FAQ


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A knowledge base of answers to frequently asked questions.

Insurance & Costs

  • How much will my visit cost?

    There is no charge for evaluations, and many follow-ups are also free of charge. If you receive any items, or repairs or extensive labor are necessary, we will discuss any financial & insurance concerns with you.

  • How much will my prosthesis or orthosis cost?

     When you contact our clinic, our staff will be able to provide you with information about the specific service you will receive, and what your out-of-pocket cost and insurance coverage will be.

  • Is this covered by insurance?

    While most prosthetic and orthotic devices are covered by insurance, every insurance plan is different, so our clinic staff will be better able to answer this after verifying your insurance information. Please contact the clinic of your choice and we will be happy to assist you.
  • Which insurances do you take?

    We accept over 40 major “in-network” providers (click here for a complete list). If your insurance company is not listed on our insurance page, please give us a call and we will check on the coverage details for you.
  • Can I make payments if I don't have any / partial insurance?

    Yes.  We will work with you to find the best treatment plan for your budget.  Additionally, we have partnered with CareCredit to offer financing solutions to our patients.
  • Can I use my worker's comp or auto insurance?

    Yes, the list of companies we accept is listed on our insurance page.

Appointments:
What to expect

  • What should I bring to my appointment?

    Bring your insurance cards and photo ID. See below for recommendations on specific clothing depending on your appointment type. If this is your first visit, please download and complete the Patient Forms (download here).  If you are being seen for an orthotic (also known as braces) for the foot or ankle, bring shoes (not sandals), and socks that come higher than your ankle bones. If you are receiving a leg prosthesis on the day of your appointment, please bring a matching pair of shoes.
  • What should I wear to my appointment?

    Your clinician will need access to the body part you are having treated. If you are receiving a:

    Back Brace: Your evaluation can probably be done over the outside of your clothing, but wearing something smooth and not bulky will be helpful.

    Foot, Ankle, Knee, or Leg Brace, or Leg Prosthesis: You will probably need to expose your limb for your evaluation, so wearing shorts, a skirt, or very loose pants that can be pulled high up your leg will be helpful. A sock that comes higher than your ankle bone is needed for foot & ankle braces, as well as the shoes you are most likely to use with your brace.

    Hand, Elbow, Arm, or Shoulder Brace, or Arm Prosthesis:  You will probably need to expose your limb for your evaluation, so wearing short sleeves will be helpful.

  • What will happen at my appointment?

    At a typical appointment, you will meet your clinician who will review your prescription, ask you questions about the condition you are having treated, and discuss your needs with you. They may look at the limb you are having treated, move it around, take measurements, observe you walking if possible, and perform a general evaluation. An impression, or cast, of your limb may be taken if you are going to have a custom device made. Your clinician will explain any process to you and answer all questions so you feel comfortable with the procedures.
  • Will I feel pain at my appointment?

    Prosthetic or orthotic evaluations and fittings should not cause pain, although if you have had a recent injury or surgery you might experience some discomfort. Let your clinician know about any discomfort so they can take proper precautions.

Appointments:
General

  • Do you take walk-ins?

    While we accept walk-ins at our Gainesville and Ocala East Clinics, it is highly recommended that you make an appointment to minimize wait time and reduce the possibility of needing extra visits. Our other locations accept walk-ins only on certain days, so please call ahead for availability.
  • I can’t make my appointment, what should I do?

    Please contact our office as soon as you realize you can not make a scheduled appointment so our staff can work with you to reschedule.

Prosthestic & Orthotic Devices

  • Why do I need a prescription?

    Prosthetics and Orthotics are considered Durable Medical Equipment. Much like a pharmacy, which can not provide medication without a prescription, we can't provide these items unless prescribed by a medical professional.

    The State of Florida requires all Prosthetic and Orthotic providers to be licensed by the state in order to protect the safety of our patients and prevent fraud, abuse, and substandard care by unlicensed practitioners. You should exercise caution if someone offers to provide you a device without a prescription, and you can verify clinician licenses through the Florida Board of Orthotists and Prosthetists. All Mid-Florida clinicians are state-licensed.

