Prosthesis and Brace Fitting Procedures

Many of our clients are interested in knowing the process that is involved when they are being fitted for a prosthetic or brace device. Below is an outline of these two processes.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR BEING FIT WITH A PROSTHESIS?

Following an amputation (and healing from the surgery):

  1. Physician will refer to an amputee care clinic team who will determine your readiness for fitting. Additional healing or therapy may be necessary to reach this readiness.
  2. Initial Assessment: A Certified Prosthetist will review the client’s physical requirements and lifestyle needs to design the most appropriate prosthesis.
  3. A plaster mould of the residual limb will be completed along with all necessary anatomical measurements for the manufacture of the prosthesis.
  4. A “test” prosthesis will be fabricated and an initial fitting appointment will be scheduled in approximately one week.
  5. Initial “test” Prosthesis Fitting: Comfort and function of the device is reviewed and necessary adjustments are made. An additional “test” fitting appointment may be necessary. The “test” may also be used in a rehabilitation setting for a short period of time. When the “test” device is satisfactory a “training” prosthesis will be fabricated.
  6. A “training” prosthesis is fabricated and a fitting appointment is scheduled for approximately one week. Comfort and function of the device is reviewed and adjustments are made as necessary.
  7. Training: Clients use the device in a rehabilitation setting and further adjustments are made as necessary. Once the clients use is satisfactory to the rehabilitation team, the client will begin to use the device in daily life. Again, adjustments are made to the prosthesis as necessary. This time period is quite variable depending on the individuals requirements and performance. Usually between 3 and 9 months.
  8. The client is followed by the care team and once it is determined that use of the “training” prosthesis has been mastered and all accommodations have been completed, clients are ready to be fit with their “definitive” prosthesis.
  9. The Prosthetist will review the client’s physical requirements and lifestyle needs to design the most appropriate prosthesis.
  10. A plaster mould of the residual limb will be completed along with all necessary anatomical measurements for the manufacture of the prosthesis.
  11. A “test” prosthesis will be fabricated and an initial fitting appointment will be scheduled in approximately one week.
  12. “Test” Prosthesis Fitting: Comfort and function of the device is reviewed and necessary adjustments are made. An additional “test” fitting appointment may be necessary.
  13. The “definitive” prosthesis is fabricated and a fitting appointment is scheduled for approximately one week.
  14. The “definitive” prosthesis is fit and any adjustments are made as necessary. The client will use the “definitive” prosthesis in the daily life for a short period of time (approximately 2 -4 weeks) and return for a follow up appointment where any other adjustments can be completed.
  15. Cosmetic “finishing” of the prosthesis is completed once all final adjustments are made. When the initial definitive prosthesis “wears out” or needs to be replaced due to “size” changes the amputee care team will recommend a replacement definitive prosthesis and steps 9 to 15 will be repeated.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF BEING FIT WITH A BRACE?

  1. Referral from medical professional
  2. Initial assessment: A Certified Orthotist will review the client’s physical requirements and lifestyle needs to design the most appropriate brace.
  3. A plaster mould of the body part will be completed along with all necessary anatomical measurements for the manufacture of the brace. If time permits, this mould may be done during the initial assessment, however an additional appointment may be necessary.
  4. A brace fitting appointment is scheduled for approximately two weeks from the time of the plaster mould. During these two weeks the custom brace is manufactured to specifications.
  5. Brace Fitting Appointment: Custom braces are fit to the client. The client’s comfort and performance while using the brace is evaluated by the Certified Orthotist and any adjustments are made at this time. In some complex cases, it is necessary to have a second fitting appointment to allow enough time to complete the adjustments.
  6. The client will then use the brace in daily life, complete a “break-in” period (approximately 2 – 4 weeks) and a follow-up appointment is made.
  7. Further adjustments for comfort and performance are made at this follow-up appointment. Following these refinements the brace is considered complete and full use of the brace can ensue.
  8. Review and maintenance. Braces should be reviewed at least annually to ensure the comfort performance, and maintenance of the device(s). Clients are encouraged to schedule a return visit at any time to optimize the brace.

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