Prosthetics is the art and science of developing artificial replacements for body parts. This branch of the allied medical field provides custom fitting, design, and fabrication of artificial limbs for those individuals who have lost a limb because of a congenital defect, disease, or trauma.
A prosthesis is used to care for patients with the partial or total absence of a limb. At Alabama Artificial Limb & Orthopedic Service, Inc. (AALOS) we specialize in designing, fabricating, and fitting patients with high-quality, comfortable prosthesis.
In providing prosthetic services to our patients, we examine and evaluate his or her prosthetic needs, formulate the design, including selection of materials and componentry, make all necessary casts, measurements, and model modifications. Services also include static and dynamic alignments, evaluation of the prosthesis on the patient, patient instruction on use and care, and working with the consulting physician, other members of the rehab team and case managers.
Types of Prosthetics
National statistics indicate that divisions of prosthetic patient are approximately: lower limb amputees 86% and upper limb amputees 14%. In the AALOS coverage area, we see a slightly higher lower limb percentage and lower upper limb percentage due to the patient population. A more specific breakdown of patient population subsets in the AALOS coverage area is:
Lower Limb Prosthetics
+ Transtibial/Below Knee – approximately 70%
+ Transfemoral/Above knee- approximately 25%
+ Hip disarticulation, less than 1%
+ Knee Disarticulation, less than 1%
+ Symes, less than 2%
At AALOS, we are committed to:
AALOS continues to update and upgrade our CAD/CAM software and hardware to provide the highest level of precision to the prosthetics we fabricate. AALOS has remained a technology leader in the O&P field with our investment in the Tracer CAD system, considered by many to be the next generation of computer imaging and fabrication. Tracer CAD directly digitizes the patient’s residual limb in order to create an exact computer image of the limb.
The resulting on-screen, three-dimensional model allows the practitioner to design and adjust a prosthetic model more precisely than ever before possible. Additionally, the Tracer CAD system stores each patient’s file for easy future reference, often eliminating additional trips to the laboratory for our patients. Combined with the Tracer CAD system is AALOS’s PDI carver, which allows for greatly improved speed and accuracy in fabricating prosthetic sockets. Together, these systems represent a tremendous investment in the future and help us to redefine the possible for our patients.
AALOS is committed to fitting individuals who have amputated limbs with prosthetic devices that best suit their specific lifestyles and goals. Because each individual has unique needs regarding function, durability, comfort and appearance, the professional staff at AALOS fits and fabricates a wide variety of both lower and upper limb prostheses. We strive to build a personal relationship with each of our patients.
AALOS tests and uses the best available materials in the fabrication of our prosthetic devices. For instance, we fit many of our lower limb prosthetic patients with the latest and most comfortable interface technology: The Alpha Liner. This liner combines a comfortable gel layer, which contacts the skin, with an outer fabric layer that slides easily into the socket and provides durable protection for the skin-friendly gel body. The gel layer is infused with mineral oil to condition, cushion, and protect. The gel’s responsiveness to changes in pressure and stress during locomotion, as well as changes in limb volume throughout the day, provide an extraordinary degree of comfort and wearability.
We also have ultra-lightweight materials that make lower limb prostheses lighter and more durable than ever before. Our technicians utilize several different types of composite materials and components, depending upon the needs and lifestyle of the amputee. Our prosthetists access the desires and requirements of our patients, along with a physician and members of the rehab team, and may recommend the use of prosthetic feet, which mimic the capabilities of the natural foot, and hydraulic, lightweight knee-shin components to make the most of an individual’s artificial limb.
Practitioners and technicians on our prosthetic team know the importance of working together to produce the best results. Therefore, we participate in the patient’s overall healthcare plan by working closely with the patient and Allied Healthcare Team members, including physicians, therapists, case managers, and the patient’s family to ensure that the best possible prosthetic solution is provided for each individual. Our commitment to teamwork also means that our practitioners participate in ongoing training, as continuing education is mandatory for all professional staff members. The company hosts an annual educational conference for the entire staff to provide on-going skills training and policy review.