  • Can’t I get the same thing online?

    Improper fitting can lead to injuries, wounds, and pain, so you should always seek appropriate medical advice and be fitted by a qualified prosthetist or orthotist.

    The majority of medical devices we provide are custom-made for an individual patient, or a pre-manufactured item which is then customized and altered by our trained clinical professionals to meet your specific needs. A few orthotic devices which we provide are off-the-shelf items carefully selected for you based on your doctor’s prescription and our clinical knowledge. Many of the conditions we treat require a level of close fit and support that cannot be found in off-the-shelf devices. Some conditions require medical expertise to ensure they are treated correctly and do not put a patient at risk for further injury.

  • When will my device be ready?

    We keep some items in stock and can provide them on the same day, especially devices for treating acute injuries. Other devices, and all prosthetics, are custom made in our lab, so they can take a few days to a few weeks to manufacture. Please contact our staff for the expected time frame for your individual needs.

  • Can I sleep with my device on?

    It not recommended to sleep in an orthotic or prosthetic device, unless you are using one specifically intended for night-time use. If you have difficulty getting to the bathroom during the night without putting on your device, it may work better for you to keep a walker, wheelchair, or other assistive equipment near your bed to help you safely reach the restroom.

  • Is my device waterproof - can I shower and swim with it?

    While there are some exceptions, most prosthetic and orthotic devices are not waterproof, and it can be harmful to wear them against the skin for a prolonged period of time when wet. Your device will usually not be harmed by slight exposure, such as walking briefly through the rain, but should not be worn while swimming or bathing unless you have been specifically directed to do so. If your device becomes wet, it should be removed & dried before putting it back on. If a waterproof device is something that is necessary or helpful for your lifestyle, please discuss it with your clinician at your appointment so they can help address those needs.
  • Can I drive with my device on?

    Some devices can be worn while driving, but others may interfere with your ability to operate the controls of a vehicle or interfere with your ability to see in all directions for safe driving. Please exercise caution in determining if you are safely able to operate a motor vehicle while using your device. If you are unsure, consult the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

  • Can I wear my device through airport security?

    We cannot make any guarantees as to how security in public areas will handle any of these medical devices. Many prosthetics and orthotics contain metal parts that will be recognized by scanners. We recommend talking to the security professional conducting the screening about your device and your needs. If you can safely remove a device to pass through screening, it may be the easiest solution, but do not risk injury or remove your device if you are not comfortable doing so, or if it is against your individual medical professional’s advice.

  • What is my orthosis or prosthesis made from?

    Custom devices are made in our labs with a number of high-tech materials as well as more traditional materials. Your device may be made from a combination of carbon fiber, thermoplastics, titanium, aluminum, fabrics, foam cushions, and leather. Non-custom items are made by various manufacturers out of many of the same materials.

  • Do you make the orthotics and prosthetics at the clinic?

    Yes! Most of the custom orthotics and prosthetics we provide are made by our experienced technicians and practitioners in our own labs in Gainesville, Ocala, and The Villages. Some prosthetic parts and liners, as well as many orthotic devices, are made by commercial manufacturers and then modified or customized by our clinicians to an individual patient’s needs.
  • How long will I have to use my orthosis?

    There is a wide range of conditions and orthotic devices we provide, and the length of time each one should be worn varies according to individual conditions. Some items are worn for a brief time while an injury is healing. Others are worn only while doing specific activities, and still others are worn for much longer periods. Please ask your clinician for your individual wearing instructions and follow your physician’s advice.

  • Can I pick a color or decorate my device?

    Sometimes- Most prosthetics and some orthotics can be manufactured in a variety of colors and patterns to suit your personal style. Talk to your clinician to see if this is an option for you!

  • Can my child still play and run in their braces?

    The majority of orthotic devices will not interfere with your child’s normal activities. If your child participates in any specific activities or sports, please discuss this with the treating clinician so special considerations can be made when developing the best treatment plan.

  • What happens when my child outgrows their braces?

    Most insurances only cover 1 pair of orthotics per year, so if your child grows during that time and you are concerned about the fit of their device(s), please contact our office immediately. We can often make adjustments to accommodate growth and keep the orthotics fitting well until your child is eligible for new ones.


