« View More Amputee Coalition Publications

Military inStep - A Publication of the Amputee Coalition in Partnership with the U.S. Army Amputee Patient Care Program. 2005.
« Table of Contents
PDF Click here for optional PDF format. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

Getting Your Prosthesis

Ideally, if you are facing an amputation or have recently had one, you will feel much better if you can speak to a prosthetist who can provide important information about what your realistic expectations should be. Speaking to an amputee close to your age, gender and amputation level can be anot her source of quality information.

prostheses and their components

About two weeks after your surgery or when your residual limb is well-healed and there is no drainage, a shrinker will be applied to the residual limb. This is to reduce swelling and help develop a conical shape in your limb in preparation for your initial prosthesis.

Temporary Prosthesis

About four weeks after surgery, a temporary prosthesis will be fabricated. This is sometimes called a temporary or preparatory prosthesis because your residual limb will continue to reduce in volume and change shape dramatically over the next several months. During the first two to six months, you will be monitored closely, and many adjustments and alignment changes will be made as you improve with the help of physical or occupational therapy. Your temporary prosthesis will be used until your residual limb has reached a stable volume.

Selecting the Parts for Your Prosthesis

Your prosthetic components are selected depending upon your residual limb, your strength, your activity level, the types of activities you do, and your preferences. Be sure to let your physician and prosthetist know what your goals are and what you want to do with your prosthesis (walking, golfing, running, etc.). There are many different types of prosthetic parts, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some are lighter, some are easier to put on, some are more durable, but none is best for everyone. Your physician and prosthetist need to know what is important to you so that, as a team, you can make the best choices.

The following articles will introduce you to the different types of prosthetic components available today and help you to become an informed consumer.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Amputee Coalition, the Department of the Army, the Army Medical Department, or any other agency of the US Government.

Back to Top Last updated: 12/07/2014
© 2005. 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.