Financial Assistance for Prosthetic Services, Durable Medical Equipment, and Other Assistive Devices - Amputee Coalition (2023)

Some of the questions most frequently asked by amputees relate to the payment and coverage for the costs of prosthetic fitting and associated services or durable medical equipment (DME), such as wheelchairs, ramps and other adaptive equipment. The prosthetic fitting process can be very costly. Many durable medical devices, such as sophisticated electronic wheelchairs, are also expensive, and many people can experience financial hardship when trying to obtain these and other equipment needed to maintain their independence. This fact sheet will assist you in obtaining financial assistance for these devices that are essential to your day-to-day living.

For additional information and assistance, please contact the Amputee Coalition’s Resource Center at 888/267-5669.

Once you’ve accomplished the above steps, you should take time to consider how you want to justify your request for financial assistance. Some funding sources, particularly government programs, require the applicant to prepare a justification statement before funds are actually appropriated. State vocational rehabilitation agencies normally require that applicants demonstrate how the service or technology will enhance their ability to prepare for, get, or keep a job. If employment is not an expected outcome for you, then the justification statement must show that the device will enhance your independence. Other funding sources will have their own specific requirements.

Success in securing funding frequently depends on the applicant’s ability to address each agency’s unique requirements. Sources of financial assistance range from Medicare and other insurance options to national and local nonprofit organizations. The following is an overview of some of the available resources.

(Video) Healthcare Partner Webinar

Certain nonprofit organizations provide grants that assist amputees in acquiring prosthetic devices or durable medical equipment. See below to find out how you can benefit from this funding.

Ability Found

2324 S Constitution Blvd
West Valley City, UT 84119

877/231-4567

abilityfound.org

This organization does not provide assistance for prosthetics or orthotics, but they do assist with obtaining other types of medical equipment at little to no cost to the patient. This includes shower chairs, hospital beds, manual and power wheelchairs, gait trainers, grab bars, tub benches, and many other items. You must have a medical professional apply on your behalf. This could include a social worker, case manager, nurse, occupational or physical therapist, medical vendor or a physician who is familiar with the type of medical equipment that is needed as well as your specific diagnosis and needs. Please note that items that need to be shipped or adapted to your needs may require a small contribution on behalf of the individual for shipping costs.

More information on applying for assistance can be found at: abilityfound.org/service-providers.

Amputee Blade Runners

356 24th Avenue North, Suite 300
Nashville, TN 37203

615/752-1233

amputeebladerunners.com

Amputee Blade Runners is a nonprofit organization that helps provide free running prosthetics for amputees. Running prosthetics are not covered by insurance and are considered “not medically necessary,” so this organization helps amputees keep an active lifestyle. Their goal is to provide a running prosthesis to one athlete in all 50 states by 2016. They currently have athletes in 24 states who serve as ambassadors to other amputee athletes.

To apply, you must fill out an application at amputeebladerunners.com/want-a-running-leg and send it to the address to the left or email it to amputeebladerunners@gmail.com.

Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF)

9591 Waples St.
San Diego, CA 92121

858/866-0959

challengedathletes.org

caf@challengedathletes.org

To be eligible for a grant through the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s flagship program, Access for Athletes, an athlete’s physical disability must be recognized within the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) classifications. For more information, please visit the IPC Web site at paralympic.org.

To apply for grant funding for coaching fees, competition expenses, or equipment, visit challengedathletes.org/programs/grants/

CAF DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE BASED ON AGE, GENDER, LEVEL OF ABILITY OR SPORT, BUT DOES REQUIRE APPLICANTS TO DEMONSTRATE A CLEAR FINANCIAL NEED FOR THEIR GRANT REQUEST.

Chive Charities

chivecharities.org/recipient

Chive Charities helps underserved people throughout the country with medical needs. They focus on rare medical diseases, but also serve first responders and veterans with medical needs. To apply, go to chivecharities.org/recipient and click on “I am a new applicant.”
Fighting Back Scholarship Program

610/688-8868

fightingbacksp.org

The Fighting Back Scholarship Program is available to individuals who have suffered a life-changing illness or injury and are without finances needed to participate in a rehabilitative exercise program. Financial scholarships are awarded to be used for individualized exercise rehabilitation. To find the application link, go to the main Web site and click the “About” tab at the top of the homepage. Recipients of this scholarship will receive one-on-one rehabilitative training at the Fighting Back facility in Malvern, Pennsylvania. For questions, email scottd@fitnesstrainersinc.com.
Heather Abbot Foundation

181 Belleview Ave #407
Newport, RI 02840

heatherabbottfoundation.org

The Heather Abbot Foundation is committed to helping individuals who have lost limbs due to traumatic circumstances get specialized prosthetic devices.