Care of Devices

  • Is there a warranty for my device?

    All prosthetics and orthotics which we provide are covered by warranty, but the length of time varies with each device. Our office staff and your clinician can give you more detailed information about the warranty that applies to your specific item.

  • Can my prosthesis or brace be repaired?

    Many custom-made devices can be repaired or refurbished, but it depends on the exact nature of the problem. We provide all warranty services on these devices, and if they are out of warranty we are still happy to do many basic maintenance services free of charge, although there may be sometimes be a charge depending on how involved the repair is. We will discuss any costs with you before proceeding. Non-custom items are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, and after that period if we are able to service the device will will be happy to assist you, but this may not always be possible. Fabric items do tend to be less durable and have shorter useful lifespans.

  • How do I wash my brace/prosthesis?

    Different devices will have different care instructions.  

    Non-custom items: Please follow the manufacturer instructions you were provided. Many manufacturer websites also have instructions online. 

    Custom items: Unless your clinician gave you other instructions, you can wipe it with a damp cloth for cleaning. If you are experiencing odor, wiping with rubbing alcohol may be helpful.

    Prosthetic liners: Liners should only be washed with the product your clinician instructs you to use.


Shoes

  • What type of shoes should I wear?

    Your clinician will be able to make specific recommendations based on your individual needs, but in general, a sturdy pair of sneakers tends to be the best shoe choice for most patients. Shoes that open wide at the top, with laces or velcro (not elastic), and a tongue that can be pulled far open are usually easiest to get on over a brace. While some slip-on shoes will accommodate a brace, they are often difficult to put on. Shoes that are wide and deep in the toe area are also helpful. Most braces will require a closed-heel shoe. Depending on what type of device is prescribed, some patients find they need to go to a larger size or width. Removing the insert from your shoe also creates more space to fit a brace, and a shoehorn can make donning easier as well as preserve the heel of your shoe.
  • Where can I get shoes that work with my braces?

    *If you have been prescribed diabetic shoes, please disregard this answer and go to the following question about diabetic shoes*

    Shoes from any store and any brand are fine for use with most braces, as long as they fit appropriately over your braces. Some brands tend to run large or small, and you may need to adjust size accordingly. Your clinician can give you additional guidance on shoe selection, as well as provide some tricks for lacing that may be helpful. We do offer orthopedic shoes through our clinics, but they are by special order only and rarely covered by insurance. If you are having difficulty locating shoes that work for you, please visit our resources page for a list of local & online stores.

  • What are diabetic shoes?

    Diabetic shoes are made from special materials and in special ways to minimize the risk of rubbing, blisters, or wounds forming on at-risk feet. If you are prescribed diabetic shoes, it is important to have them properly fitted by a footwear specialist to make sure you get the correct type.

  • If I get bigger shoes for my brace, won’t they be too big for my other foot?

    This is usually not an issue, but if you are experiencing looseness in your opposite shoe, a “spacer” or layer of foam placed underneath the cushion insert of the non-brace shoe can fill up the extra room in that shoe. You may be able to remove the insert from the brace-side shoe, turn it upside down, and use it as a spacer in the non-brace-shoe. We can also provide you a spacer if one is needed.


Other Concerns & Questions

  • Can I get a handicap sticker through Mid-Florida Prosthetics & Orthotics?

    We are not able to provide handicap parking permits. If this an accommodation that would be helpful to you, please speak to your physician. For more information, see the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

  • What do I do if I have a problem?

    If you have any issues, questions, or problems, please contact our office immediately so that we may have your clinician address your needs.

  • Are there any risks to my treatment?

    The risks of using orthotic devices are generally low, with the most common complication being rubbing or pressure which can lead to blisters if not addressed. If being used to treat an acute injury or recent surgery, incorrect use or application can cause further injury, so following your instructions carefully is very important.

    The risks of using prosthetic devices include skin breakdown or wounds, and potential injury from falls, particularly with leg prostheses. For this reason, all instructions must be followed carefully, skin condition should be regularly monitored, and your clinician’s and physical therapist’s advice should be followed in regards to safe activities and use of mobility aides such as walkers or canes.

