Frequently Asked Questions
Will my prosthesis be covered by my insurance?
Most insurance companies cover prosthetic services. Of course insurance policies vary greatly depending on your type of insurance, benefit details, your age and activity level and other factors. We are in-network with Medicare, Medicaid and most major insurance companies and will research your policy to help determine coverage for your prosthetic needs. We will work with you should there be any Patient Responsibility portion after your insurance pays. There are never any costs for evaluations or office visits.
Do I need a prescription from my physician?
Yes—prosthetics and orthotics must by ordered by a physician after a face-to-face evaluation. No prescription is needed for an initial evaluation with us, and we can refer you on to a physician if you do not have one.
Will my residual limb change in size?
Yes, as time progresses your residual limb will shrink or atrophy. Immediately following your amputation, your limb may be swollen and have a bulbous shape. It will gradually shrink down to have a cylindrical or conical shape. The most common method of shaping the residual limb is a stump shrinker, which we will provide after your surgery. A shrinker is similar to a snug sock and will help shape the residual limb and prepare you for your prosthesis. Shrinkers are also worn at night to prevent swelling.
How long will it take to get my prosthesis?
It generally takes approximately several weeks from the initial limb impression to the delivery of your prosthesis. The first visit will consist of residual limb measurements and taking an impression of your limb. The second visit, approximately one week later, is a “diagnostic fitting.” At this time, patient will be fit with a plastic test socket which we use as a diagnostic tool to achieve maximum patient comfort. This will also be the first time patients will stand and begin to take a few steps with the prosthesis. If a second diagnostic fitting is necessary, we will do so a few days later. The next visit is delivery of the prosthesis. We typically deliver prostheses without a cosmetic cover to easily allow changes to be made to the alignment during the rehabilitation process. A custom cosmetic cover is an optional addition to your prosthesis once your rehabilitation is complete.
How long will my prosthesis last?
Although time frames vary from patient to patient, a temporary (or preparatory) prosthesis is usually used for 3-6 months, typically for rehabilitation purposes. A definitive prosthesis can last for 5 years or more in some cases. A prostheses or socket is generally replaced because it no longer fits, due to anatomical changes (normal atrophy, weight loss/gain) and not because it has worn out.
Will I be able to return to work?
This depends on your profession. Many amputees are able to return to their jobs with no complications. Some many need to change their job description or duties, while others many change jobs completely. You should speak with your employer about your intentions and capabilities regarding employment.
When should I check my residual limb and what should I look for?
You should inspect your residual limb every day for any skin changes. If you notice redness, blisters, drainage, severe swelling, or pain you should call your prosthetist immediately.
What makes Louisville Prosthetics different from other companies in the area?
We feel that our experience and commitment to our patients is what sets us apart. We are a 3rd generation, family owned and operated business that specializes in prosthetic care. Because of this, we are able to develop close relationships with our patients that last a lifetime. With over 100 years of combined clinical experience, our practitioners have a clear understanding of what it takes to return amputees to an independent, active lifestyle.
My physician has recommended amputation. Is it too soon to contact Louisville Prosthetics?
No—by contacting Louisville Prosthetics you will begin the pre-prosthetic care process. We have educational information available for patients and loved ones that will help answer questions you many have about your future prosthetic management. Our prosthetists will be happy to speak with you about what you can expect, how you can prepare, etc. Please feel free to contact us and/or meet with us.
How often should I see my Prosthetist?
We recommend follow-up visits every 3-6 months under normal circumstances. This is necessary for normal maintenance and care. However, you may call us any time if you feel that you need an adjustment or change. We will get you scheduled with your prosthetist as soon as possible.