How do I determine the amount of prosthetic socks I should wear?

Many amputees wear prosthetic socks over their residual limb. These prosthetic socks come in a variety of thicknesses and materials. They’re many benefits and uses for these socks. They provide cushion, reduce and absorb friction, protect the skin, absorb perspiration, and compensate for shrinkage and/or swelling of the residual limb. As the residual limb matures it will begin to change size and shape. To maintain an appropriate fit of the prosthesis different thicknesses of socks are added to compensate volumetrically for any loss or gain that has occurred. A prosthetic sock thickness and weight is represented with the term “Ply”. As you increase in ply you increase in thickness. Below, is a reference guide to sock ply and their thickness.

1-Ply (White)- all white sock 3-Ply (Green)- all white sock with a green ring around the top end 5-Ply (Blue)- all white sock with a blue ring around the top end

You will receive several socks with your prosthesis. With this supply of socks you will be able to better manage your fit. Every time you put on the prosthesis it is important that you are aware of how many ply you have on. If the socket is loose fitting then add a ply, or if the socket is feeling tight then reduce your fit by a ply. This process may need to be repeated throughout the day as your limb will change volumetrically. It is ideal to have the best fit possible with the least amount of socks. For example, it is preferable to have on one 5-ply sock rather than one 3-ply sock with two 1-ply’s. Understanding prosthetic sock management is key to avoiding skin breakdown and irritation. With the proper fit and follow-up the chances of having a healthier residuum will increase.

Sheaths are also available for the prosthetic wearer. They are used to reduce friction caused by excessive rubbing and help wick away perspiration.

What is the definitive phase of prosthetics?

Following the temporary phase of prosthetics is the definitive phase. The limb has become more volumetrically stable and the patient is ready to begin definitive care. This involves the careful selection and fitting of the appropriate prosthetic componetry to maximize the functional capabilities of each patient. Proper gait training and limb maintenance are greatly stressed.

Can my prosthesis get wet?

We strongly encourage that you keep your prosthesis as dry as possible. Certain componentry will rust and is not meant to get wet. There are however, covers that go over your prosthesis that help prevent water from entering.

How do I go to school for O&P?

Under informational links you will find several links of the different schools that offer O&P courses, whether in a certificate program or a bachelors program. The web sites contain all the information you will need for enrollment including prerequisites, start dates, and course information.

What if my orthotic/prosthetic begins to feel uncomfortable, change, or no longer fit?

The cause for change could be attributed to a variety of factors. First, consult your orthotist/prosthetist concerning the problem. They can help you determine the issue and make the proper adjustments. Do not try to adjust the device yourself, as often this only complicates matters further.

What is phantom pain and will it go away?

Phantom pain is the term used to describe sensations felt by amputees, which may include cramping, tingling, itching, pins-and-needles, stabbing pains, pressure, a sense of fullness (as if the limb was still there, but slightly swollen), and so on. The majority of amputees experience these sensations, however the degree to which it is felt will vary. The phantom sensations are intermittent (they come and go, unpredictably.) New amputees tend to have frequent and intense sensations several times every day, often continuously for a few hours at a time. As the years pass after an amputation, the sensations will generally become less frequent, and less intense, and bouts of pain last for a shorter amount of time. However, despite medical literature that says “both the phantom sensations and pain gradually resolve with time,” many amputees report that the phantom pain never completely disappears.

How long after surgery can I begin to walk on my prosthesis?

This will vary from patient to patient. However, there are several factors that influence the amount of time one will spend before being able to ambulate. These factors include cause of amputation, time it takes for the residuum to heal, and the integrity of the surgical site. These factors and others will play an important role in determining the time it will take to begin ambulating on a prosthesis.

How do I set-up a free evaluation or consultation in your office?

To set-up a free evaluation or consultation simply dial (602) 222-3032 and the front office staff will assist you in setting a time and a day that is convenient for you. Also, you can click on the contact link associated with this web site, fill out some information, and press send. Front office staff will shortly thereafter be in contact with you.

How do I schedule a visit for peer counseling?

We offer one-on-one or group peer support. Our amputee patient liaison, Tyler Ritchey, regularly consults and provides support to those who have undergone or are going to undergo surgery. Tyler, who himself is an amputee, can relate to and answer those questions commonly found amongst pre-operative patients. Tyler can be reached by phone or by e-mail. (see peer counseling)


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