After your amputation, you may feel overwhelmed or alone and have lots of questions. This is common. At Monroe Biotechnology we educate you on what to expect with your prosthesis, answer all of your questions and help you reach your goals to live a happy, satisfied life.
When will I get my first prosthesis?
A healthy individual with no setbacks may be fully healed within 4-8 weeks. After your suture line is healed and your limb has reduced in swelling, an impression or cast of your limb can be taken. This cast will be used to create your prepatory prosthesis. It typically takes 14 days from the day of casting until you are fit with your first socket.
Will I be able to walk again?
It is our goal to help patients to return to living the most normal life possible and help them reach their maximum potential. This can range from standing and transferring to using a walker to running with your prosthesis. It typically takes 1-3 months until you are ready to begin walking.
How often will I have to come to the office?
In order to ensure that all fittings are done with efficiency and the proper technology, for the first few months you will be seen weekly at the office.
Will my prosthesis look like a real leg?
A foam cover can be shaped to represent your limb shape and fit over the underlying componentry if desired. There are also high-end “skins” that are available but not covered by all insurance companies
Active Living Questions
Will I be able to drive?
For your own personal safety and liability, we recommend checking with your local DMV for state regulations. We have established relationships with local mobility companies and can refer you to them. These companies are able to install hand controls, lifts, a left footed brake pedal and more to make your vehicle accessible.
Will I be able to run, bike, dance, golf, etc.?
We are dedicated to working with you to establish your hobbies, activity level and lifestyle through a functional evaluation. We can choose different components available for your prosthesis to make these things possible.
Limb Pain Questions
Why does my limb hurt?
Residual limb pain may be caused by a number of things:
Post Surgical Pain: Your limb has undergone significant trauma. A healthy limb typically takes 4-8 weeks to heal. Getting your suture line fully healed and the stitches and/or staples removed is a big step. Even after this, the limb still has internal healing to do. Your skin may feel tender to the touch, which is normal and will diminish over time.
Phantom Sensations: Nerve pains can present as pain or sensations in the leg and foot that is no longer there. This typically gets better over time, but there are cases when phantom sensations persist for years. If very painful, these sensations can be treated with oral medication, topical treatments, injections or surgery. You must contact your physician to treat nerve pains.
Irritation from Prosthesis: You may get blisters, rub spots or even ulcers caused by a change in limb shape, improper sock ply or increase in activity level. A red spot that turns into an ulcer can mean weeks without being able to wear a prosthesis. Whenever you get a red spot that you are worried about, discontinue use of the prosthesis until you can see your prosthetist.
Neuromas: Neuromas are a growth of nerve tissue at the end of the nerve where it has been cut. Neuromas can be very painful and often send an electric jolt up the leg when irritated. Wearing your prosthesis can trigger this feeling. A physician is needed to diagnose and treat neuromas.
Bone Spurs: A bone spur is an overgrowth of bony material. This often occurs at the point where the bone has been cut. Bone spurs can be very painful and are often only resolved with surgery. A physician is needed to diagnose and treat bone spurs.
How much does a prosthesis cost?
There is a wide range of prosthetic devices offered that range from $5,000 to $50,000 in cost depending on the technologies used. Insurance coverage plays a large role in determining cost.
Will my insurance pay for a prosthesis?
Each policy is different, however most plans will have some sort of prosthetic coverage. How much and how often they cover prosthetics is individual to each plan
What modifications will need to be made to my home?
Your home will need to be modified depending on your needs. Many people install a ramp, use a shower chair, detachable shower head and grab rails in the bathroom.