To apply for a grant through the Heather Abbot Foundation, fill out the form at heatherabbottfoundation.org/get-involved/apply-for-a-grant.

Help Hope Live

2 Radnor Corporate Center, Suite 100
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087

800/642-8399

https://helphopelive.org/

Even for clients who have insurance, a health crisis often becomes a financial crisis. For 35 years, Help Hope Live has been showing clients and families how to bring together a network of relatives, friends and neighbors in fundraising efforts to help cover the costs of uncovered medical expenses. These efforts play a critical role in helping our clients recover and maintain their health and independence.

Since 1983, Help Hope Live has helped thousands of people raise millions of dollars to help pay a wide range of expenses, including out-of-pocket costs for: medications, durable medical equipment, home health care, wheelchair-accessibility modifications, physical therapy, innovative treatments, medical travel and temporary relocation, even emergency living assistance.

Life Nets
The Wheelchair Project

lifenets.org/wheelchair

The Wheelchair Project takes donated wheelchairs and gives them to individuals in need. To request a wheelchair, go to lifenets.org/wheelchair and click “Make a Request for a Wheelchair.” Follow the instructions to complete a form with personal information, including the type and size of wheelchair that you need. If you have difficulty with this process, email mike@lifenets.org.
Limbs for Life Foundation

9604 N May Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73120

888/235-5462

limbsforlife.org

admin@limbsforlife.org

Limbs for Life provides assistance for lower-limb amputees. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S. They must have no other means to pay for prosthetic care including Medicare, insurance coverage or state assistance. They must work with a prosthetist or clinic that agrees to accept LFL payment as full payment for their services.

To apply for assistance, visit limbsforlife.org/get-help.

Limb Preservation Foundation

1721 E 19th Ave, Suite 106
Denver, CO 80218

303/429-0688

limbpreservation.org

The Limb Preservation Foundation is committed to the prevention and treatment of limb threatening conditions due to cancer, trauma or infection. The Foundation raises funds to support research, education, college scholarship and patient assistance programs.

Currently, the Limb Preservation Foundation is only able to serve individuals residing in the Rocky Mountain Region (limited to the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming).

Mending Limbs Organization

214 Watson View Dr.
Franklin, TN 37067

615/390-3450

mendinglimbs.org/

Mending Limbs is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance with funding for prosthetic costs that are not adequately covered by insurance. To apply, complete and submit the form online at mendinglimbs.org/funding-application.
Move For Jenn

P.O. Box 77578
Charlotte, NC 28271

704/710-6299

moveforjenn.org

The Move For Jenn Foundation offers grants to sarcoma researchers and those who have suffered the loss of a limb to sarcoma or other affiliated diseases. The foundation’s goal is to help sarcoma amputees afford or obtain an active-wear prosthetic, allowing them to regain strength and mobility faster and getting them back to the physical activities they enjoyed prior to amputation.
Prosthesis Grant Application.
National Amputation Foundation

40 Church Street
Malverne, NY 11565

516/887-3600

amps76@aol.com

The National Amputation Foundation’s donated medical equipment is available to any person in need through their Medical Equipment Give-A-Way Program. This includes wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, canes and crutches. While this program is open to anyone in need, the item(s) need to be picked up at the Foundation’s office.

To learn about how you can benefit from the National Amputation Foundation’s Medical Equipment Give-A-Way Program, visit nationalamputation.org.