    Regardless of which type of device you are using, if you have any concerns or problems please contact our office immediately so we can help! We have an on-call clinician who can address emergency needs, or will schedule you an office appointment as soon as is convenient for you in urgent or non-emergency situations.

  • Does Mid-Florida P&O provide wheelchairs, walkers, or other assistive devices?

    We do not carry canes, walkers, wheelchairs, bedside commodes, sliding boards, or other similar adaptive items. We also can not service these items. Many of these are available at local pharmacy stores such as Walgreens or CVS, or specialty stores such as MobilityWorks for custom wheelchair and vehicle adaptations.

Practitioners & Qualifications

  • Does my child need to see a clinician who specializes in pediatrics?

    It is a great idea to have a pediatric specialist treat your child's orthotic or prosthetic needs. They will have specialized knowledge to address issues that are unique to children. We offer this and many other specialties.  You can learn about each practitioner, their specialties and qualifications here.
  • English is not my primary language. Do you have any practitioners who are fluent in Spanish?

    Inglés no es mi idioma principal, ¿tienes practicantes que hablan español?

    Many of our practitioners speak Spanish as a second language.  Click here to find out which staff and locations can offer this.

    Muchos de nuestros practicantes hablan español como segundo idioma. Haga clic aquí para averiguar qué personal y ubicaciones pueden ofrecer esto.

  • What kind of education or training is required to be a prosthetic or orthotic clinician?

    The current requirements to become a licensed Prosthetist-Orthotist in the state of Florida include earning a Master’s degree in Orthotics & Prosthetics, completing 2 years of residency, and successfully completing a series of board exams. Some Prosthetist & Orthotists who have been practicing since before the current requirements went in to effect are “grandfathered in” and may have a variety of other specialized degrees in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Other clinicians, such as Pedorthists, Orthotic Fitters, and Orthotic Fitter Assistants, earn their credentials through specialized courses, training under licensed practitioners, and completing board exams.  Additionally, to maintain licensure in Florida, all of our providers receive regular continuing education, ensuring that we provide state-of-the-art care with the most current evidence-based techniques and devices. For each of our clinicians’ individual qualifications, please see Our Practitioners.


Glossary

AFO Ankle Foot Orthosis, a brace for the foot and ankle to provide support, reduce pain, or protect an injury.

AK Above the Knee, same as TF, amputation through the thigh below the hip joint but above the knee joint.

Arizona Brace A custom made gauntlet-style AFO which is usually padded and covered with leather, tightly hugging and enclosing the ankle.

BK Below The Knee, same as TT, amputation through the shin below the knee joint.

CAM Boot Orthotic boot used to protect injuries in the lower leg during healing, also known as a fracture boot

CO Certified Orthotist, a person educated in orthotics who has been certified to provide orthotic care by one of the overseeing professional organizations

Clamshell Brace A specific type of TLSO which has a front shell and a back shell, which then fasten together around the torso.

Cock-up Wrist Splint A type of WHO often used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome

Collar An orthosis for the neck.

CP Certified Prosthetist, a person educated in prosthetics who has been certified to provide prosthetic care by one of the overseeing professional organizations

 C-Ped Certified Pedorthist, a person educated in selecting and manufacturing foot orthotics and custom shoes who has been certified to provide care by an overseeing professional organization

CPO Certified Prosthetist-Orthotist, a person educated in prosthetics & orthotics who has been certified to provide prosthetic & orthotic care by one of the overseeing professional organizations

CRO Cranial Remolding Orthosis, a special helmet used to reshape the head in babies with cranial abnormalities

CROW Boot Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker, a specialized AFO which fully encloses the shin, ankle, and foot, for the treatment of severe Charcot foot disease

CTLSO Cervical-Thoracolumbosacral Orthosis, a brace for the neck and upper & lower back

CTO Cervical-Thoracic Orthosis, a brace for the neck and upper back

Diabetic Insert Shoe inserts made of special materials to reduce the risk of developing diabetic foot wounds

EO Elbow Orthosis, or elbow brace

FO Foot Orthotic, also known as shoe insert or arch support

Fracture Boot Orthotic boot used to protect injuries in the lower leg during healing, also known as a CAM boot

K-Level A system used to categorize the activity level of a person with LE limb absence. K1 is very low activity, K4 is very high activity. K-level affects which type of prosthetic devices insurers will cover for an individual.

