HELPFUL HINTS

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PROSTHETICS

How Do I Choose A Prosthetist Or Prosthetic Facility?

Graphic | Patients With Question MarkYou will be working extremely closely with your Prosthetist during the process of amputation, recovery and receiving your prosthetic limb. The relationship between you and your Prosthetist will be closer than the relationship you will have with most other health care providers.

Because of this, it is important for you to seek out various Prosthetists, ask them key questions about how they would treat you, learn about their credentials, reputation and experience, before selecting a Prosthetist.  This choice is not one to take lightly.  A prosthesis that is designed and fits INCORRECTLY could actually cause damage and injury to your body to other areas of your body.  With the CORRECT design and fit of a well-made prosthesis, your quality of life can be drastically improved.

So what are some key questions to ask yourself before choosing your Prosthetist:
  1. Are they certified?... If so, by who? (A.B.C. vs. B.O.C.)
  2. Do they specialize in a specific type of patient or prosthesis?
  3. Do they seem friendly and knowledgeable?
  4. Do they offer the newest and most advanced technology on the market?
  5. When speaking with them, did you feel a connection or a disconnect?
 

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Does Prosthetic Care Cost More At Some Facilities Than Others?
Health Care Costs ScrabbleNo.  Prosthetic & Orthotic Facilities are contracted with insurance companies and are only allowed to bill at the designated and contracted rate.  Attempting to attract patients by charging less than the contract rate is not allowed.

Any practitioner who claims that they can "get you a deal" or "get you a cheaper leg" is not only fraudulent, they are also being dishonest.  Honesty and ethical behavior are principles we stand by, and should be qualities you look for before selecting a particular Prosthetist to design your leg.

Although we have contracts with most insurance companies, if we happen to not have a contract in place with your particular insurance plan, we will make every effort to keep your costs minimal and will attempt to negotiate rates with your insurance company.

 
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I Am Having An Amputation, What Should I Do First?

Amputation BandagedFor a FREE Pre-Surgical Consultation, Contact our office at 919-908-8975.

Most amputations will be a patient's first experience with this type of serious surgical procedure. When talking with our patients and their families, we have found that those who have been able to speak with experienced practitioners before their surgery were mentally and physically well prepared and knew what to expect. It may seem trivial, but knowing what to expect and being able to ask important questions before a scary operation will generally reduce stress, anxiety and fear.

We have treated enough patients to know how important a Pre-Consultation talk can be and we make it a point to provide this service to any patient or family member who requests it. We also provide a free information packet with a great deal of relevant medical and prosthetic advice to further ease your mind and improve your understanding of the entire process.

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ORTHOTICS

How Do I Care For My Foot Orthotics

Fitting Foot OrthoticsFor a CUSTOM Sport or Diabetic Foot Orthotics, Contact our office at 919-908-8975. If you didn't realize it already, your foot orthotics and inserts will definitely start to smell with daily use, especially if you don't make an effort to keep them clean and smelling fresh.So you may be wondering, "What exactly can I do to keep them clean and odor free?"  Here are a few quick and easy ways to accomplish this:

   
FREEZE The Stink Out Of Them
  1. Put your foot orthotics in a large ziploc bag and place them in the freezer overnight. 
  2. Why does this work?  The smell of foot orthotics is actually caused by bacteria.  Extremely cold temperatures have been shown to kill bacteria.  Dead bacteria = Better smelling foot orthotics.

WASH The Stink Out Of Them
  1. Occasionally you should clean your foot orthotics using mild anti-bacterial soap, vinegar and/or detergent with a microfiber cloth or sponge. 
  2. Make sure to let them air dry thoroughly before placing them back into your shoes.  Be weary of using hair dryers or heat sources to speed the drying process, as high temperatures can cause the glue holding the foot orthotics together to separate.

WICK The Stink Out Of Them
  1. Wear moisture wicking socks with your shoes and foot orthotics.  
  2. Going barefoot with your foot orthotics can create excessive moisture within your shoes.  Make sure to wear moisture wicking socks to keep your othortics dry and less likely to attract bacteria.
   

