, with diabetes being the leading cause of new cases of nontraumatic lower-extremity amputations among adults. 

After a person has undergone an amputation of a major extremity they will be subjected to many new experiences that they may not be prepared for. 

In most cases physical pain is the initial discomfort that all amputees will face. There are various methods, treatments and medications that are available to ease the pain. Consult your surgeon or general practitioner if you are experiencing pain, as there are no medals for persons who experience the most pain. (Amputee tip: Try the attitude of, every day is a new day and every day I will have less pain than the previous day)

Newly amputated individuals need time to adjust to their new life experience. This is a time for self reflection, and not bombardment of what type of prosthetic device will be best suited for the amputee. It is however a natural instinct for family, friends and caregivers to try to "patch" things up as soon as possible, in an attempt to protect their loved ones. 

Give enough time for the wounds to heal.

One of the first noticeable changes is size and volume. The residual limb will be remarkably swollen, but as the interstitial fluid (Oedema) begins to be reabsorbed through the lymphatic system and cycled through the venous system. 

Residual limb size, volume loss or gain is one of the most important considerations for the Prosthetic practitioner, as it is the main determinant for when to begin manufacturing a prosthetic device.

If the practitioner begins the process too early they run the risk of having to change the definitive (final)socket sooner than expected.

It is a general rule of thumb that newly amputated individuals use their diagnostic sockets/limbs for a minimum of 2 weeks before Prosthetist will consider manufacturing a definitive (Final) socket. 

Making the correct decision as to when a prosthetic socket needs to be replaced or manufactured is of critical importance. In contrast to the diagnostic socket, the definitive socket requires high technology materials and components, increasing the costs considerably.

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Orthotist Prosthetist 

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