I could go into soooo much detail here! At some point in the series I will get some guest bloggers from each speciality to provide more insight into each component of your journey here at Dorset Orthopaedic. Today, however, I will provide more of a synopsis - the Cliff Notes of the prosthetic world!
I guess we start with you and your choice to contact Dorset Orthopaedic to ask about having a prosthesis, finding out what’s available to you, how much will it cost and liaising with Solicitors or Case Managers. One of our Clinic Managers, Customer Assistants or Admin Team will get back to you ASAP. This is a great starting point as they have a wealth of knowledge about our products, therapy and the process you will go through.
Once you’ve booked in, we like to see you for an initial consultation. This allows us to learn more about you, your story, the kind of activities you enjoy and the lifestyle you want to lead. We can take you through prosthetic options, from the kind of socket that may suit you, to the different prostheses with all their pros and cons.
We can also give you an idea of your rehab time. This is a good opportunity for us to manage expectations - we want you to do the best you possibly can, but sometimes a certain prosthesis just can’t do everything. It is also important to realise that this consultation will not be a one stop shop - you’ll have to come to the clinic a few times before you get a finished product you’re happy with. Don’t get me wrong - we can cast, fit and deliver a leg in under a week if the stars are aligned and everything goes perfectly, but in most cases it will take a few weeks.
After the initial assessment we put together a quote of all the components and rehab we think you’ll need. If you’re an on-going legal case, we can send out an Immediate Needs Report to your legal team so that they can release funds to pay for the new prosthesis and the rehab you’ll need. It’s then a case of getting all your appointment dates booked in. These appointments will cover the casting of the socket, trialling the prosthesis, physiotherapy (either as an outpatient or residential) and the first fitting of the prosthesis. A home trial follows and can take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks. The trail can also include a testing package where we get obtain objective data about which component works best for you. Then it’s back for tweaks and adjustments at the clinic before moving on to the final socket and the delivery of your new limb!
If you decide that you would like a cosmetic cover, you’ll see our silicone team who create the most lifelike replicas of your arm or leg to go over the prosthesis. For this process you have a cast taken of your opposite limb and for hands of the residual side too. This allows the clinicians to create a lifelike mirror image. They also need to do something called a ‘colour check’, which will take 2-3 hours of mixing different colours and replicating your nail beds so that the finished article not only looks like it belongs to you but also matches your skin tone. These covers take a little longer depending on their complexity, so can add a bit of time to you receiving your final product. You can, of course, use your prosthesis uncovered until the silicone is finished.
Once you’ve received the final limb, your legal team can ask for a report that will help with your case as well as keeping your Case Manager up to date with how you’re getting on. You might still need to pop in to the clinic from time to time, especially over the first 18 months, when your stump and body will change shape. During this time it’s normal to need socket tweaks to compensate for these changes. Your limb will also need servicing, but don’t worry you won’t be left without! When we send your components off for servicing we’ll place a loaner prosthesis onto your socket so you can still get on with your life.
We are always at the end of the phone or email if you ever have any questions or queries. As cheesy as it sounds, once you’re in you really do become one of the Dorset Orthopaedic family!
Please email Beth with any questions you may have - firstname.lastname@example.org