Next Step as a Resource for Prosthetic Care
Because prosthetic care is specialized and treatment lasts a lifetime, Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Inc. is a resource for medical professionals who work with amputees. At all three New England-based Amputee Care Centers, our expert staff takes a team approach to prosthetic care and keeps surgeons, doctors, and therapists involved throughout the entire prosthetic process.
We invite you to contact us with any questions or to request more information.
Pre- and Post-Operative Services
Next Step believes that early involvement in an amputee’s treatment is crucial for his or her success. Our support and proficiency helps the rest of the healthcare team make vital education and comprehensive care available to the patient. Prosthetists offer pre-surgical consultations and pre-prosthetic counseling to prospective amputees, either at Next Step’s Amputee Care Centers or offsite in hospitals and nursing facilities.
At a pre-surgical evaluation, we establish a relationship with an individual by alleviating any concerns, preparing him or her for life as an amputee, and explaining the prosthetic process. Initial visits have mental and emotional benefits, including decreased anxiety, stress, and fear of the unknown for the entire family. Next Step has amputees on its clinical and technical staff, who can relate to patients through firsthand experience.
For amputees to reach their prosthetic potential, Next Step prosthetists consult with surgeons about optimal amputations and limb lengths before and / or during the operation. At the physician’s request, we can also measure and fit the patient for a Flo-Tech prosthetic system to begin post-operative treatment. The Flo-Tech is a preparatory prosthesis that readies the amputee’s residual limb for the future definitive prosthesis. This device can even be furnished prior to waking from surgery to assist with the physical and mental transition.
Flo-Techs are used throughout rehabilitation in order to control edema, prevent knee-flexion contractures, and protect the residual limb from trauma, such as a fall when getting out of bed. We encourage the incorporation of a Flo-Tech as soon as possible to facilitate early weight-bearing and decrease healing time. Additionally, our prosthetists provide compression therapy with a doctor’s order. Shrinkers can be introduced before sutures are removed and may be worn in conjunction with a Flo-Tech.
Prosthetic Fitting Process
Once the surgeon considers the amputee’s residual limb fully healed, definitive prosthetic care begins. A custom-molded prosthetic socket is fabricated through a casting and check socket process, as our skilled prosthetists, assistants, and technicians work together while utilizing on-site laboratories. Prosthetists determine the best prosthetic componentry to allow for increased weight bearing and an optimized gait. They consider the incorporation of bionic and prosthetic technologies, based on the amputee’s activity level.
Even after the definitive prosthesis is delivered to a patient, we reassess the fit and function of the device at follow-up appointments and make adjustments as needed. Upon reevaluation, it may be necessary for an amputee to be re-fit with a new socket or prosthesis, due to factors like weight loss, weight gain, or growth in children.
Our prosthetists and assistants continue to work with the rehabilitation team throughout the recovery and treatment processes. Prosthetists are available to visit hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing facilities for prosthetic adjustments and physical therapy consultations. We keep doctors and physical therapists apprised of an amputee’s progress, and we are always available to them by phone for updates on patient care or questions about prosthetic devices.
To begin the prosthetic fitting process or provide certain supplies, Next Step needs an original prescription to be issued by an amputee’s primary care physician. Our administrative staff is happy to assist with wording for original prescriptions and to explain Next Step’s detailed prescriptions, which doctors receive from us with each patient transaction.
Because insurance standards and paperwork requirements are ever-changing, Next Step has policies in place to ensure that insurance guidelines are met. As a Medicare provider, we must remain in constant contact with primary care physicians to document prosthetic treatment and overall health. Consequently, we ask Medicare patients to schedule additional appointments with their physicians, and our administrative staff must contact doctors’ offices to request specific clinical notes or medical records. We appreciate your aid in meeting insurance obligations as well as your patience in the process. Please contact us with inquiries or concerns regarding medical documentation.
Next Step is honored to provide in-services for interested medical professionals. We are available to demonstrate prosthetic components, including the latest bionic and prosthetic advancements, and to educate about therapy techniques, gait training, and medical documentation. To schedule an in-service with Next Step, please contact us.