Prosthetics Support Services

Pre & Post Operative Care

Complimentary Consultation

Whether you are expecting a planned amputation surgery, have recently undergone amputation, or are considering elective amputation, our clinicians are ready to answer questions, explain the process of prosthetic fitting, show you samples, and support you through this experience. Patients and family members alike are welcome to join us for consultation, free of charge. Many people understandably experience anxiety when going through a major health event. Knowing what to expect can provide a great deal of relief. Our compassionate providers will help you understand each step of the process, prepare for your experience, provide guidance in making healthcare choices, and lend an ear for you to share your questions and concerns. We can also introduce you to a peer visitor who has been through a similar experience, for additional support and insider-perspective.
Complimentary Consultation

Stump Shrinkers

After an amputation, the residual limb, or “stump”, will be very swollen, filled with fluid as it is still healing internally. The muscles are no longer able to pump the fluid back out of the limb as efficiently as they did before surgery, so when your surgeon feels you are ready, we will provide you with a shrinker. This is a specially designed compression sock made to fit the residual limb, and is an important part of preparing your limb for a prosthesis. Your clinician will measure your limb & teach you how to don (or put on) the shrinker. This is usually done around the time of your incision fully closing. Many people feel more comfortable and experience reduced phantom pain when they wear a shrinker, and reducing your swelling will improve circulation to speed your healing process. Unless given other instructions, you’ll wear your shrinker at all times except when bathing. It will also help the size, or volume, of your limb to stabilize so that it will consistently fit in your prosthesis. It’s important to wear your shrinker regularly. Be sure to wear it when you come in for appointments. Over time, some people are able to stop using shrinkers once their residual limb matures, but depending on specific health conditions, others will need to continue using shrinkers at night to control swelling long-term.
Stump Shrimker
Image courtesy of Knit-Rite, Inc.

Limb Protectors

Immediately after an amputation, a special device called a limb protector may be ordered by your surgeon. This is especially beneficial after a below-knee, or trans-tibial, amputation. It typically has a hard outer shell with thick padding at the amputation site, and velcro straps for easy removal to allow bathing and bandage changes. Limb protectors provide some important benefits:

Protection From Injury

Soft, thick padding and a protective outer shell protect the sensitive limb from rubbing on the bed, bumping into furniture, or being injured in a fall. A common cause for injury or even additional surgery is when a person is groggy from taking pain killers after amputation, they may not be fully aware and try to get out of bed, then fall on their fresh amputation and be badly injured. Wearing a limb protector greatly reduces this risk, as patients have been known to land directly on the amputated limb with no damage to the surgical wound when wearing a protector.

Prevention of Knee Contracture

After below-knee amputation, your knee can tighten in a bent position, making it difficult or impossible to fully straighten your leg. This is called a contracture, and it creates problems when you’re ready to start walking with a prosthesis. Wearing a limb protector keeps the knee straight during the healing process and stops contractures from setting in. It’s especially useful when you are sitting in a wheelchair, as it will prevent your residual limb, or stump, from dangling down. Sitting with your limb hanging off a chair not only leads to contracture, but also makes swelling worse, so using your limb protector to keep the end of your limb propped up is an important part of the healing process.

Preparing Limb for Prosthetic Fitting

A limb protector helps speed your healing and prepares your limb for using a prosthesis. The protector provides a gentle compression to reduce swelling & improve circulation. It helps “desensitize” your limb, so tender nerve endings become less painful and you are able to tolerate pressure for prosthetic use. The limb protector also shapes your residual limb, helping it to heal in an even, symmetric shape for optimal prosthetic fitting.

Limb Protectors - Image courtesy of Limbguard
Image courtesy of Limbguard

Donning Instructions

Donning instructions - Image courtesy of Limbguard
Image courtesy of Limbguard

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