KAFO- Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis, a brace which goes from above the knee down to the foot to provide support or protect an injury

Knee Disarticulation- Amputation through the knee joint

KO Knee Orthosis, a brace for the knee to provide support, reduce pain, or protect an injury

LE Lower Extremity, referring to the hip, thigh, knee, ankle, or foot

Liner A cushion gel layer that goes directly against the skin on a residual limb. A liner may or may not be covered in fabric, and may have an attachment to secure a prosthesis on the limb.

LPO Licensed Prosthetist-Orthotist, a prosthetist-orthotist who has been licensed by the state to provide prosthetic and orthotic care (Unlicensed practice is not allowed in the state of Florida)

LSO Lumbosacral Orthosis, a back brace for the lower back

MPK MicroProcessor Knee, a prosthetic knee with computer technology and sensors to make the knee respond almost instantaneously to the user’s activity

OFA Orthotic Fitters Assistant, a person with education in providing certain kinds of orthotic care with the guidance of CO or CPO

Orthosis A medical device fitted to a portion of the body in order to provide support, reduce pain, or protect an injury.

Orthotist A person who evaluates patients and designs, fabricates, fits, and maintains orthotic devices to fit the patient’s needs

Partial Foot Amputation through any part of the foot, leaving the ankle joint

Pinlock A method of attaching a prosthesis to a residual limb, using a metal pin on the gel liner that clicks in to a lock built into the prosthetic socket

PODUS Boot A short boot used to prevent contractures or bedsores in the foot during recovery from an illness or injury

Prosthesis A medical device made to allow a person with limb loss regain mobility and functionality. Is custom made from a variety of materials based on the individual needs of the patient.

Prosthetist A person who evaluates patients and designs, fabricates, fits, and maintains prosthetic devices to fit the patient’s needs

Residual Limb The part of a limb that remains after an amputation

Richie Brace A custom made short AFO with a flexible ankle, a supportive footbed and 2 “paddles” which extend up the sides of the lower shin

ROM Brace Range Of Motion brace, a brace for a joint which can be adjusted to allow more or less movement of the joint as needed

Sarmiento Brace A type of orthosis, usually made of thin flexible plastic, used to treat certain types of fractures instead of applying a cast

SI Belt Sacroilliac belt, an orthosis used to relieve certain pain in the very low back

Sleeve An outer gel layer worn with some prostheses to attach the prosthesis or create an airtight seal

SMO Supramalleolar Orthosis, a short brace which comes slightly above the ankle to provide foot and ankle support or correct certain gait problems

Sock Specialized socks made in certain thicknesses to wear over a gel liner inside a prosthetic socket, in order to adjust for changes in limb shape and maintain comfort in the prosthesis

Socket The part of a prosthesis which a person’s residual limb (or stump) fits into to attach the prosthesis to the body

Suction A method of attaching a prosthesis to a residual limb, using an air-tight seal and a one-way valve creating a suction cup-like force between the user and their socket

Suspension The method used to hold a prosthetic limb on the body

Symes Amputation through the ankle joint, removing all foot bones but keeping the shin bones

TF Transfemoral, same as AK,  amputation through the thigh below the hip joint but above the knee

TLSO- Thoracolumbosacral Orthosis, a back brace for the upper and lower back

Truss An orthosis used to support a hernia and reduce discomfort

TT Transtibial, Same as BK, amputation through the shin below the knee joint

UE Upper extremity, referring to anything involving the hand, wrist, arm, elbow, or shoulder.

Vacuum A method of attaching a prosthesis to a residual limb, using an air-tight seal and a pump which removes air from inside the socket, creating a negative pressure which “vacuums” the prosthesis onto the user’s limb

WHO Wrist-Hand-Orthosis, a brace for the wrist and hand

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