If your prosthesis is government funded it is usually a requirement of the program that you attend an Amputee Clinic to be prescribed a prosthesis. See funding
Like anything which is used a lot, your prosthesis will suffer wear and tear. Repairs and adjustments are an unavoidable part of an amputee's life. These can usually be arranged directly with your prosthetist. Do NOT attempt your own adjustments. You can easily make the problem worse. Funders and Clinics are usually very understanding about routine and accidental damage. However, if you damage your prosthesis negligently you may be billed for the cost. Try to avoid exposing your prosthesis to sand, salt, water or extreme heat. These can all cause your prosthesis to deteriorate. If you are going to use your prosthesis in these conditions discuss it when your limb is being made. It may be possible to alter the choice of components to better suit these conditions.
If you inadvertently do get saltwater or similar on your prosthesis (unplanned romantic walk on the beach, for example) rinse it off with plenty of freshwater as soon as you can and dry it off. If you can't remove the cover to do this then take it to your prosthetist as soon as possible. Certain components such as torque absorbers or locks for pin suspension are particularly vulnerable to sand and salt damage so be especially careful if you have these. Also remember that your prosthesis will be made with a particular weight limit in mind. If you are going to do heavy lifting or much more vigorous activity than normal, check that your prosthesis will be able to handle it.
A small hand mirror can be helpful to achieve this. Look for any inflamed areas or blisters. If you are having trouble seeing areas of your stump ask a family member to help you. Remember, if you have impaired sensation on your stump you may not feel areas that are getting pressure or rubbing from your prosthesis. People with diabetes or skin grafts on their stump can have impaired sensation. In this case a daily visual inspection is even more important.
Most people experience changes in the size and shape of their stump from day to day, or over a long period. You are responsible for keeping an eye on how well your prosthesis fits each day, and adjusting your sock regime to suit. If changing socks does not help you will need to contact you prosthetist. Moisturise your stump daily to keep the skin supple and strong. Dry skin is more easily cracked and is less able to tolerate the pressures of a prosthesis. Moisturising at night allows the cream to be absorbed by the skin, not your stump sock. Ingrown hairs can pose a problem for some amputees. It is recommended that you do not shave or wax your residual limb.
Amputees should check the health of their residual limb on a daily basis.
PH: 1300 136 089
PH: 02 6205 0200
PH: 13 18 55
PH: 1300 362 128
Ph: 1300 654 329
Ph: 132 213
Ph: 1300 360 067
Ph: 13 23 80
Government funding via the public health system is available to Australian citizens. Like many public health services, funding is limited. In most cases the prosthesis you receive will depend on funding allocations per state. Often the more sophisticated prosthetic items are not available.
Some states provide financial support for aids and equipment (assistive devices). There are often waiting times to receive funding for these items and modifications to your home and vehicles. Your Occupational Therapist will advise you how the scheme can support you.
If you have been discharged from rehabilitation or would like additional information contact Occupational Therapy in your respective state.
If you would like more information or to volunteer your services please call (03) 9479 5831
Orthotic Prosthetic Services Tasmania
& The Tasmanian Artificial Limb Scheme
94 Davey Street Hobart Tas 7000
Phone: (03) 6222 7377