Frequently Asked Questions
Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Inc. understands the many questions that surround having an amputation, living as an amputee, and receiving a prosthesis. We hope the following answers to frequently asked questions help you along the way. Find out more on our Bionics & Prosthetics and Next Step Kids pages, and please contact us if you would like more information about prosthetic care.
Q: Does my insurance pay for prosthetic services?
A: Generally, insurance carriers pay for most of our services. Our administrative staff is highly knowledgeable in the ever-changing health insurance industry and strives to get you the coverage that you deserve. Every effort is made to meet your specific financial situation and guide you through the insurance process.
Q: Do I need a physician’s prescription for a prosthesis?
A: A prescription from your doctor is required by Next Step and your insurance before a prosthesis is fabricated or certain supplies are ordered. We work with you and your physician to guarantee proper treatment and help you have the highest quality of life.
Q: What sets Next Step apart from other prosthetic facilities?
A: At Next Step, we know that we are forming potentially lifelong relationships, and we treat clients individually. Using a teamwork approach, prosthetists, assistants, technicians, and administration work together to provide the best prosthetic care possible. Next Step combines a personal approach to healthcare with the latest technology to help clients lead productive lives. Our advanced fitting techniques, on-site fabrication labs, and quick turnaround times set us apart from other facilities. Having amputees on staff to assist in the prosthetic process also makes Next Step unique.
Q: Can I contact you if I face an amputation in the near future?
A: The most important thing to have before an amputation is peace of mind. By coming to tour a Next Step facility, meet the staff, and view examples of componentry and materials, you can see what the future holds, learn about life after amputation, understand the prosthetic process, and know what services are available. Our clients tell us that such opportunities positively affect their pre- and post-operative experiences.
Q: How soon after surgery can I be fit with a prosthesis?
A: Your physician ultimately determines when you are ready to proceed with a prosthesis. Next Step requires a prescription from a medical doctor to begin the fabrication of a prosthesis. Our prosthetists consult with physicians regarding prosthetic care and any issues that may affect treatment outcomes. At Next Step, evaluations and consultations are always free of charge. For more about the prosthetic process, click here.
Q: How many amputees does Next Step have on staff?
A: Next Step currently has three amputees on staff, one in the Warwick office and two in the Manchester office. The insight and inspiration that these staff members bring to our company, clients, and communities are vital for the success of our clients. Their knowledge about life as amputees and their firsthand experiences are invaluable resources to those we serve.
Q: What are some of the resources that Next Step offers amputees?
A: Next Step takes a personal and total approach to healthcare for amputees. We not only provide a casual, comfortable environment for clients to interact with each other during appointments, but we also encourage our clients to try different things and stay as active as possible. Next Step organizes, sponsors, and volunteers at special events that bring amputees together. Please see our Find Support page for a list of organizations, groups, and activities that are available regionally and nationally. You can get connected and stay in touch with Next Step through our blog and social media too.
Q: How long does it take for a prosthesis to be fabricated?
A: Because all three Next Step facilities have fabrication labs onsite, work can be completed quickly and efficiently. We fit our clients with check sockets on the same day as their casting appointments, and we craft additional check sockets if necessary, in order to ensure that clients are comfortable. We usually say that it takes two weeks until the final prosthesis is delivered to the client. However, we are able to craft a prosthesis quickly if an expedited situation arises. Specific time frames are also dependent upon the number of check sockets, any at-home trial periods, and medical documentation requirements. Regardless, Next Step communicates with you throughout the process to make your care as seamless as possible.
Q: Can I connect with other Next Step clients of my age and amputation level?
A: We provide various opportunities for clients and families to relate with each other through appointments, special events, activities, and online resources. Next Step serves a diverse group of clientele, and as a result, there are many people in the Next Step family who understand what you are going through. Specific clients let us to use their names on a regular basis for those who want more information about the company and about life as an amputee. These clients or family members are willing to share their stories as a way to encourage others. Due to HIPAA requirements, we always seek permission from both parties before connecting them.
