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What to Expect When Getting Your First Prosthesis

What to Expect When Getting Your First Prosthesis

As a new amputee, it may be hard for you to imagine living the life you are used to. Although you will have to adjust how you undertake normal daily living activities, we will help you regain the highest level of ability for your individual situation with a correct fitting prosthesis.

There are several steps and office visits involved as we determine the right components for your lifestyle, activity level, and mobility goals.

First Meeting/Consultation

We’ll ask you many questions about your overall health and medical history. We’ll determine your muscle strengths and weaknesses as well as range of motion/flexibility of your residual limb and your sound limb as well.


We’ll take measurements of your residual limb and your sound limb, which include the lengths and circumferences of body segments, and locations of bony landmarks, tendons, presence of scar tissue, neuromas, edema and weight problems.

Creating the socket

The next visit we’ll begin the process of fitting you with a socket – the most important part of your prosthesis. First, we’ll create a mold of your residual limb with a plaster cast or using computer aided design. After this first model is finished, we create a “test” socket, which will allow you to stand and begin to walk. It allows us to see how the socket fits your limb, against the skin, compresses muscle tissue and allows room for any bony prominences.

Sometimes a second check socket is fabricated to optimize the fit. Further adjustments will likely be made as we assess your mobility or function and ensure you have a comfortable fit. Then, we’ll fabricate your “final” prosthesis.

The final prosthesis

We call this the final or definitive prosthesis, but it is expected you will visit us again for additional minor adjustments to ensure you have a comfortable stable gait, or in the case of an upper limb prosthesis, comfortable use of your arm, hand, and wrist.

It’s important at this time to continue with your physical therapist to get the most from your prosthesis.

You are your best advocate

It’s important that you keep us informed of any changes in your body weight, activity level, or changes in your health. If you have any pain, or notice redness or swelling, blistering, or bleeding, contact us immediately. You will also want to contact us if you notice that your socket is fitting differently, or any parts do not seem to be working properly.

Our prosthetists are always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your prosthesis.

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