Orthotics and Prosthetics 101: Everything You Need to Know
Did you know that the first prosthetic created by humans was found in Egypt and estimated to be more than 2,000 years old? For a very long time, the medical community has been working diligently to help patients restore normal body functions after an amputation or other cause for limb loss with the use of prosthetics and orthotics. Below, you can read everything you need to know about dealing with prosthetic companies and navigating the world of these life-saving medical devices.
Should you choose a prosthetic?
The goal of a prosthetic is to restore normal body function to a patient. Prosthetic limbs allow amputees to walk, write, run, hold items, cook for themselves, and all kinds of other activities that collectively increase the quality of life. Choosing whether to be fitted for one is a serious conversation to have with your doctor and a reputable prosthetic company located near you.
How do prosthetics work?
Most prosthetics are individually made to specifically fit a patient. Measurements are taken of the patient’s remaining limb and a socket it made that will adjoin the limb to the device. Attachments are then added to the socket and several fittings take place over a several week time span that it takes to create the prosthetic before the patient enters physical therapy to learn how to move with their new limb.
How are they paid for?
Prosthetic limbs can be very expensive medical devices ranging in cost from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the design, function and materials used. What’s even more costly is that these devices have to be replaced every few years. Insurance picks up the tab on most of the cost for the device, and there are many programs that help patients afford prosthetics.
How long does the process take?
The process to get a prosthetic limb doesn’t even begin until several months after surgery and after the remaining limb has completely healed. Once that happens, a prosthetist will take the necessary measurements and begin working to craft the individual device. There are several fittings during the process and it can take several weeks from when initial measurements were taken and when the prosthetic is ready for use in physical therapy.