Prosthetics and Orthotics: What’s the Difference?

Synergy CPO helping patient

At Synergy Our patient care vehicles are equipped with all the tools and supplies needed to make adjustments on-site eliminating the need to take an amputees device from them. Creating unnecessary down time without their device can cause many issues for an amputee, negatively effecting their daily lifestyle. The Synergy way eliminates these specific issues almost 100% of the time.

Synergy Prosthetics prides itself on achieving positive patient outcomes with every patient we have the pleasure of working with. We believe a progressive approach and attention to detail is critical when it comes too assisting patients and the care they receive. Our entire team, from CPO, to customer service, admin staff, and lab techs are trained to ensure all Synergy patients are fully educated and know what to expect throughout their entire continuum of care.

What are Prosthetics?

Prosthetics are an artificial substitute or replacement of a part of the body such as a tooth, eye, a facial bone, the palate, a hip, a knee or another joint, the leg, an arm, etc. A prosthesis is designed for functional or cosmetic reasons or both. Typical prostheses for joints are the hip, knee, elbow, ankle, and finger joints. Prosthetic implants can be parts of the joint such as a unilateral knee. Joint replacement and arthroplasty mean the same thing.

A prosthesis may be removable, as in the case of most prosthetic legs or a prosthetic breast form used after mastectomy. A person who uses a removable prosthesis, for example, an artificial hand, may want to have more than one available for different types of tasks. Other types of prosthetic devices are permanently implanted, like an artificial hip, testicle or tooth.

With advances in the biomedical sciences, a few experimental prostheses have been integrated with body tissues, including the nervous system. These highly advanced devices can respond to commands from the central nervous system, more closely approximating normal movement and utility.

 

What are Orthotics?

An orthosis is a support, brace, or splint used to support, align, prevent, or correct the function of movable parts of the body. Shoe inserts are orthotics that are intended to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern, by altering slightly the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface. Other orthotics include neck braces, lumbosacral supports, knee braces, and wrist supports.

The Synergy approach to Prosthetics & Orthotics

At Synergy, we understand how devastating it is to lose a limb, and we are proud to be able to help our patients regain their function and self-confidence with a high quality, durable prosthesis.

Every patient has their own set of circumstances and every situation is different. The length of time it takes to start the process after your amputation depends on the length of time it takes your residual limb and incision site to heal. Synergy will guide you through this transition every step of the way. Our peer visitors will consult with you before and after your procedure and our expertly trained practitioners will ensure your experience is a pleasant one throughout the entire process. Your doctor will decide when you are sufficiently healed and ready to begin the process. Usually each visit occurs a week apart.

Our practitioners evaluate, design and fit patients with custom, as well as off the shelf, orthotic and prosthetic devices. Our unified, continuum of care and unique philosophy allows us to manage the entire spectrum of a patients care, maximizing their prosthetic & orthotic experience.

We provide preparatory and definitive prostheses for all levels of amputation designed to match the functional goals and needs of each patient.

 

First Visit

Evaluation And Casting

On your first visit we will gather clinical and personal background information from you. This includes your address, phone number, height, weight, age, prescribing physician, and medical history. We will consult and discuss the prosthetic options available to you based on our professional assessment of your strength, activity level, and goals.

Prior to casting, we also examine your residual limb for any prominent bones, sensitive areas, and swelling. It is extremely important that your leg not be swollen when we take a cast of your leg to make the socket. If you are swollen, you will need to wear a shrinker to remove fluid from your limb and make another appointment for the casting of your residual limb.

 

Second Visit

Initial Fitting And Alignment

During this appointment you will be fit with a clear plastic socket that was made from the cast of your residual limb. This is called a “check socket”, it is used to check the fit of the prosthesis on your residual limb. During this appointment we will need the shoes you will be wearing the most often with your prosthesis. You will walk between the parallel bars while wearing the check socket. At this time we will check for correct height and also change the alignment of the prosthesis. Changing the alignment means that we make changes which will improve your gait (how you walk) and give you the greatest stability and comfort.

 

Third Visit

Fitting And Delivery

During this appointment you will be fit with your new custom prosthesis along with a supply of prosthetic socks. Your practitioner will educate you on the proper donning of your prosthesis and how to determine the correct number of prosthetic socks to wear. If this is your first prosthesis, do not expect to wear it all the time right away. We recommend a short period of time the first day and gradually increase the wearing time each day. You should check the skin on your residual limb often for signs of irritation or redness. Redness over a large area that dissipates after removal of the prosthesis is usually normal. If you have localized redness caused by pressure, please contact your practitioner asap for an appointment so that the correct changes can be made. Synergy also recommends that first time prosthetic wearers receive physical therapy. They will “teach” you how to walk and do other daily activities while wearing your prosthesis.

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