Fitting a Prosthesis
Staff prosthetists at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children create a custom-made prosthesis for each patient. It takes approximately four to six weeks to complete the first three stages of developing a prosthesis. When required, physical or occupational therapy is provided on site, usually over a period of several weeks.
Prosthetics staff members also work closely with therapists who train patients to use their prostheses in everyday activities. PT or OT is usually required for first-time prosthetic fittings and when a major change in prosthetic design or patient goals requires further training. Patients should bring their most recent prosthesis to each appointment and wear clothes appropriate for being casted or measured.
Impression/Measurement Stage: Prosthetists make a plaster mold of the child's residual limb that will be fitted.
Test Fitting: The child is fitted with a clear plastic socket.
Alignment: Components such as feet and knees are added. The child is given some initial training and a chance to try out the system. Usually, temporary, adjustable components are used so that changes to the position, height and angle of the prosthesis can be made.
Physical Therapy: The child receives in-depth training on how to use the device, how to gradually apply more weight onto the prosthesis and how to do other routine activities, such as climb stairs.
Delivery: After the child goes through alignment and training, the prosthetic components are attached in a more permanent, durable way. The device is then completed with a cosmetic finish. Each child determines how his or her prosthesis looks. Some are skin-toned and natural looking, some are sporty and brightly colored, while others may not have a cover at all, looking a bit more “high-tech.” These choices reflect the needs and preferences of the person wearing the device.
Follow-up: Because children grow quickly, they are usually seen at least four times per year for adjustments to the prosthesis. On average, prostheses need to be replaced about every 15 months.
For more information about TSRHC's Prosthetics department, please call 214-559-7440 or 800-421-1121, ext. 7440.