Tue, Apr 23, 2019
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Resources Frequently Asked Questions



Q. What does an artificial limb look like?
A. There are many options that determine the final appearance of a prosthesis, and your prosthetist will work with you to build one that meets your specific needs.  It will probably not look exactly like these examples.  But these photos below will give you an idea of what to expect.  (Click the images to enlarge.)

Above the Knee ProsthesisBelow the Knee Prosthesis

Q. What does "rehabilitation" mean?
A. Rehabilitation is the process of returning to good health or normal life through training or therapy.  For most of our patients, this includes healing from surgery, being fitted with a prosthesis, and learning to walk while wearing the prosthesis in order to enjoy a productive lifestyle.

Q. When will I receive my artificial leg?
A. That depends on how quickly you heal. There are many variables that will affect your healing rate, but a healthy person with good circulation and no post-operative complications may be ready to use their temporary prosthesis in 4 to 8 weeks following surgery.

Q. How much is this going to cost?  Does my insurance cover this?
A. Treatment costs and insurance coverage vary from patient to patient.  However, our commitment to complete case management includes a comprehensive billing consultation.  This often includes working with insurance companies, educating patients on how to enroll in Medicare or Medicaid, and/or seeking funding through the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation.  Please speak with one of our billing specialists about your own circumstances.

Q. When will I receive my permanent prosthesis?
A. The permanent prosthesis is prescribed once your limb volume has begun to stabilize and you have made progress in your gait training.  This usually occurs between 3 to 6 months after receiving your temporary prosthesis.

Q. I can still feel my toes even though my leg has been amputated.  Is this normal?
A. Yes, this is normal.  Known as "phantom sensation", this affects most amputees.  If it becomes uncomfortable, then we can discuss treatment options.

Q. What kind of shoes can I wear with my prosthesis?
A. Please bring the shoes that you wear most often, when you are fitted for your limb.  Athletic type shoes usually work best, as they are light in weight and typically have soles that prevent slipping.

Q. How will my prosthesis stay on?
A. There are many different types of suspension to hold the leg in place.  Your prosthetist will evaluate and explain your best options.  Some limbs are suspended using suction or sometimes aided by a suspension sleeve.  Some limbs are suspended from a pin mechanism attached to a roll-on liner that engages in a locking mechanism in the socket.  And some limbs are attached using straps or extensions of the socket.

Q. Will it hurt to walk with my prosthesis?
A. No. Your prosthetist will design a break-in schedule so that you can get used to your socket without experiencing pain.  If your prosthesis hurts, then call your prosthetist.

Q. Can I play sports with my prosthesis?
A. Most people can enjoy athletic activities while using their prosthesis.  Some sports (swimming and sprinting) require specially-designed limbs.  Please discuss your specific athletic needs with your prosthetist.

Q. How long will my prosthesis last?
A. Most components are designed to last 2 to 4 years, depending on use.  The socket is also designed to last for 2 to 4 years, but sockets are often replaced sooner due to changes in shape and size of the residual limb.

Q. How often should I see my prosthetist after my prosthesis is delivered?
A. You should return to Dayton Artificial Limb every 6 months or sooner to ensure that your limb retains the best fit and that it remains safe and functional.  Some components require specific maintenance.  Your prosthetist will explain the details.

Q. How should I wash my prosthetic socks?
A. Wool socks should be hand-washed and air-dried.  They can be machine-washed, but they will remain softer and last longer if they are washed by hand.  Never put wool socks in the dryer.  Nylon and cotton socks can be machine washed and dried.

Q. My skin is red when I take off my device.  Is that OK?
A. Some temporary redness may be normal, but you should never experience blisters, open wounds, or persistent redness.  Check the skin again 20 minutes after removing your device.  If your skin is still red after 20 minutes, or if you experience pain or discomfort, then discontinue using the device and contact your prosthetist.

Q. If my device needs an adjustment, do I need to get a new prescription from my physician?
A. Probably not.  Adjustments that do not change the fundamental nature of the device will not require a new prescription.

Q. My prosthesis broke on the weekend or after hours.  Do I have to wait until Monday to get it repaired?
A. You need not wait until Monday.  We offer on-call 24-hour emergency service.  Call us at 937-851-8875, and we will repair it as soon as possible.

Q. Can I take a shower with my prosthesis on?
A. Not unless it was designed specifically for swimming or bathing.

Q. My prosthesis now needs more socks than it did at first in order to fit correctly.  Can it be adjusted so that I don’t have to wear so many?
A. Small adjustments to the socket to reduce the number of socks needed are usually successful at first, but these adjustments will become less successful as residual limb shrinkage continues.  Your prosthetist should evaluate your residual limb shrinkage to determine the best course of action.