National Military Family Association

militaryfamily.org/info-resources/efmp-special-needs.html

The Exceptional Family Member Program offers support to military families to help ensure that these families are not sent to areas where adequate services for medical, educational, or psychosocial needs cannot be met. The EFMP also provides information and support programs to families to help connect them to local services. This Web site explains the enrollment process for each branch.
ROMP USAP

P.O. Box 100915
Denver, CO 80250

rompglobal.org/usap/

The Range of Motion Project (ROMP) US Assistance Program (USAP) serves people with amputation who do not have access to prosthetic care due to immigration status, lack of insurance or extreme financial hardship.
Steps of Faith Foundation

P.O. Box 15064
Lenexa, KS 66285

615-426-6034

stepsoffaithfoundation.org

Steps of Faith helps uninsured and under-insured amputees get the prosthetic limbs they desperately need to restore their livelihood. We find prosthetists to donate their time to help our patients and we raise money to cover the cost of prosthetic limbs. Contact billy@stepsoffiathfoundation.org for questions.
Steve Chamberlin’s 50 Legs

50legs.org

50 Legs provides amputees with the necessary care and prosthetics that they could not otherwise afford. To apply, go to the Web site; click the tab at the top labeled “More” then click on “Application for Assistance,” or find the application at this link: https://50legs.org/application-for-assistance/.
The Wheelchair Recycler

508/460-6328

wheelchairrecycler.org

This nonprofit group refurbishes donated power wheelchairs and reissues them direct to consumers at little to no cost to the new user. Most equipment is 90% below market value. To request current availability and cost of wheelchairs, submit your information on the form located at wheelchairrecycler.org/buy-a-wheelchair/.
Local Service ClubsLions, Rotary, Elks, Shriners, or any other fraternity or special interest groups in your community could provide dollars or assistance in fundraising. You can contact the respective local organization for further information.

For assistance in finding a local service club, contact the Amputee Coalition Resource Center at 888-267-5669.

Various organizations exist that specialize in assisting children in need of prosthetic devices. These are listed below. Children may also qualify for the above listed assistance programs, but the following groups exist to serve children and, in some cases, young adults.

(Video) Veterans Webinar

Success in securing funding frequently depends on the applicant’s ability to address each agency’s unique requirements. Sources of financial assistance range from Medicare and other insurance options to national and local nonprofit organizations. The following is an overview of some of the available resources.

It is not the intention of the Amputee Coalition to provide specific medical or legal advice but rather to provide consumers with information to better understand their health and healthcare issues. The Amputee Coalition does not endorse any specific treatment, technology, company, service or device. Consumers are urged to consult with their healthcare providers for specific medical advice or before making any purchasing decisions involving their care.

This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90LLRC0001-04-00, from the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

(Video) Where to Find & How to Access Support

© Amputee Coalition. Local reproduction for use by Amputee Coalition constituents is permitted as long as this copyright information is included. Organizations or individuals wishing to reprint this article in other publications, including other World Wide Web sites must contact the Amputee Coalition for permission to do so.

FAQs

How can I get a free prosthetic leg? ›

Amputee Blade Runners is a nonprofit organization that helps provide free running prosthetics for amputees. Running prosthetics are not covered by insurance and are considered “not medically necessary,” so this organization helps amputees keep an active lifestyle.

When should I start wearing a stump shrinker? ›

When Are They Worn? You will begin wearing a shrinker when healing of the incision is well underway. They are worn at night time and any time when the prosthesis is not being used. If you are not wearing a prosthesis, the shrinker should be worn both day and night with the exception of two 20 minute breaks, if desired.

Do you need a prescription for a prosthetic? ›

Yes. A prosthetic device is affecting your body in one way or another. Therefore, a physician's approval/prescription will ensure proper treatment of your physical condition and is needed by law. An initial consultation with our clinicians does not require a prescription.

How much does the best prosthetic leg cost? ›

The cost of a prosthetic leg depends on two primary factors, including the type of prosthetic and how much the patient's insurance covers. More basic prosthetics can cost around $5,000, while more advanced, computerized prosthetic legs may reach $70,000.

What benefits can an amputee claim? ›

If your amputation continues to prevent you from working or living independently, then you may qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration's program. To qualify for disability benefits for your amputation, you need to meet the SSA's Blue Book listing.

How many hours a day can you wear a prosthetic leg? ›

If you are a new amputee, your shrinker should be worn 23 hours a day, except when you are bathing or washing the residual limb. If you have been an amputee and now have a prosthesis, you should wear your shrinker only while sleeping at night.

How long does an amputee have to wear a shrinker? ›

When Can I Stop Wearing Shrinkers? If at least 6 months has gone by since the fitting of your prosthesis, you can try one night without the shrinkers. If you can put on your prosthesis easily the next morning, you can try not wearing it at night. Do not throw out your shrinkers.