Q: Are Next Step’s prosthetic professionals and facilities certified?
A: Next Step, its prosthetists, and its assistants are members in good standing with the American Board of Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Our staff is given the resources necessary to meet and maintain continuing education requirements. To benefit our clients, we consistently attend meetings and seminars that concentrate on relevant topics, including prosthetic advancements and billing procedures.
Q: Do I get to choose my prosthetic provider for treatment?
A: You do indeed have a choice. Since prosthetic care is lifelong and prosthetic devices are a medical specialty with which few are acquainted, we believe that taking the time to make an informed decision is important. There are many differences among prosthetic facilities, and amputees and their families need to weigh the options. Next Step offers no-obligation consultations to amputees who wish to learn more about our unique approach.
Q: Can I access the latest bionic and prosthetic technologies?
A: We seek to equip clients with the most advanced technologies, and our prosthetists, assistants, and technicians are trained in these advancements. Next Step often hosts demonstrations that our clients are welcome to attend. Amputees on staff beta-test a variety of options on the market, and we can arrange personal trials of componentry for our clients as well. When considering these devices, your overall health, activity level, lifestyle goals, and insurance plan are taken into consideration. Please consult with a Next Step prosthetist to determine what is right for you.
Q: Are there other children with limb differences for my child to meet?
A: We regularly put families in touch with each other so children can see what is possible with a prosthesis. We also encourage your child to get involved in activities, like adaptive sports and summer camps, that allow them to meet other children with amputations. Take a look at what our Next Step Kids are up to on our blog and social media pages.
Q: Are there other parents to talk to about caring for a child with an amputation?
A: One of the most important aspects of pediatric care at Next Step is bringing families together to exchange information and support each other. We create opportunities for families to connect during appointments, at special events, and through our social media. This extends to parents siblings, grandparents, and other relatives of the children.
Q: How long do prosthetic limbs last for children?
A: Although the prosthesis itself is very durable, the liners, sleeves, socks, and other supplies wear out and usually need to be replaced a couple of times each year. Because the custom socket interface must fit well, periodic adjustments are required, and replacement is necessary as the child grows. This happens about as often as a child outgrows shoes, approximately once per year. Click here for more information about the prosthetic process.
Q: Can my child maintain an active lifestyle with a prosthesis?
A: Next Step wants children to be as active and social as possible. Sometimes this involves modifications to their prostheses, but generally, most activities are possible for children with limb differences. We work with our pediatric clients and their families to make their goals accessible and provide Next Step Kids with chances to excel.
Q: Are there recreational activities that my child can enjoy with a prosthesis?
A: At Next Step, we promote physical activity for all of the children that we serve, and various opportunities are available regionally and nationally. Our clients utilize and our employees volunteer for the following organizations within the amputee community:
Stay in touch with us about upcoming events and find other support resources here.
Q: Can children with limb differences go in the water with their prostheses?
A: Most prostheses are water-resistant; so getting it wet by accident is not an issue. However, a standard prosthesis should not be submerged or used for bathing and swimming. As a result, Next Step fits prostheses that are specially designed for water use. This is just one of the many products and technologies for children.
Q: Does a prosthesis ever hurt the child when it is used?
A: Sometimes a prosthesis can be uncomfortable to wear, but it should never hurt your child. That is why we schedule regular follow-up appointments for our prosthetists to watch the fit as the child grows. We ask parents to contact us right away with any concerns about a child’s prosthesis or residual limb.
Q: What does a prosthesis look like, and is it possible to customize it?
A: Prostheses are custom-made, and upon evaluating the child and discussing goals, the intended use, and any likes or dislikes, we can create a prosthetic device to meet the criteria. Some children or parents prefer a prosthesis that looks as natural as possible, but a lot of children want their prostheses personalized with custom laminations that reflect their personalities. Recent examples of these patterns include Sponge Bob, flames, the Celtics, and frogs with flowers.
Q: Which organizations does Next Step belong to?
1 – Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce: