Finding the Best Fit for Your Prosthetic Limb
Our experts will help you find the best and most appropriate prosthesis (artificial body part) for you — whether you are missing a limb or have multiple amputations. We collaborate with prosthetists (specialists that make artificial limbs) and engineers to give you customized solutions that will help you adapt to your everyday life. In keeping with that, we will talk with you about your work, hobbies, recreation and overall health to help determine which prosthetic serves your needs best.
What to Expect during Your Fitting
A prosthetist will use a variety of techniques from handcrafted custom molds to 3D scanning to find the device that fits your body best. This will take place about one month to six weeks after your amputation surgery or whenever your skin is closed and healed.
After your surgery, the residual (remaining) limb will change shape until its fully healed. This may initially require numerous changes to the alignment or pressure of your prosthetic limb every few months for the best fit and function.
We also recommend good hygiene to keep the liner worn over your residual limb clean. We will also teach you how to properly clean and protect your skin since it cannot be too wet or too dry underneath the prosthetic. We will also educate you on how to prevent muscle injuries in the healthy parts of your body opposite of your amputation.
Prosthetic Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy
Your rehabilitation therapy will begin while you’re in the hospital. We will start with an exercise program that strengthens your muscles, decreases swelling, and improves your flexibility. We will also strengthen your body to prepare you for your prosthesis (artificial limb). Your rehabilitation will continue long after you leave for home. Our goal is to help you achieve greater independence and accomplish daily living skills without overusing or straining your muscles.
Physical Therapy for Above- & Below-Knee Prosthetics
For lower limb prosthetics (above- and below-knee), our physical therapists will work with you to:
- strengthen your core and buttock muscles through bridges, side planks, and other leg exercises;
- maintain proper hip and knee flexibility;
- improve your balance;
- walk smoothly with ease; and
- increase your range of motion.
Occupational Therapy for Upper Limb Prosthetics
Before you receive your upper limb prosthetic, our occupational therapists will work with you on:
- skin care,
- how to place the sock or protective liner over the residual (remaining) limb, and
- different kinds of adaptive strengthening exercises in preparation for the weight of the prosthetic.
Once you receive your upper limb prosthetic, our occupational therapists will work with you on practicing different functions of the device including:
- opening and closing,
- carrying, and
- different grasps and pinches.
How Much Do Prosthetics Cost?
The cost of a prosthetic depends on at least three factors:
- technological abilities, and
- when it was developed.
Most insurance companies will cover at least a portion of the device. If cost is an issue, we will work with you to find durable alternatives that fit your budget.
How Long Will My Prosthetic Limb Last?
Many prosthetics last for several years before needing to be replaced, especially once your residual (remaining) limb heals. The longevity of your prosthesis largely depends on how frequently and how roughly you use it. However, it is normal to wear out parts of your prosthetic and need new devices over time.
Amputee Support Groups
We offer a monthly support group for amputees, their family, and caregivers.
Date & Time
Fourth Tuesday of every month (except July) at 7pm
Sugar House Health Center
1280 East Stringham Avenue,
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
For more information, contact Spencer Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm dates and times of upcoming meetings.
Meet with Our Amputee Program Specialists
For questions or information on how to meet with our specialists or participate in our inpatient programs at the Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital, please call our referral line at 801-646-8000. Our referral specialist will work with your current provider to obtain necessary medical records and verify your insurance benefits for coverage.
For outpatient physician clinic questions, call 801-581-2267. For information about Sugar House Therapy Services, call 801-581-2221.