What is a partial foot amputation?
Partial foot amputation is an umbrella term that encompasses many different level of amputation below the ankle. This term includes transmetatarsal (removal of the forefoot), LisFranc (removal of toes), and Chopart (removal of everything but the heel) to name a few. Partial feet amputations occur in about 2 per 1000 people, making it the most common type of amputation level. Partial foot amputation can occur due to vascular disease, infection, injury, or from birth defects.
What happens at my initial evaluation?
Your first appointment with a practitioner from Dankmeyer will be the initial evaluation. During this appointment, we will take your medical history and review your current conditions. We might ask you questions related to your amputation such as: What was the cause of your amputation? What was your recovery process like? How much progress have you made since your amputation? We will also do a thorough examination of your limb, including testing your range of motion at various joints and your overall strength. We will feel your residual limb to understand its unique qualities: where your bones are located, any tender areas, and the condition and quality of your skin. We also want to learn about your goals: What would you like to accomplish with your prosthesis? Before you leave the office we may perform some "tests" that give us an understanding of your current activity level and so we can compare this to your performance after you have received your prosthesis.
What is Casting and Measurement?
The next appointment will be the casting appointment. At this appointment we will use plaster our fiberglass bandages to wrap your limb in order to capture its exact shape because we do is custom to you. You might find it more comfortable to wear or bring shorts to this appointment, or we can provide disposable paper shorts for you to change into. First we will put a cotton sock on your limb. Then we will mark on this sock your unique anatomy so we know how your limb will fit in the prosthesis. After these marks are completed, we then wrap your limb in plaster or fiberglass bandages, wait for them to dry, and remove the material. While the material is drying, your limb might feel some warmth from the setting process. End the end, e are left with the unique shape of your limb. We may also take various measurements during this process. Generally you will sit, however, we may ask you to lie on your stomach for an extended period of time for a particular way of capturing your limb shape. We will make every effort to talk you through the process as it is going on, and make sure you are as comfortable as possible. This process can last up to an hour but is very important for making a well-fitting prosthesis.
When is the Delivery/Fitting Appointment?
We know you will be waiting with great anticipation for your new device. Once the device has been fabricated, you will be called back for the delivery appointment. During this appointment you will receive your prosthesis and it will be fit specifically to you. Your practitioner may need to add padding, remove material, or reshape the prosthesis in some way to have it fit appropriately to you. It is at this appointment that you will get to stand with your prosthesis and take your first few steps. Your practitioner will help you stand with a walker or you may stand in the parallel bars. Once you are comfortable standing in your prosthesis, your practitioner will help you take your first steps. When you and your practitioner are satisfied with the fit, you can then take your prosthesis home. At this point the practitioner will review how to clean your prosthesis, a break-in schedule to slowly increase the time you wear your prosthesis, and any precautions you may need to take.
Why do I have a Follow Up Appointment?
Approximately two weeks after receiving your prosthesis you will need to come in for a follow-up appointment. During this appointment your practitioner will reassess the fit of your prosthesis and address any initial concerns you have. Your prosthesis may need to be readjusted. Even if you are very satisfied with your prosthesis, it is very important to come to your follow-up appointment we can verify your prosthesis fits well on your limb and there are no problems.
What is the purpose of long term follow up?
Dankmeyer has a program we call LEG-UP - the Lifelong Excellence, Guidance and Usefulness Program. Once your device is delivered, you become a part of this program. After your initial two week follow-up, your practitioner would like for you to come in every 6 to 12 months for long-term follow up. Visiting Dankmeyer at least once or twice a year will help to avoid larger problems in the future by catching any issues you are having early on. During these appointments we will reassess the fit of your prosthesis and adjust it as necessary. However, if you do have any problems sooner than your 6 month appointment, feel free to call and schedule an earlier appointment.