Frequently Asked Questions
My doctor says I will need an amputation. When should I contact a prosthetist?
You may contact a prosthetist as soon as possible, and you can begin by asking for referrals from your team of medical professionals. For exceptional care, the practitioner and facility you choose should be certified and accredited by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, & Pedorthics (ABC).
How long after I have the amputation surgery until I get my artificial limb?
Many factors help determine when you will receive the prosthesis. Most amputees are ready for an artificial limb after 6-8 weeks. The fabrication process generally takes 3-4 weeks, and you will have several appointments with your prosthetist to make sure it fits correctly. Once you receive your prosthesis, rehabilitation continues to maximize function and mobility.
Will my residual limb change size?
Yes, over a period of time following your surgery, your residual limb will shrink and gradually change shape.
Can I sleep with my prosthesis on?
No, it is recommended that you remove your prosthesis before going to sleep.
Can I wear different shoes with my prosthesis?
You can wear different shoes, but it is recommended that they be of similar heel height. The prosthesis is aligned with a shoe that you provide; changing the shoe and heel height can affect the fit of the prosthesis. A low heel walking shoe is best for maximum stability; altering your shoes can also be an option. Ask your prosthetist about prosthetic feet that accommodate high-heeled shoes.
Can I drive a car with my lower limb prosthesis?
An amputee will most likely be able to safely resume driving with the assistance of adaptive devices. Contact your car insurance company and local Department of Motor Vehicles for more information.
How often should I see my prosthetist?
Follow-up visits are recommended every 3 to 6 months for normal maintenance and care. However, an inspection should be performed if you’ve experienced even a slight weight gain or loss or if your activity level has changed.
Do I need a prescription for your services?
You will need a prescription for a prosthesis, and a referral is required for office visits.
Does my insurance pay for your services?
Many insurance companies partially or fully cover a variety of prosthetic services. You may need preauthorization for a prosthetic product or service; contact your insurance company with any questions to fully maximize your benefits.
A Manual for Above-Knee Amputees
A Manual for Below-Knee Amputees
Amputee Coalition of America (ACA)
American Diabetes Association
Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics (ACPOC)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Information About Diabetes
Inner Wheel USA
International Child Amputee Network
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
National Center on Physical Activity and Disability
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
Northwestern University Prosthetics Research Laboratory and Rehabilitation Engineering Research Program
Orthotic and Prosthetic Assistance Fund
Orthotics and Prosthetic Online
Orthotics & Prosthetics Standards and Credentials
Prosthetic Research Study
SNAP: Special Needs Advocate for Parents
Spinal Cord Injury Information Network
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)
Tri-State Amputee Group, serving Cincinnati and northern Kentucky
Adaptive Sports Foundation
American Amputee Hockey Association (AAHA)
Amputee Sport and Recreation
Athletes Helping Athletes
Challenged Athletes Foundation
Disabled Sports USA
National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA)
North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, Inc.
Ohio Sled Hockey
Ohio Wheelchair Sports Association (OWSA)
The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition (TAASC)
Three Trackers of Ohio
Wheelchair Sports, USA
American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP)
American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, & Pedorthics (ABC)
American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA)
National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education
Ohio Orthotics and Prosthetics Association (OOPA)
Ohio State Board of Orthotics, Prosthetics, & Pedorthics