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Diabetic Foot Care Tips

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  • Practice regular and thorough hygiene habits —(Clean and inspect feet daily.  Wash socks frequently and always wear clean socks, preferably moisture wicking.)
  • Don't smoke —(According to the Center For Disease Control CDC, "Smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. And people with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling their diseaseThe more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk for type 2 diabetes.  No matter what type of diabetes you have, smoking makes your diabetes harder to control." 3 )
  • Wear custom diabetic insoles —(Wear diabetic insoles custom designed for your foot.  Custom diabetic insoles will accommodate any plantar abnormalities, provide arch support and offload the foot as needed.)
  • Perform daily skin and foot inspection —(If you have numbness of the feet, small cuts and wounds can become a serious medical problem, sometimes resulting in amputation.  Be proactive and regularly looking for blisters, sores, cracks, cuts, calluses and abnormalities.  For those with limited mobility, use a mirror or friend/family member to inspect all areas of your feet.  Report any changes to your physician or orthotist/pedorthist immediately.)
  • Wash your feet DAILY —(Wash with mild soap and lukewarm water.  Check water temperature before placing your feet in, to make sure the water isn't hot enough to scald your skin.  Dry thoroughly before putting socks and shoes on.)
  • Keep toenails trimmed —(It is best to trim toenails right after your shower or bath.  Be cautious while trimming your nails, as you can create ingrown nails by the way you cut them and there is also a risk of clipping the skin with the nail clippers.  It may be a good idea to schedule a regular appointment with a podiatrist to get your nails trimmed, especially if reaching your feet is difficult, if you have little feeling in your feet or if you have trouble seeing.)
  • Choose and wear appropriate shoes —(Avoid wearing open-toed shoes, as this increases your risk of receiving foot injuries.  Avoid walking around barefoot, especially outside.  Regularly examine your shoes for signs of wear and replace them when necessary.  Avoid selecting shoes based on looks.  Base your shoe selection on their function, comfort and practicality.  Your long-term health and mobility is much more important than fashion.)

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GENERAL

Are There Resources For Amputees & Those Physical Differences?

Check Out The Following Organizations For Helpful Information & Resources.


For more resources or specialized information feel free to call our knowledgeable staff at Limbionics of Durham (919) 908-8975.

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What Is Osseointegration?

Osseointegration is a revolutionary procedure for amputees that utilizes a titanium rod implanted in the bone of the residual limb to attach the prosthetic appliance instead of a traditional socket.  Over time, the existing bone grows into the the titanium, creating a single structure that offers a number of advantages over a prosthetic socket including:

⇒  Fast and easy donning/doffing
⇒  No more fit issues due to weight gain/loss
⇒  No problems with perspiration since no liners are required.
⇒  No pressure sores or skin irritation.
⇒  Better outcomes for hard-to-fit patients, such as those with very short residual limbs.

In short, Osseointegration can allow amputees to wear a prosthetic for longer periods of time with greater comfort than a typical socket prosthesis which in turn provides better quality of life!
Nearly anyone with a prosthesis can be a candidate for Osseointegration, as it is currently offered for above and below knee amputees and above and below elbow amputees.  In addition, osseointegration can be used to affix maxillofacial prosthetics and finger or toe prosthetics.Contact our office at 919-908-8975 for more information.

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Can I Play Sports Even Though I Have A Disability?

Adaptive-Sports-Icons-Website-EditYES!!!

There are many activities both locally and throughout the country that are fun, challenging and inspiring.  A local organization that we partner with is Bridge2Sports.  Bridge2Sports is a non-profit that has adaptive sports, specialty clinics and they also have various Paralympic teams. They provide activities such as wheelchair basketball, bocci ball, sitting volleyball, archery, golf, goal ball, track and field, air rifle, kayaking, and much more!

If you would like to get more active and participate with Bridge2Sports or find out how you can get more involved in the local community, please contact our office at 919-908-8975 for more information.

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What Are These Terms I Keep Hearing?

Medical Note Pad | AFO-01What do these terms mean?

AK — Above Knee Amputation

AFO — Ankle Foot Orthoses

BK — Below Knee Amputation

CP — Cerebral Palsy

CVA — Cerebro-Vascular Accident (Stroke)

DM — Diabetes Mellitus

FO — Foot Orthotic

GRAFO — Ground Reaction Ankle Foot Orthoses

KAFO — Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses

KD — Knee Disarticulation

OA — Osteoarthritis

RA — Rheumatoid Arthritis

SCI — Spinal Cord Injury

TBI — Traumatic Brain Injury

TLSO — Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral Orthoses

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