What to Expect
HOW DO I GET MY CUSTOM PROSTHESIS?
The following information is designed to assist our patients in understanding the process they will go through to get their prosthesis. Every patient has their own set of circumstances and every situation is different. The length of time it takes to start the process after your amputation depends on the length of time it takes your residual limb and incision site to heal. Norell will guide you through this transition every step of the way. Our peer visitors will consult with you before and after your procedure and our expertly trained practitioners will ensure your experience is a pleasant one throughout the entire process. Your doctor will decide when you are sufficiently healed and ready to begin the process. Usually each visit occurs a week apart.
FIRST VISIT – EVALUATION AND CASTING
On your first visit we will gather clinical and personal background information from you. This includes your address, phone number, height, weight, age, prescribing physician, and medical history. We will consult and discuss the prosthetic options available to you based on our professional assessment of your strength, activity level, and goals.
Prior to casting, we also examine your residual limb for any prominent bones, sensitive areas, and swelling. It is extremely important that your leg not be swollen when we take a cast of your leg to make the socket. If you are swollen, you will need to wear a shrinker to remove fluid from your limb and make another appointment for the casting of your residual limb.
Some insurance companies require prior authorization before starting the procedure to make your prosthesis. If this is the case, we will do only the evaluation at this appointment. Once we get authorization, we will contact you to make an appointment to be casted.
Once your leg is at a consistent volume and we have verified your insurance coverage, we will take measurements and a cast of your residual limb. We will also take measurements of your sound leg to ensure the height of the prosthesis is accurate.
SECOND VISIT – INITIAL FITTING AND ALIGNMENT
During this appointment you will be fit with a clear plastic socket that was made from the cast of your residual limb. This is called a “check socket”, it is used to check the fit of the prosthesis on your residual limb. During this appointment we will need the shoes you will be wearing the most often with your prosthesis. You will walk between the parallel bars while wearing the check socket. At this time we will check for correct height and also change the alignment of the prosthesis. Changing the alignment means that we make changes which will improve your gait (how you walk) and give you the greatest stability and comfort.
Depending on the situations encountered during this appointment, you may possibly need another check socket made which will mean an additional visit.
THIRD VISIT – FITTING AND DELIVERY
During this appointment you will be fit with your new custom prosthesis along with a supply of prosthetic socks. Your practitioner will educate you on the proper donning of your prosthesis and how to determine the correct number of prosthetic socks to wear. If this is your first prosthesis, do not expect to wear it all the time right away. We recommend a short period of time the first day and gradually increase the wearing time each day. You should check the skin on your residual limb often for signs of irritation or redness. Redness over a large area that dissipates after removal of the prosthesis is usually normal. If you have localized redness caused by pressure, please contact your practitioner asap for an appointment so that the correct changes can be made. Norell also recommends that first time prosthetic wearers receive physical therapy. They will “teach” you how to walk and do other daily activities while wearing your prosthesis.
Your practitioner will schedule a follow-up appointment for 1-2 weeks after you receive your prosthesis. At this time we will address any concerns or problems you may be having. If you begin to experience discomfort before this appointment, call our office to schedule an earlier appointment.
If you begin to experience discomfort, remember that your prosthesis has not changed. It is more likely that your residual limb has undergone a physical change. Your prosthesis was designed to fit your residual limb’s unique shape. If your limb is not in the socket properly or if the shape of your residual limb has changed, it can be uncomfortable. Often this discomfort can be relieved by adding or removing prosthetic socks.
WE ❤︎ OUR PATIENTS
Sean, it was really nice meeting you yesterday. Last night was the best nights sleep I've had in a long time. I only woke up twice instead of many times in order to adjust the other shrinker. I am looking forward to working with you and your team.
Wow! Aren’t you and Ian just wonderful! Thank you so much for your hard work and caring for our patients today. You have made a bit difference to their lives just by sharing your expertise today.
Let me know what I can do to help things move along.
"Thank you so much for the video. This is Trevor Pegg, David Pegg's son. We were able to have a family dinner together Christmas day and he he walked into my mom's house on his own two feet. Thank you so much for your hard work."
"Fantastic work, thanks so very much. It means so much to him and he's had nothing but high praise for his relationship with his prosthetic team."
"This company is amazing! They have gone above and beyond in making cervical braces for my 15 month old. Their customer service is amazing. We love Mike Norell, he is dedicated to his craft. It's because of his dedication that Abby is walking just a couple months after having her cervical spine fused. Great Company!"
"Norell Prosthetics has provided me with a leg prosthesis that I have now worn for over two years. I am pleased with the professional and pleasant manner of the staff. Many thanks to you all."
"Norell offers an extensive product line and friendly service. Susan was very helpful and she took the time to ensure fit of the prosthesis. Thanks!!!"
"Susan was very easy to work with. She made my experience at Norell a very positive one. I highly recommend her expertise."
"Susan, A few words of thanks. You have made me feel so comfortable over the years while being fitted. I left your office again today knowing I looked my best thanks to your expertise, humor and warmth a pleasant experience."
"After my chemo sessions were over, my insurance company sent me to a prosthetic company, here in the Bay Area, to fit for a right breast prosthetic and bras. I arrived at the office and they made me feel as if I was wasting their time. Leaving that office, I felt like it was my fault that I had breast cancer. No compassion at all.
The next time I was due for new bras, I had a different insurance. After looking online for the closest prosthetic company, praying to God it wasn't the first place I went to, I came upon Norell Prosthetics in Mountain View, CA! And OH MY GAWD.....what a difference it was from the first place I went to!! The whole staff at Norell was so friendly, so understanding and fun! Their products were by far more fashionable, comfortable and modern. They make you feel so welcome and don't let you leave until you are totally satisfied!
I am back to my original insurance but I refuse to go to the "cold" office and I am paying out of pocket, but it is well worth it!"
" Taylor I just wanted to thank you so very much for everything you did for Geordie today. I haven't seen him this uplifted in weeks. Thanks so much for the practical advice. It is so good for him to talk to a peer. You sure are suited to your job!"