How long do you have to wear a shrinker? ›

Your shrinker should be worn all day and then removed at night to allow for it to be cleaned and dried. When you remove your shrinker before bed be sure to gently clean your limb and check your skin for any redness that lasts longer than 45 minutes, changes in color, and/or open wounds.

Do you wear socks on a prosthetic foot? ›

PROSTHETIC SOCKS AND LINERS ARE THE INTERFACE MATERIALS IN CONTACT WITH THE RESIDUAL LIMB AND ARE INTEGRAL TO THE COMFORT OF THE PROSTHESIS. Traditionally, prosthetic socks have provided cushioning and a means to adjust the volume of the socket.

Why can't you sleep with a prosthetic leg? ›

It is essential to take off a prosthetic limb before going to bed each night. Sleeping with a prosthesis on can cause injuries to the limb caused by awkward sleep positions or constant pressure on the limb from the prosthetic device.

Is having a prosthetic leg a disability? ›

If you have a prosthetic limb that allows you to walk effectively, your application for Social Security disability benefits may be denied. However, you may be eligible for benefits if you can prove that even with a prosthetic limb: You are limited in the amount of time that you can stand or walk.

Why cant you sleep with a prosthetic on? ›

A prosthesis is to help you achieve greater mobility. When you are trying to sleep, though, a prosthetic limb does not offer any benefit. It only gets in the way of sleeping comfortably. Secondly, you should not sleep with a prosthetic limb because it can cause injury.

How Much Does Medicare pay for a prosthetic leg? ›

Original Medicare typically pays 80 percent of all approved costs for prosthetic devices, including artificial eyes and limbs. Your prosthetic device must be considered medically necessary to receive Medicare coverage. You may need to get prior authorization before Medicare pays your claim. Maximize Your 2023 Savings!

Does insurance cover a prosthetic leg? ›

Employer-sponsored insurance

According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), small group insurance plans cover the Essential Health Benefits, and this includes prosthetics. Even if you work for a large corporation, you might find that their insurance plan offers coverage for prosthetic limbs.

How does an amputee take a shower? ›

A water-resistant chair or bench is ideal for shower or bath use because it allows you to sit at a normal height while washing. A bench that extends to the outside of the tub will enable you to sit down and then slide to the inside of the tub.

How can an amputee get disability? ›

The only way to collect Social Security disability benefits for amputation is if the condition makes it impossible for the amputee to earn a regular income. Amputees may qualify for benefits by meeting the Social Security Administration's: Official impairment listing.

How much disability do you get for losing a limb? ›

VA disability for losing arms or hands

Military amputees who have lost both arms or both hands in service will receive a 100% disability rating. The rating for amputation of the dominant hand is 70%. It is 60% for the non-dominant hand. The VA disability ratings for loss of one arm are outlined in the chart below.

Do you get money if you lose a limb? ›

The fact that you have had a body part amputated doesn't automatically qualify you for disability benefits. The only exceptions to this rule are if you have had both hands amputated, a leg amputated up through the hip joint ("hip disarticulation"), or a pelvic amputation ("hemipelvectomy").

Is walking with a prosthetic leg hard? ›

Walking on a prosthesis is more difficult than without one. It's hard to remember to pick up your foot and take a step. Even if your leg had been amputated below the knee, you'll need help at first from crutches or another person who can hold onto you for balance.

How long does it take to walk with a prosthetic leg? ›

Overall, this learning process can take up to one year, especially if you have had an above-knee amputation. Remember that building confidence and staying healthy is key to the process of learning to walk with a prosthetic leg.

Is it painful to walk with prosthetic leg? ›

The feeling of walking with a prosthetic is very difficult to describe - it's like trying to describe how it feels to taste ice cream to someone without a tongue. It's really difficult to use at first and feels like walking on a boot with an extremely thick sole, with tight laces that go all the way up to your knee.

How often do you have to replace a prosthetic leg? ›

Your prosthetist might recommend adjusting your current equipment or replacing one of the components. Or you might get a prescription for a new prosthetic leg, which happens on average every three to five years. If you receive new components, it's important to take the time to understand how they work.

How long does a prosthetic sleeve last? ›

That depends on your activity level and how well you take care of your prosthesis. A rule of thumb is from two to four years.

How do you clean a stump shrinker? ›

Stump Shrinker Guide for Patients and Caregivers - YouTube

Do amputees wear socks? ›

Adjusting the thickness or number of prosthetic socks worn on one's residual limb is a means for people with limb loss to accommodate changes in socket fit. Adding socks is recommended clinically to accommodate residual limb volume loss over the day1.

