Comprehensive Prosthetic Care
VSA Prosthetics offers unparalleled prosthetic care by teaming prosthetists with our board-certified vascular surgeons, trained in Advanced Amputation Techniques, while incorporating physical therapists to provide a clear, comprehensive approach to prosthetic care. We ensure our interdisciplinary collaboration facilitates a detailed plan of care that is formulated for each individual’s success.
In an ideal situation, you will have the time to sit with your prosthetist and surgeon prior to having any type of surgery done in order to best determine what type surgical techniques and what design prosthesis will give you the best possible outcome to not only be up and walking sooner, but also long-term success for the rest of your life. Your participation in the creation of the plan and the design (especially the outer design) of the prosthesis also aids in giving you a better grasp of what to expect, helps you to focus on the positives to come, and bolsters the courage & motivation to work through each step of the process.
Additionally, you would also have the opportunity to speak with individuals who have been through it and are successfully utilizing a prosthesis in their everyday lives. This key part of the process really helps to bring peace and hope into the picture. Since “seeing is believing,” we strongly recommend meeting with a peer as a necessity.
Though not every situation allows for all of these steps to occur, we make every attempt to provide you with all of the opportunities possible. We believe preparation plays a pivotal role in your overall success in order to prepare you well for your journey ahead.
Until 2018, amputation surgery in the medical textbooks have remained nearly unchanged for several decades. At VSA, our physicians have been trained in the more advanced, modern surgical techniques that have been shown to provide amputees with improved mobility, including shorter times to begin walking, walking more naturally with less of a “limp,” allowing higher levels of activity, and in many cases improving the comfort level of prosthetic limbs. Our surgeons are continuously being educated on prosthetic outcomes in order to provide the highest level of care.
Our team of physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and prosthetist all round at the hospital to follow-up on your surgery, the healing of your limb, and most importantly to ensure you are healed and prepared for your future prosthetic fitting. We will assist with dressing changes, limb protection, controlling of swelling through the fitting of a compression stocking, maintaining joint range of motion, and getting you set up with physical rehabilitation. It is here where we will constantly remind you how you can best be caring for yourself, especially in being safe from falls and performing daily exercises/stretches.
Here you will be assessed by our physicians, physician assistants, and prosthetist to determine if your limb has healed from the surgery and whether or not you are ready to move forward with the prosthetic fitting. Several factors come into play as far as how quickly a limb heals, but know that we will allow you to proceed only if it is deemed in your best and safe interest. If further wound care is needed to heal the limb, we will assist you in this manner, as well
Once your limb is healed, you will be instructed on more advanced limb care and fitted with higher compression to decrease swelling in the limb and to shape it to a more ideal size/shape. A detailed examination and discussion will help determine what prosthetic design and components will help you to achieve your functional goals.
A customized mold will be taken of your limb to create your prosthesis. We’ll fit a trial device to verify a comfortable fit so you see in advance what to expect. Your feedback is also used to fine-tune the fit and to improve your balance and abilities.
We will go through the mechanics of “learning to walk again” and give you the practice and exercises to help you along the way. Whether it’s stairs, ramps, hiking, or running, we will help you accomplish those tasks.
We encourage all of our new amputees to participate in an out-patient physical therapy program if possible once fitted with their new prosthesis. The healing process from an amputation takes a toll on your body and strength/endurance, and this critical step in your rehabilitation back to independence should not be overlooked. We will further support this venture by monitoring your short-term and long-term progress.
Prosthetic users will need adjustments and changes in their alignment as time goes on, especially if this is your first prosthesis. Regular visits will ensure a properly fitting prosthesis, which maintains a comfortable fit, and allows you to push yourself and achieve your goals as quickly as possible. We know life doesn’t slow down, so we make ourselves available to help you whenever you need us.