New Amputee – Prosthetic FAQ

For new amputees, figuring out life with prosthetics can seem overwhelming.

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) our prosthetic specialists in Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey and elsewhere in Michigan hear from many people adjusting to life after limb-loss:

Do I have to use prosthetics?

The choice is up to you. Prostheses are tools that replace your missing limb, but not all amputees choose to use artificial limbs. However, it is worth investigating the many options available so you make an informed decision. You won’t believe where prosthetics technology is headed until you do a little research. Once you see what’s out there, you might decide that some of the new prosthesis options will help you retain your independence and let you keep enjoying your usual activities.

How do I know what to choose?

There are many options and what works for one person may not work for another. Talk with your prosthetist to determine which prosthetic devices make sense for your type of amputation,  level of activity, lifestyle, and budget. There are many things to consider about your prosthesis.

Will I be able to keep up with sports or dance?

Yes! There have been so many advancements in prosthetics technology that amputees are able to run, play sports, swim, and even dance (check out this inspiring story of a young amputee competing in dance). Advances in microprocessor technology have improved the way artificial limbs can function.

How does the prosthesis stay on my residual limb?

A good fit is key and your prosthesis will be custom fit to your residual limb. There is a liner to wear over your residual limb to cushion your skin when inside the socket. The socket may be suction, vacuum, or pin lock.

Will I still need crutches?

You might want to keep crutches available for certain situations. Some people keep crutches at home for showering or times when they want a break from wearing their artificial limbs. Whatever works for you is the right choice.

What can I do to pay for this? I never thought I’d have to buy prosthetics.

Costs vary greatly and there is some financial assistance available to amputees. Sometimes amputees are able to get the latest technology because friends and family will fundraise to make it happen (read this story of amputees living large and how folksinger Christa Couture’s loved ones rallied to get her a microprocessor knee). At Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics, we accept a wide variety of health insurance plans and have the flexibility to work out individualized extended payment plans to help clients get the prosthetics they need.

Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics has been offering expert prosthetic services in Michigan since 1955. You can visit us in more than 20 locations including Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey, and Marquette.

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