Prosthetics

PROSTHETICS: BELOW KNEE

Below-knee prostheses are used to treat individuals who have experienced below-knee limb loss due to disease, trauma, or congenital limb deficiencies. The leading cause for below-knee limb loss is peripheral vascular disease, often secondary to diabetes.

Below-knee prostheses can be described by one of two classifications.

Preparatory prosthesis: these can be considered “training” prostheses. The preparatory prosthesis helps to reduce swelling that naturally occurs after an amputation, getting the patient walking as soon as possible and helping the amputation site heal. The preparatory is typically worn for 3 to 6 months, often under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Definitive prosthesis: The prosthetist and physician will decide when the patient is ready for a definitive (permanent) prosthesis. A definitive prosthesis may be “higher tech” or more cosmetic than a preparatory. There are also many choices of componentry with a definitive prosthesis, such as energy storing feet or shock absorbers. These options are dependant on the needs of the individual. A definitive prosthesis is typically worn for several years before replacement is needed.

Below Knee prostheses from Northern Prosthetics

PROSTHETICS: ABOVE KNEE

Above-knee prostheses are used to treat individuals who have experienced above-knee limb loss due to disease, trauma, or congenital limb deficiencies. The leading cause for above-knee amputations is peripheral vascular disease.

General classifications:

Preparatory prosthesis: these can be considered “training” prostheses. The preparatory prosthesis helps to reduce swelling that naturally occurs after an amputation,will get the patient walking as soon as possible and helping the amputation site heal. The preparatory prosthesis is typically worn for 3 to 6 months. During this time the wearer will learn how to use the prosthesis, often under the direction of a physical therapist.

Definitive prosthesis: The physician and prosthetist will decide when the patient is ready for a definitive (permanent) prosthesis. A definitive prosthesis may be “higher tech” or more cosmetic than a preparatory. There are many choices for high-tech componantry with a definitive prosthesis, such as micro-processor controlled knee joints or torque absorbers. The prosthetist will help explain these options depending on the needs of the individual. A definitive prosthesis is typically worn for several years before replacement is needed.

Above Knee prostheses from Northern Prosthetics

PROSTHETICS: UPPER EXTREMITY

These are appliances used to treat individuals who have experienced upper extremity limb loss.

General classification:

Body-powered prosthesis: A body-powered prosthesis is controlled with a cable and harness that the wearer uses to operate the hook or hand. Body-powered prostheses are the most common of upper extremity prostheses used. They are very durable, however they are not as cosmetically pleasing as an externally powered prosthesis.

Externally powered prostheses: These are called “myoelectric” prostheses, using muscle contractions as a signal to activate the prosthesis. These signals are sent to an electric motor which operates the prosthesis. Prostheses powered by electric motors may provide improved cosmesis, but they can be less durable and higher maintenance than a body-powered prosthesis.

Upper Extremity prostheses from Northern Prosthetics

PROSTHETICS: C-LEG CERTIFIED

For many people who have experienced above-knee limb loss, it’s almost impossible to remember a time when they could go downstairs, ride a bike, or play a round of golf without thinking about it. With many prosthetic knees, each step involves concern about changing terrain, stumbling, or falling. Doing everyday things they used to do can be very difficult.

The C-leg is a microprocessor-controlled knee that allows the wearer to speed up, slow down, and maneuver on uneven terrain without worry. The C-leg offers unparalleled stability, right when you need it. Your sense of a secure, natural gait is restored.

At Northern Prosthetics and Orthopedic Inc., we have two prosthetists who are certified in C-leg fitting. If you are interested in the C-leg and what it can do for you, please call for an appointment.

C-Leg Certified prostheses from Northern Prosthetics

PROSTHETICS: SUPPLIES

Northern Prosthetics and Orthopedic Inc. carries a full range of prosthetic supplies from cotton and wool stump socks to shrinker socks to ampu-balm.

Prosthetic Supplies from Northern Prosthetics