Clients are seen at Custom Prosthetic Services Ltd. on an appointment basis, where possible. Our office hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday to Friday, except holidays. Home visits and extended hours can be arranged in advance. Please inquire about dates and times at our office.
Initial referral to Custom Prosthetic Services is via the client's family physician, supervising physician specialist, or allied health professional. Clients with new amputations are typically first seen by Custom Prosthetic Services within the first three weeks post-amputation surgery, for initial prosthetic assessment. A coordinated approach for treatment is developed at that time with the participation of nursing, therapy, medicine, social work, nutritional and Custom Prosthetic Services as well as the direct involvement of the client and their family where possible. In most cases our clients can expect to receive their first prosthesis within six weeks post-amputation surgery.
Ongoing prosthetic needs for persons with longer established amputations are attended to based on a referral from the physician, allied health professional, or at the client's initiative. In addition to these referrals, Custom Prosthetic Services conducts periodic surveys and client follow-up visits to maintain contact with our amputee clients and ensure that their needs are being met.
Initial Assessment of an amputee client includes a full investigation of their medical and prosthetic history, as well as the identification of their desired rehabilitation goals. A physical examination of the client's affected limb reveals any conditions, which may have to be accommodated within the prosthesis such as scar tissue, painful areas or joint motion impairment. Geoffrey will discuss the physical and mechanical possibilities and limitations of various prosthetic designs with the client and with the referring physician. Drawing on the client's input, Geoffrey will suggest a prosthetic design that will as closely as possible satisfy the client's functional, comfort and cosmetic needs. Finally, Geoffrey and Kirsten will help the client arrange financing terms or complete applications to funding agencies for the prescribed prosthesis.
Custom Prosthetic Services is registered with all medical paying agencies in the Province of British Columbia and many additional paying agencies across Canada, and we strive to deliver the most cost-effective and beneficial devices for all of our clients.
Measurement for the prescribed prosthesis involves the application of a carefully molded plaster cast or other imaging of the amputated limb. Detailed dimensional measurements of the limb and the identification of painful or sensitive areas of concern accompany this procedure.
Model modification involves making shape adjustments to the digital or physical model of the client's limb, such that compressions are made to regions of the limb that can tolerate pressure and will support weight bearing, while relief is made to sensitive areas.
Fabrication of the prosthesis usually begins with the formation of a socket. Often, an initial diagnostic socket is made onto which components are added. These components include tubes, adapters, joints, and feet for lower extremity prosthetics, and terminal devices, wrists, elbows, shoulders and harness and cables for upper extremity prosthetics. Technology is used to great advantage in the form of lightweight metal alloys, plastic reinforced composites and foams to provide a comfortable, strong and lightweight device.
Prosthetic fitting follows and involves the fitting and adjusting of the prosthetic device to the client. Some training of the client with respect to the care and operation of the prosthetic device is done at this time and if further training is required the client is referred to an appropriate physical therapist or occupational therapist for more intensive work.
Follow-up continues throughout the amputee client's life, as conditions such as residual limb shape changes, weight changes and lifestyle changes can all have an impact on prosthetic fit and function.