Prosthetics, custom made to fit you
Prosthetics are devices that need to work with you. Our prosthetists will then help you customize the best fit for your prosthetic. Also, contact us today and see how we can find the right prosthetic for you.
Parts of a prosthetic
Various components make up a prosthetic. These parts are customizable, for example, the material used or the shape and more. The components include the liner, suspension, socket, the hand/foot and also other components. The following is how each part of the prosthetic is modifiable for your best fit.
A liner will fit over the amputated limb. It also helps protect the limb from the socket by adding a barrier. An liner will then fit into a suspension to connect to the prosthetic. These materials include:
This material is highly stable and is also able to provide good adhesion for a limb with lots of soft tissue. It is also best to use silicone liners with shuttle-lock suspension. Soft and resistant to pressure, it is also durable and easy to clean. Additionally, this liner is ideal for people with low to moderate activity levels
A polyurethane liner is able to distribute pressure in the liner more evenly throughout the entire liner. It is also able to direct pressure away from high-pressure areas. Polyurethane has a comfortable, well-fitted and precise feel. It is also comfortable for all residual limb types. For any sensitive or scarred limbs, polyurethane is also an ideal material. It is also used with vacuum or suction suspensions. Also, it requires a Total Surface Bearing (TSB) socket. It is also recommended for individuals with low to high activity levels.
A soft, cushiony and also quite elastic material. It is also friendly for limbs that are dry as it contains a skin-friendly oil. Works best with a pin or suction suspension. Also, it provides good protection for low activity individuals.
The suspension is a sleeve that fits over the liner. It is also the main way the limb connects to the socket or creates a seal. The following is the different types of suspensions:
This type of suspension forms a seal with the socket’s top edge. Then a vacuum pump and valve will be used to remove the air between the sleeve and the socket. This creates a vacuum that then firmly holds the sleeve to the socket. The vacuum also has the added benefit of improving circulation. It also reduces shear, and regulated the volume changes of the residual limb.
For this suspension, a pin on the sleeve connects to the lock on the bottom of the socket. For above the knee prostheses, we will use a lanyard system. This allows straps to pull the liner into the socket.
Uses a one way valve, a sealing sleeve and a soft liner. When the sleeve covered limb is put into the prosthetic, the body weight pushes air out of the valve. This will then create a secure and stable seal with the socket. It also has reduced friction and shear.
There are various ways we can personalize a socket for you. First, our prosthetists will work with you to shape the socket to best fit you. Multiple designs are available. They include elevated vacuum, flexible inner, KISS systems and also Revolimb. We are also able to personalize your sockets with a graphic. If the graphic can be printed on fabric, it can then be put onto your socket.
For a foot prosthetic, various things can be changed to best fit your situation. These include:
A foot can be made with a variety of materials. These include wood, plastic, foam and also carbon fiber. Wood, plastic and also foam are more common for people who need something with high stability and low activity.
A lightweight material, it is used commonly in high active scenarios. It also provides good shock absorption. Carbon fiber feet are also designed to store energy. Depending on the prosthetic, then two springs are put into the foot. A spring in the heel and also another one in the forefoot. This means when you step down, the energy is stored and also provides an easier time lifting the foot. This can help with walking, running, and it also gives you more confidence in your step. The longer the spring, then the more responsive it is.
- Multi-axial foot
In comparison to a single axial foot, a multi-axial foot is closer to a natural ankle in function. The forefoot is able to be lifted and lowered, rotated, and also rolled slightly. This also means a more comfortable walking experience and also a better walking experience on uneven surfaces.
Options for Upper Body Prosthetics
Depending on where the prosthetic is located, there are around six options you can employ when choosing what type of prostheses will work best for your situation. These include:
- These prostheses provide no movement and are also created to look like a limb. For example, an arm, fingers, or a hand. Even though they provide no active movement, they are useful by providing stability. They also look more like the limb than other prostheses. These types of prostheses are very lightweight, consisting of a frame that depending on the limb, can be adjusted and covered by a silicon glove.
- By using the residual limb or the muscles in the upper body these types of prostheses will move based on those areas moving. Because they do not use an external power source, they remain lightweight when compared to other prosthetics. They also can be used both in heavy-duty tasks and delicate tasks.
Electrically powered or myoelectric prostheses
- These prostheses use an external power source and not the muscles on the body to move the prostheses. They work by measuring changes in electricity on the skin as the muscles contract. This means that contracting muscles in the residual limb will generate micro-level electrical impulses, which are then amplified to control the prosthetic. Because of the external power source, these prosthetics are heavier than other solutions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is prosthetics?
A prosthetic is a device used to replace any missing part of the body that has been removed for any reason. These devices are able to restore the functionality of the missing body part. These could be replacement eyes, fingers, or whole arms.
Should you use a prosthesis?
For many people, a prosthesis is not right for them. But, a prosthesis is a useful tool to regain your freedom and independence after losing a limb. Depending on what limb is missing and what you want to do, a prosthesis is useful for achieving your goals. If you are unsure about a prosthesis, contact our team to learn more about what prostheses are available to you.
How difficult is it to learn how to use a prosthesis?
It takes a lot of work to get used to a prosthesis, especially when it is a brand-new experience. Also, It can be painful and frustrating at first, but with time and practice, it can become more natural. It‘s important to find a good prosthetist who can help you find the right fit and design for your needs.
Our team of prosthetists is here to make sure this transition to your new life is as seamless as possible. We will help you learn how to use the prosthesis in a variety of situations. Also, we will help you know how to maintain the device.
How long will it take to fit the prosthesis?
Fitting a prosthesis will take multiple visits to fit it properly. It depends on the prosthesis and some can be difficult to fit properly. Also, depending on the level of swelling, you will need to get the prosthesis adjusted over time.
It will also take a while to get used to the prosthesis. If you are feeling discomfort or pain anywhere, contact your prosthetist and they will help you.
How much does a prosthesis cost?
There are many factors to consider when determining the price of a prosthetic. Some factors include much insurance will cover, and the type of prosthesis you need. A passive prosthesis will generally cost less than some body-powered or myoelectric prostheses, for example.
Is there financial assistance for prostheses?
There are some financial support options if you need a prosthesis in Alberta. These include the Workers’ Compensation Board, The War Amps, and support provided by the Alberta government and the Canadian government. You can find out more about financial aid programs here.
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WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR FIRST VISIT
Your First Visit
Please plan to come 10-15 minutes before your appointment time to complete necessary forms. Want to save time? Print and then complete the form below.
Meeting your Specialist
Your first appointment will include an initial assessment and also a chance to meet your specialist and ask questions.
If you have a prescription from your doctor, be sure to bring it with you.
Be prepared to discuss your medical history and also talk about your goals and expectations. We will also complete a physical assessment and try out a variety of orthotics to see what best meets your needs.
Please dress comfortably and bring shorts. We may need to measure, cast or use 3D-scanning to customize your fit and maximize comfort.
Direct Billing through AADL and WCB with a prescription from your doctor.