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    What to Expect From an Amputation Procedure

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Most often, doctors recommend amputations for patients who suffer from poor circulation, usually as a result of peripheral artery disease. Amputations may also be required because of physical trauma, severe infections, and complications due to diabetes. If you’re expecting an amputation, you can meet with a custom prosthetic provider ahead of the surgery to learn more about what you can expect. The prosthetic provider will work closely with your doctors and therapists to ensure you receive the best prosthetic for your unique needs.


    Prior to the procedure, you’ll consult your doctor to learn what you can expect from the surgery. This is a good opportunity to ask all of the questions you have about the surgery itself and your recovery. You can expect to undergo a physical exam and other diagnostic tests, such as blood tests. You should also schedule a pre-surgery evaluation with the prosthetic provider. Since the procedure will be performed under general anesthesia, you’ll need to refrain from eating and drinking for a period of time.


    After you are placed under anesthesia, the surgeon will evaluate your skin temperature, color, and other factors to determine how much of the tissue to remove. Sometimes, after tissue removal, the surgeon may determine that more of the limb requires removal. However, the doctor will attempt to leave as much of the functioning limb as possible. After applying sutures and a dressing, the doctor applies a stocking or a splint over the remainder of the limb.


    After the surgery, you’ll be monitored closely as you come out of the anesthesia. You’re likely to remain in the hospital for several days, during which time you may work with a physical therapist and other specialists. Your prosthetic provider will fit your prosthetic device and teach you how to use it. You may begin practicing with your prosthetic device as early as two weeks after the surgery.

    At Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics, you can take advantage of pre-amputation counseling services and immediate post-surgery fittings to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. We provide custom prosthetics for lower limbs, upper limbs, and partial foot. You can reach our offices in Harrisburg, Washington, D.C., or Philadelphia by calling (717) 337-2273.

    Tips for Using an Ankle Foot Orthosis

    Last updated 3 months ago

    When you first obtain your ankle foot orthosis (AFO), you’ll need to adhere to a specific wearing schedule during the initial breaking-in period. For the first day, it’s best to only wear the AFO for one hour. Double your wearing time on each subsequent day until you are wearing it for eight hours on the fourth day. Then, wear the AFO as prescribed. However, remember to always remove the AFO before sleeping.

    When putting on your AFO, first put on a sock and loosen the laces or the Velcro on the AFO. Sit down so that your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Use a shoehorn to put on the AFO; this will prevent wear and tear damage. Tie the laces or fasten the Velcro, and then fasten the shin strap. Remember to clean the AFO as recommended by the manufacturer.

    Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics provides top-of-the-line AFOs and custom prosthetics. To schedule a fitting with one of our Orthotists, call our Harrisburg, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C. locations at (717) 337-2273.

    Getting to Know the Features of the i-LIMB Pulse

    Last updated 3 months ago

    The i-LIMB Pulse is an advanced hand prosthesis that can grasp objects just like a normal hand would. It’s equipped with four different grip patterns to enable the user to move individual fingers. This exceptional dexterity allows for the gripping of small objects. The i-LIMB Pulse also features built-in pressure sensors on every finger. These allow the prosthesis to adapt the grasp of the object when gentler pressure is needed.

    You can learn more about the i-LIMB Pulse by watching this video. You’ll see an interview with a man who was born without his left hand. He explains how he learned to control the movements of the prosthesis and discusses its many features.

    Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics provides individual evaluations and fittings for prosthetic devices, including the i-LIMB Pulse. Individuals in the Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Washington, D.C. areas can schedule an appointment by calling (717) 337-2273.

    Celebrating 10 Years of Lifenhanced!

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Answering Some Common Questions About Scoliosis

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal condition characterized by the abnormal curvature of the spine. If you have been diagnosed with scoliosis, you likely have a lot of questions about your condition. Your doctor can walk you through the basics of scoliosis, including your treatment options. For many people, spinal orthotics presents an attractive treatment option. Spinal orthotics are particularly ideal for adolescents who are still growing.

    What Are the Symptoms of Scoliosis?

    Since the symptoms of scoliosis are difficult to detect, most people are unaware that they have it until they undergo a physical exam. The typical signs and symptoms can include uneven shoulders and an uneven waist. You might notice that one shoulder blade is more prominent than the other or that one hip is higher.

    What Are the Causes of Scoliosis?

    There are different types of scoliosis caused by a range of conditions. If you are diagnosed with congenital scoliosis, it means that you had a bone abnormality at birth. Degenerative scoliosis is caused by physical trauma, such as from a collapsed vertebra. Neuromuscular scoliosis can be caused by spina bifida or cerebral palsy, which involves abnormal nerves and muscles.

    Which Diagnostic Tests Are Helpful?

    The doctor can perform a physical exam and review your medical history. He or she may perform a neurological exam to assess the possibility of numbness, muscle weakness, or abnormal reflexes. Imaging tests can also be helpful for diagnosing scoliosis, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, bone scans, and computerized tomography (CT) scans.

    Which Treatment Options Are Available?

    Doctors generally recommend spinal orthotics for adolescents with a spinal curve of less than 40 degrees. Spinal orthotics can stop the curvature from worsening. Those with a more severe curvature are often good candidates for surgery. During a scoliosis surgery, metallic implants and bone grafts are used to modify the curvature and prevent it from worsening.

    The certified practitioners of Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics provide innovative, customized orthotics solutions for individuals with scoliosis and other conditions. You can read more about our orthotics and custom prosthetics on our website or give us a call at (717) 337-2273. We provide individual fittings on our orthotics and prosthetics to individuals in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas.

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