Frequently Asked Questions
Any time is the right time to ask a question. Each patient has a unique set of circumstances that trigger concerns, questions & challenges. We take our responsibility to you seriously, and we will answer any questions you have so that we can assure you are treated in such a way that you receive the maximum benefit from your time spent with us.
When will I receive my prosthesis?
We understand that receiving your new limb quickly is of utmost importance. In most cases, a new amputee will be healed enough to begin the process within 2-4 weeks after surgery. The first step after suture removal is called "Shrinking." During this time, you will wear a compression-type sleeve called a "shrinker" that will help to reduce the remaining swelling from your residual limb & shape your limb for optimum fit of your socket. Most patients wear this for 1-3 weeks. Your practitioner will discuss your goals with you during this period, & formulate a treatment plan with you. During the next phase of treatment, you will be fitted for your "Test/Temporary Socket." Making certain the fit of the test socket is customized and comfortable is priority. The socket will be clear, which allows the practitioner to visualize pressure points and locate the areas in need of modification prior to fabrication of your final socket.
Do I need to "break in" my new prosthesis or "toughen up" my residual limb?
The answer to both of these questions is no. The technology available today allows us to fabricate a prosthesis that is very easy to put on, wear, take off & care for. Materials such as silicone, polyurethane, & thermoplastic elastomers are very gentle to the skin & require no adjustments for you to get used to wearing them.
Will my orthotics or prosthetic limb hurt?
No. Once again, technology is in place to allow you to have a comfortable & pain-free prosthesis. Pain is an indicator of a problem in your socket. If you experience any issues with pain, please contact us immediately. We never want you to hurt in any way.
Will my prosthesis look natural?
Yes & no. Initially, we use materials that are clear so that we can see exactly how your residual limb is fitting inside your socket. Once your residual limb has stabilized & we are confident in the fit, we can cosmetically cover the limb with a "skin" that matches your natural color.
Can I shower or swim in my prosthesis?
You will not be able to get your primary prosthesis wet. However, there are special materials we can use to fabricate a "wet prosthesis" for you, in addition to your primary. Bathing & swimming in your primary prosthesis will cause damage to your componentry & could put you at risk for injury.
Will I be able to return to sports & other physical activities when I receive my prosthesis?
As a general rule, we always say that if a person could do something before amputation, they will be able to do that same activity afterwards. With that being said, communication is key, & you must discuss all concerns/questions with your practitioner & physical therapist. Learning from the experts is vital to your success in obtaining your goals. Also, there are some obvious factors that play a role here as well, such as your overall health or other injuries. Rest assured, we are committed to doing anything & everything we can to work with you, your surgeon, & your physical therapist to return you back to a full life!
My socket is uncomfortable. Is there anything else I can try?
We are the exclusive providers in the Tennessee Valley of Symmetry's Brimless Vacuum Socket System! If your high-riding socket is uncomfortable and/or limiting, you need to try this system!