What is the purpose of a stump shrinker? ›

Shrinkers are used to reduce, prevent or control swelling (edema) in the below knee residual limb. They are designed to fit snugly and apply pressure to the soft tissues of the stump. The shrinker can be applied over dressings as necessary.

What's a shrinker? ›

shrinker in American English

1. a person or thing that shrinks. 2. a device or chemical substance for shrinking.

What shoes are best for prosthetic legs? ›

Generally speaking, running shoes or sneakers are best for amputees. They're firm and sturdy, usually have a good heel height and usually feature shock-absorbing soles. However, variety is the spice of life.

How many socks can you wear with a prosthetic leg? ›

Add only one ply of sock at a time. Sometimes your residual limb may swell a little and you may need to wear fewer ply of socks.

How can I make my prosthetic leg more comfortable? ›

Silicone Liner for Prosthetic Leg

The liner protects your skin from the prosthetic material and enhances comfort as you go about your activities. A silicone liner for a prosthetic leg is both soft and durable compared to other types of liners.

How do amputees sleep? ›

This strengthens your circadian cycle and will help to establish regular sleep patterns. Amputees have also said that sleeping on the side where they lost a limb can make sleeping hard because it feels “off.” Try sleeping on your back, other side or stomach! Put your prosthesis on before sitting up from bed.

Do amputees have trouble sleeping? ›

In 2 different studies, it was revealed that most amputated patients had phantom pain and 62% of these patients had impaired sleep quality (19,20).

Can I shower with my prosthetic leg? ›

Showering with a prosthesis is a possibility, although most people do not choose to do this because it's necessary to clean the residual limb anyway. Equipping the shower with grab bars and a shower chair is important to reduce the chance of falls.

Do amputees get PIP? ›

It's important that this disability is recognised as such and all Amputees are given PIP enhanced rate.

Can you drive after leg amputation? ›

Some people with amputations are able to drive a standard car, particularly if it has automatic transmission and power steering. Other helpful features, like height-adjustable seats, are available on a wide range of cars too. The less a car has to be modified to suit your needs, the higher its resale value.

How long is a hospital stay after a leg amputation? ›

An amputation usually requires a hospital stay of five to 14 days or more, depending on the surgery and complications. The procedure itself may vary, depending on the limb or extremity being amputated and the patient's general health.

How long does it take to heal from a below the knee amputation? ›

You will probably be able to return to work and your usual routine when your remaining limb heals. This can be as soon as 4 to 8 weeks after surgery, but it may take longer.

How much is a waterproof prosthetic leg? ›

Even though there are some waterproof prosthetic legs on the market, the cost is very high. To customize a lower extremity prosthesis can range in cost from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on needs. Amputees are barely willing to purchase an extra one only for shower.

How often does Medicare pay for a prosthesis? ›

Once you meet the Part B deductible, Medicare pays 80% of the cost. Medicare will also cover replacement prosthetics every five years.

Does Medicare pay for a prosthesis? ›

Part B covers certain doctors' services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. covers prosthetic devices needed to replace a body part or function when a Medicare-enrolled doctor or other health care provider orders them.

Do amputees qualify for Medicare? ›

What Coverage Does Medicare Offer for People with Limb Loss or Limb Difference? Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers these items as durable medical equipment (DME): Arm, leg, back, and neck braces if deemed medically necessary. Artificial limbs and eyes when your doctor orders them.

How can I get a free prosthetic leg? ›

Amputee Blade Runners is a nonprofit organization that helps provide free running prosthetics for amputees. Running prosthetics are not covered by insurance and are considered “not medically necessary,” so this organization helps amputees keep an active lifestyle.

Is amputation covered by insurance? ›

Amputation surgery generally is covered by health insurance, often even in cases where a patient chooses to undergo the surgery because of pain or a limb that is not useful.

How long after a leg amputation can you get a prosthetic? ›

Rehabilitation Process and Timelines

Prosthetic fitting can start as soon as surgical wounds are sufficiently healed, normally within 6 to 8 weeks of amputation, with exceptions for dysvascular or multitrauma patients. Then on, initial prosthetic fitting and training may take 2 weeks.

