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New Amputees

New Amputees Treatment

The amputation of a limb for new amputees is a life changing experience, and the requirements of each client are different and will change throughout their life.

Our philosophy is to work with new amputees to comprehensively assess their needs, establish their requirements and then deliver the appropriate solutions.

All of our clients’ needs are unique, so our highly experienced prosthetists work closely with multidisciplinary health professionals to establish a customised treatment solution for each of our clients. The team includes Medical Specialists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and other health professionals.

APC Prosthetics has a strong support system to assist clients in challenging situations and work closely with Government/Health authorities and national professional bodies including EnableNSW, DVA, the NDIA and AOPA. We also maintain close relationships with global prosthetic technology groups, which allows us early access to the latest technological developments in both prosthetic components and manufacturing technology.

At APC Prosthetics, we are dedicated to achieving the best outcome for our clients, aiming for the best possible comfort, the best possible function and the best possible lifestyle.

Treatment Pathway

Interim Prosthesis:

The first phase of the prosthetic rehabilitation is the provision of an interim prosthesis. This generally occurs approximately 6 weeks after amputation when the suture wounds have sufficiently healed. The aims of the interim prosthesis are to establish early mobility and commence gait re-education as early as possible.

After a comprehensive assessment with the rehabilitation team, the rehabilitation specialist issues a prescription for the interim prosthesis. The prosthetist will then take a plaster cast of the residual limb, which is called a plaster negative. The plaster negative is then used to make a replica of the residual limb, which is modified to achieve a comfortable socket. The socket is then moulded over the plaster model.

Various liner materials are used to act as a cushion between the socket and the residual limb, absorbing and dissipating shock, shear and torque forces that occur during walking and standing on the prosthesis.

Next, the prosthetic components are connected to the socket and the client returns for their first prosthetic fitting. During this process one of our highly skilled prosthetists assesses the socket-fit and analyses gait to determine optimal alignment. The correct alignment of the prosthesis is essential to ensure maximum comfort and function.

You can expect regular modification to this first prosthesis, as the residual limb undergoes significant changes in shape and volume during the first months. After approximately 3 to 4 months the prosthetic interim socket will be replaced with the first definitive socket.

Definitive Prosthesis:

For your first definitive prosthesis, the prescription process is then repeated (dependent on your funding body, eg EnableNSW, NDIS, Insurance, etc.). The prosthetist will take a new cast of your residual limb and the manufacturing process begins again. The materials used to manufacture the definitive socket include fibreglass, carbon fibre or specially designed plastics. Utilising the latest manufacturing technologies and high-tech materials ensures a durable and extremely light socket.

The prosthesis is trialled for several days. It’s important you trial the check socket in as many real-life scenarios as possible in order to give your prosthetist quality feedback on the suitability of the fit and function. After the successful completion of the trial period, the prosthesis is cosmetically finished, to deliver a pleasing aesthetic result.

As the shape and volume of the residual limb will change over time, it is very important that the client sees their prosthetist on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months), to ensure the socket is still fitting properly. Sometimes it is necessary for the prosthetist to make adjustments to the prosthesis to compensate for any changes. However, if the changes are too significant, a new socket (socket replacement) might be required.

Ongoing Care

Physiotherapy:

Physiotherapy is a vital factor throughout the entire rehabilitation process for new amputees, including muscle-strengthening exercises and gait training. Your amputee clinic will have onsite physiotherapists who specialise in amputee gait training, and APC also offer specialised Physiotherapy sessions in our modern and fully equipped gymnasiums tailored to the individual needs of each client.

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