What’s the Difference Between Prosthetics and Orthotics?

This is a very common question! Prosthetics are devices intended to act as a replacement for a part of the body which is missing, typically a limb or digit, but prosthetics even exist for eyes and teeth. Orthotics are wearable devices which provide support, such as a shoe insert or knee brace. At Celerity, our primary focus is to provide excellent prosthetic care.

How Soon After Amputation Can a Patient Use a Prosthetic Device?

As with many questions along these lines, the simple answer is that it all depends on the patient. After amputation, the amount of time it takes to properly heal is different for everyone. Many patients will be ready to receive a prosthetic more or less right away after the healing phase is over. Note that other medical conditions—diabetes, for example—can impact how much time it takes to get a prosthetic, or overall prosthetic eligibility.

Under What Circumstances Might a Patient Not Qualify for a Prosthetic?

Here’s the good news: it is extremely rare that an amputee is not eligible to use a prosthetic device. Under these rare circumstances, there are many different reasons why a patient may not benefit from a prosthetic device, such as additional injuries which prevent the use of a device, other medical conditions, and so on.

What Kind of Movement and Mobility Can a Patient Expect With a Prosthetic Device?

This is another one of those “it depends” questions—many patients enjoy a near-full range of movement and mobility with a prosthetic. As you may have noted on our homepage, we feature a video of a prosthesis patient doing gymnastics (quite well, we might add!). Motivation, age, and overall health all play a part.

What Range of Motion Can a Patient Expect With a Prosthetic?

The range of motion one can expect while wearing a prosthetic depends on the patient, where the prosthesis is being used, and the overall feature set of the prosthetic device itself. The available range of motion is typically similar to a biological limb.

What Activities Can a Prosthetics Patient Reasonably Expect To Do After Receiving a Device?

Many prosthesis patients can and do enjoy the same activities they performed before amputation. The degree to which it’s “the same” really does depend on the patient, the nature of the injury which lead to the amputation, general age, healing, personal motivation, and so on. In many cases, some believe that prosthetic legs can actually give an athlete an advantage. See the many, many stories of “blade runners”, competitive runners with blade-styled prosthetic devices, and the claims that they have an “unfair advantage” against other runners. While it isn’t our place to comment on sporting disputes, the point is this: prosthetic devices empower patients to enjoy many if not all of the same active hobbies and professions they held prior to amputation.

How Does Prosthesis Fitting Work?

After healing from amputation, patients are generally referred to prosthetic specialists like those at Celerity. At this stage, the patient will begin by coming in (or having us come to you; see our mobile prosthetic service) for an evaluation and casting. This means that the patient is measured and a mold is taken of the area where the prosthetic will be attached. See the following section for where things go from here.

How Many Appointments Will I Need Before My Prosthesis Fits Just Right?

After the initial prosthesis fitting evaluation and casting appointment, patients will come back for a few more appointments. During the next visit, typically the patient has their socket fitting checked. Subsequent appointments will zero in on precise fitting for comfort and functionality.

Can I Wear a Prosthetic Device in the Shower or Pool? What if It Rains?

While there are specialized prosthetic devices which are designed to be submergible, most are not. Prosthetic patients are generally expected to remove their device while in the shower, bath, or pool. Small amounts of water are typically not a concern, such as if you’re out and about while it’s raining outside.

Can I Sleep With a Prosthetic Limb?

Generally speaking, prosthetic limbs are not intended to be worn while sleeping. Most patients tend to find it more comfortable to remove their prosthetics at night anyway! Having said that, there is no hard and fast rule; when possible, remove the prosthetic for the night. If one happens to fall asleep or nap, say on the couch or during a long flight, there is no major cause for concern.

How Long Does It Take Celerity To Provide Me With a Prosthetic?

We aim to provide service to our patients as quickly as we can—but we never cut corners and ultimately would rather take longer than other providers when necessary to make sure our patients are getting the best possible prosthetic device. Most patients can expect a waiting time of up to 30 days.

I’m Unable To Travel. Can Celerity Come to Me?

Yes! We offer a mobile prosthetics service. To take advantage of this service where we’ll come to you, all you have to do is call (405) 605-3030 and make an appointment. We ask patients who wish to make use of our mobile prosthetics service to plan ahead for their appointment; this is so that we can make sure we’re bringing everything we need (such as equipment and personnel) to make your appointment as successful as possible. We invite you to learn more about our mobile prosthetics service here.

Does Celerity Prosthetics Accept Insurance?

Of course. Celerity Prosthetics accepts most insurance providers and will do everything in our power to work with you and your provider to make sure that the process of getting your prosthetic device is as easy as possible.

What Does Ambulation Mean?

You’ll see the term ambulation used a lot when reading about prosthetic devices, orthosis, etc. This word simply means “walking about”. You may see the term perambulate used as well; this means to travel over or through, typically by walking. In the context of prosthesis, ambulation means how well a patient can transport themselves with or without the device.

If you’ve seen the term K-Level used in relation to ambulation, this is a scale used by medical professionals (or, sometimes, in insurance paperwork) which indicates the degree to which a patient can ambulate. The levels range from one to four, with each successive level indicating a higher degree of mobility.

How Long Does a Prosthetic Device Usually Last?

Prosthetic devices can last a quite long time with proper care and maintenance; they are not however designed to last forever. A factor to consider is the level of activity of the patient; very active prosthesis patients will require replacements more often, since the device is under more stress.

Generally speaking, a patient can use their prosthetic as long as it provides them with functionality and comfort. Of course, children will need replacements more often (as they’re growing) than a fully-grown adult.

Keep in mind that prosthetic technology just keeps getting better—often seemingly by the day—and so it’s likely that as these developments continue, one wouldn’t want to use the same device for the rest of their lives.

How Often Should a Prosthetic Device Receive Maintenance?

It depends on the device itself, but in the majority of cases a prosthetic device should receive daily self-care by the owner. Patients at Celerity Prosthetics will of course be given all the information they need to maintain and care for their device; for example, prosthetics should be cleaned before storage and before use. For maintenance which requires the attention of a professional, it is quick and easy to make an appointment with Celerity, including with our unique mobile prosthetics service in which we come to you.

Is It Possible for Animals To Get a Prosthetic Device?

Yes! Animal prosthetics are becoming very common—and much like human prosthetic devices, the technology just keeps getting better and better. If you have a dog, cat, or other animal that needs a prosthetic device, please contact us at (405) 605-3030 to start the process of finding out if your companion is eligible.

If you’d like to learn more about animal prosthetics and the services provided by Celerity, please see our detailed article about animal prosthetics.

What Kind of Animals Are Eligible for Prosthetic Devices?

Many people are surprised to learn that it isn’t just dogs or cats eligible for prosthetic devices (these are just the most common types of pets and so we tend to see more of them!). In fact, goats, horses, and even alligators have received prosthetic devices with great success. If you’re not sure if your animal is eligible, please just ask—you may be surprised what our team of experts is capable of!

How Can I Start Learning More About Services Provided by Celerity Prosthetics Right Away?

We can’t wait to start a conversation with you!

Please feel warmly welcomed to contact us at your earliest convenience; we can be reached at (405) 605-3030.