Next Step’s Prosthetic Process
Every day, Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Inc. helps amputees from all walks of life and every stage of the prosthetic journey with an established, effective process. If visitors are facing upcoming surgeries, starting out as new amputees, or dealing with unsatisfactory results from other prosthetic providers, Next Step’s expert staff is ready to equip them with quality care.
Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
Regardless of how a limb is lost, whether in an unforeseen accident or by a planned amputation, we understand the trauma involved. Amputees need a prosthetic team that works together for their success and assists them every step of the way. Next Step is happy to provide this level of support to patients, and we seek to be a resource in each aspect of prosthetic care, from insurance benefits to device maintenance.
We have unique opportunities to connect amputees with each other during appointments and through special events or programs. With varying ages and amputation levels represented among our patients, we ensure that they do not feel alone. There are also amputees on staff at two of our Next Step Amputee Care Centers, who personally understand what patients are going through and candidly discuss what it is like to live with a prosthesis.
At Next Step, we get to know our patients as individuals and encourage their active involvement in fitting processes and ongoing care. We ask questions about their overall health, lifestyles, and activity goals to guarantee their comfort, mobility, and quality of life improve with the aid of a prosthesis. This is the Next Step difference – something we term e-motion.
Next Step offers pre-surgical consultations for prospective amputees, their families, and their friends at no charge and with no obligation. Our certified prosthetists and assistants provide tours of the facility and explain our philosophy of care. We discuss concerns, goals, and possible treatment options with the individual and even encourage visiting multiple prosthetic companies to make an informed decision.
Next Step collaborates with other medical professionals as part of our team approach to prosthetic care. Our prosthetists offer expertise to surgeons before procedures, in order to determine optimal amputation lengths for their patients. Upon request, prosthetists can visit area hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing facilities to conduct appointments.
When prosthetists meet with amputees post-surgery, they are prepared to answer inquiries about wound care, address issues like phantom limb sensation, and discuss what lies ahead in the prosthetic process. With a doctor’s order, Next Step prosthetists fit new amputees with shrinkers or early protective weight bearing systems such as Flo-Techs.
The Flo-Tech is a preparatory prosthesis that prepares 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 in post-operative rehabilitation to protect amputees from injury while healing, provide access to bandages and dressings, and introduce weight-bearing and control swelling. When a doctor is satisfied with the residual limb’s condition and issues a prescription for treatment, we then move ahead to fitting the definitive prosthesis.
If you are a medical professional interested in knowing more about our distinct services, like pre- and post-operative collaboration, please see our Medical Personnel page.
When patients come in for evaluations, we make it clear that losing a limb does not necessarily require lifestyle changes. Next Step has years of experience with helping amputees achieve, and even exceed, their physical ambitions. Our patients range from those who wish to navigate around the house to those who compete as world-class athletes.
Our evaluation process includes listening to what a patient desires to pursue, compiling a detailed medical history, evaluating the residual limb, and taking measurements. Next Step’s prosthetists review options and work to design a suitable prosthesis. We use evaluations as a catalyst for our relationships with patients and their specific treatment plans. As things progress, we also reevaluate a patient and the prosthesis to either confirm or change our clinical direction.
Next Step is known for successfully fitting a wide array of amputees, even those who have not yet achieved a good fit for their socket interfaces at other prosthetic facilities. Working from the evaluation plan, our prosthetic team employs specialized fitting techniques that are unique to the industry.
When a patient is satisfied with the evaluation and the prosthetist has a prescription to make a prosthesis, the fitting process begins with casting over the residual limb and fabricating a diagnostic check socket. Next Step makes check sockets out of clear plastic, allowing prosthetists and assistants to observe pressure points and problem areas. If necessary, we make multiple preliminary sockets to achieve the right fit, including a walking check socket that can be used in the office. This well-established Next Step process is unparalleled in the profession and ensures a better fit, even before fabrication begins.
By investing time in the diagnostic process, fitting issues are minimized during fabrication. As a result, we can design prosthetic sockets that encourage muscle growth in the residual limb, and we supply training to rebuild residual muscles, which is critical to achieving a healthy gait pattern on various forms of terrain and participating in an array of activities. Next Step asserts that a prosthetic limb is only as good as its socket interface – proper fit for proper function.
Once the socket interface is comfortable, a final definitive socket is created in our on-site lab and connected to the prosthetic componentry by Next Step technicians. These components are carefully selected from leading manufacturers by a patient’s prosthetist based on the information gleaned from his evaluation. With our team of prosthetists, assistants, and technicians, adjustments are easily made during delivery appointments and in follow-up visits for optimal performance and ultimate safety. Throughout the prosthetic process, Next Step works as part of a patient’s medical support network to furnish the best prosthesis possible.
After assessing, or reassessing, a patient’s health and lifestyle, Next Step prosthetists can chose from a variety of bionic and prosthetic technologies on the market to recommend for the prosthesis. These products offer a range of benefits for the patient and, when combined with the socket design, improve quality of life and increase activity options.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for these advancements and not every insurance plan provides coverage. We encourage patients to talk with our prosthetists and administrative staff to determine what is right for them.