How do double leg amputees go to the bathroom? ›

How do double leg amputees go to the bathroom? - YouTube

How do you shower with below the knee amputation? ›

AmputeeOT: Safe Showers and Baths for Amputees - YouTube

How do I prepare my house for an amputee? ›

Set up a comfortable place in your home where you can rest as you recover. Include an area within arm's reach to store all of the things you regularly use. Ensure furniture placements allow clear paths and plenty of room to navigate. Assemble a wardrobe with clothing that is easy to get on and off.

Can all amputees get a prosthetic leg? ›

While many people with limb loss do well with their prosthetic legs, not everyone is a good candidate for a leg prosthesis. A few questions you may want to discuss with your doctor before opting for a prosthetic leg include: Is there enough soft tissue to cushion the remaining bone?

Can you pawn a prosthetic leg? ›

Prosthetics are expensive items, so many people come looking for them at pawn shops. If, for whatever reason, you no longer need the prosthetic limb in your life, consider selling it for some quick cash at your local pawn shop.

How does a below the knee prosthetic work? ›

The socket is the molding that fits over your residual limb and attaches the prosthesis to your leg. Once snugly placed, the suspension system is what keeps the leg attached to the body. The suspension system will use a sleeve suction, vacuum suction, or distal locking method.

Is there a prosthetic foot? ›

The most basic prosthetic feet come in two types: Solid Ankle Cushioned Heel (SACH) and Elastic Keel configurations.

Why do amputees have a shorter lifespan? ›

How Does Traumatic Amputation Affect Life Expectancy? Post-traumatic lower limb amputees have an increased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease. Psychological stress, insulin resistance, and behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use, and physical inactivity are prevalent in traumatic lower limb amputees.

How painful is a leg amputation? ›

Many people who have an amputation experience some degree of stump pain or "phantom limb" pain. Stump pain can have many different causes, including rubbing or sores where the stump touches a prosthetic limb, nerve damage during surgery and the development of neuromas.

How long does prosthesis last after amputation? ›

If the prosthesis is a traditional one that uses suction to attach to your remaining limb, you will likely receive it after your amputation site has healed, which usually takes about six weeks. If the site heals well and there are no complications, you can begin to use your prosthetic.

How much does a below the knee prosthetic leg cost? ›

The cost of a prosthetic leg below the knee ranges from $3,000 to $24,000.

How much are blade legs? ›

Buying a prosthesis isn't cheap. That price doubles if you need a second one, or is slightly more if you want a running blade. For a below the knee amputee, a single running blade can cost nearly $3,500. Go above the knee—requiring a knee socket—that cost goes up to $8,000 to $9,000.

Is there a market for used prosthetic legs? ›

An estimated 300,000 prosthetic limbs a year are discarded in America. No secondary market exists for them because of regulation and risk of liability.

What is the difference between a prosthesis and a prosthetic? ›

A prosthesis is a man-made substitute for a missing body part (just one is called a prosthesis and is also often called a prosthetic; the plural is prostheses). Sometimes, a part of the body must be removed if cancer is found there. Sometimes getting treatment might result in hair loss.

How long does it take to walk with a prosthetic leg? ›

Most people can learn how to use a prosthetic leg within five months after the surgery. This is only an average, however; some may take longer than that. You'll get faster and more confident with practice. If you feel discouraged, don't stop practicing—you will get better!

What is the most common prosthetic leg? ›

The prosthetic socket serves several important roles. It protects the residual limb but also allows for weight-bearing and load distribution. The most commonly used socket today is a patellar tendon-bearing (PTB) prosthesis. This socket is used specifically for transtibial amputations.

How hard is it to walk with a prosthetic foot? ›

The feeling of walking with a prosthetic is very difficult to describe - it's like trying to describe how it feels to taste ice cream to someone without a tongue. It's really difficult to use at first and feels like walking on a boot with an extremely thick sole, with tight laces that go all the way up to your knee.

How long after a leg amputation can you get a prosthetic? ›

Rehabilitation Process and Timelines

Prosthetic fitting can start as soon as surgical wounds are sufficiently healed, normally within 6 to 8 weeks of amputation, with exceptions for dysvascular or multitrauma patients. Then on, initial prosthetic fitting and training may take 2 weeks.

How does an amputee take a shower? ›

A water-resistant chair or bench is ideal for shower or bath use because it allows you to sit at a normal height while washing. A bench that extends to the outside of the tub will enable you to sit down and then slide to the inside of the tub.

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