Frequently Asked Questions

Edge HomeCare Prosthetics & Orthotics answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding prosthetic care during the recovery and rehabilitation process. To speak to a patient advocate, Call 1 – 855 – 633 – 3534


  Q: DO I NEED A PRESCRIPTION FROM A PHYSICIAN?  

A: Yes, it is required to have a prescription from your doctor in order for any treatment to start.

  Q: WHY IS THERE SO MUCH SWELLING?  

A: Swelling is a natural reaction to the trauma of surgery and will continue throughout the healing process. There is also a tendency for fluids to build up as a result of less muscle activity.

  Q: HOW DO I REDUCE THE SWELLING?  

A: Wrapping with elastic bandages or using elastic “shrinkers” decreases the swelling and helps shape the residual limb. Your prosthetist can provide one for you once the doctor says it’s ok.

  Q: WHAT IS PHANTOM PAIN?  

A: Many people experience the sensation that the amputated limb is still present. You may have the sensation of tingling, itching, or movement, as well as sharp, squeezing, or burning pain. The causes of phantom sensation are not clearly understood, but the experience usually disappears within a few months after surgery.

  Q: HOW SOON AFTER SURGERY WILL I GET MY PROSTHESIS?  

A: Many factors determine when you are ready for your first prosthesis. Generally, if there are no complications, the first fitting occurs approximately four to five weeks after amputation. If you have poor circulation, the fitting may be delayed an additional two to three weeks to allow for adequate healing.

  Q: HOW SHOULD I CLEAN MY RESIDUAL LIMB?  

A: Wash your residual limb daily with soap and water. Avoid lotions, oils, or creams because they tend to soften the skin and make it more susceptible to skin breakdown. Always check your residual limb thoroughly for any scrapes, cuts, sores, or reddened areas.

  Q: WHAT PROSTHESIS IS BEST FOR ME?  

A: There are many individual factors to consider in prescribing the right prosthesis for you. Some of these include the shape and condition of your residual limb, overall medical and physical condition, previous activity level and lifestyle, commitment, and financial situation. Discuss your interests, lifestyle, work and goals with your prosthetist, so he or she can design a prosthesis that provides the highest level of function and independence possible for you.

  Q: HOW IS MY PROSTHESIS MADE?  

A: Your prosthesis is made up of many different components selected specifically for you and your lifestyle. Your prosthetist begins by taking a series of measurements and a cast of your residual limb. From the cast, a mold is made and used to design a custom socket. Your residual limb fits snugly in the socket which is attached to the other components that make up your prosthesis.


  Q: HOW DO I LEARN TO USE MY PROSTHESIS?  

A: During the initial fittings, your prosthetist guides you through the basic principles of using your prosthesis. For lower limb amputees, more extensive training (walking on different terrains, climbing stairs, getting in and out of a car) is provided by a physical therapist. If you have an upper limb prosthesis, an occupational therapist helps you perform daily living activities such as grooming, eating and handling various objects.

  Q: HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECEIVE MY PROSTHESIS?  

A: Depending on how well and fast you heal it takes approximately 1-2 weeks. If needed, quicker arrangements can be made to get it within 24-48 hours.

  Q: HOW MUCH WILL MY PROSTHESIS COST?  

A: Your prosthesis is custom-designed to meet your specific needs using advanced and expensive materials and components. Insurance coverage varies widely, but most private insurance plans and Medicare pays large portion of the charges. Discuss your financial obligations thoroughly with your prosthetist so you completely understand what your financial obligations will be.

  Q: HOW LONG WILL MY FIRST PROSTHESIS LAST?  

A: Your first prosthesis is usually worn for about three to six months. During this time, your residual limb continues to shrink and becomes less sensitive. If you’ve lost an arm, your first prosthesis allows you to pick up objects and regain daily living skills.

  Q: WHEN WILL I BE READY FOR MY DEFINITIVE PROSTHESIS?  

A: As soon as your residual limb is healed and the size and shape have stabilized, you are ready for a more complex “definitive” prosthesis. Your definitive prosthesis can last for many years especially if you take proper care of it. Also, it is very important that you maintain your weight. Even a ten-pound weight gain or loss could affect the prosthetic fitting, which will require adjustments or a new prosthesis.

  Q: WILL I BE ABLE TO GO BACK TO WORK?  

A: As long as there are no other serious complication health wise or physically you should be able to return to what you liked to do prior to the amputation.

  Q: CAN I MAKE REPAIRS OR ADJUSTMENTS ON MY OWN?  

A: NO! Making adjustments on your own could lead to personal injury or possible damage the prosthesis. Call your prosthetist if you feel an adjustment needs to take place.