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Get to Know the 7 Members of Your Recovery Team

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July 24th, 2019

Losing a limb is a life changing event – and while it is never easy, it does not mean you have to lose your independence. 

To help you recover smoothly, Innovative Prosthetics utilizes the entire healthcare team to develop a personalized plan specific to each patient’s needs. We believe in a team-oriented approach to ensure our patients succeed in achieving his/her goals. 

As a new prosthetic user, you are engaged in a process of rehabilitation that involves a team of seven key people. You will work closely with your physician, prosthetist, physical/occupational therapist, and others to increase your mobility and your independence. 

The members of your team guide you and your family through surgery and recovery. Not every team is made up of the same people. But you may work with many of these experts: 

  1. Surgeon – He or she performs the actual surgery and may also write prescriptions needed for further care. 
  2. Physical Therapist (PT) – A PT teaches you stretching and strengthening exercises before and after surgery. The PT helps you learn to walk again after you receive a prosthesis. He or she also teaches you how to use walking aids, if needed. Note that over the course of your lifetime you are likely to use several different prostheses. Each time you receive a new prosthesis, always rely on a round of physical therapy to help you make the most of your new limb. 
  3. Occupational Therapist (OT) – An OT shows you how to resume daily tasks and teaches you self-care skills after surgery. Your OT may provide you with tools to assist you in bathing or dressing. 
  4. Primary Care Doctor – This provider helps you with general medical care through the amputation, as well as during and after recovery. 
  5. Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) – This will be your point of contact for your prosthetic care. Your PCC is a liaison between the patient and the healthcare professionals. They will assist you in collecting documentation from the primary physician, which is vital is getting prosthetic services approved. 
  6. Prosthetist – He or she helps you shape your residual limb for a prosthesis. He or she will also fit your prosthesis and teach you how to care for it. Your prosthetist will play a key role in your life from this point forward, guiding you on issues related to health, mobility, and overall quality of life. 
  7. Peer Support – Peer support comes in many forms: family, friends, and fellow amputees. Peer support is a vital part of your rehabilitation and is especially important if you are feeling discouraged. Positive attitudes and reinforcement from family and friends can inspire patients’ commitment to recovery and help them adapt to new physical challenges or limitations. It is also beneficial to connect with others who understand your experience – ask your PCC or prosthetist to connect you with other new amputees and prosthetic users. 

Each and every one of these members of your team play a crucial role in your success. Rely on your PCC or Prosthetist as your best resource for answers, guidance and information. These two members of your recovery team can also educate perhaps the most important part of your team – your peer support group! 

Adjusting to life with a prosthesis can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible – especially with such a supportive team to cheer you on through surgery and recovery. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and let your recovery team do their jobs. With a support network like this, you’ll be back in no time.

Every prosthesis is unique just like our patients.

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