“It’s just amazing to see how these high tech parts come together to become a part of someone.”
The first step in the process of fabricating a prosthesis is to obtain a mold of the affected body part. In the left image, Bio-Tech prosthetist Brian M. Gold, CPO, casts a young gentleman for a below elbow, or transradial, prosthesis. A cast can also be obtained digitally using 3D imaging CAD-CAM software, as shown in the right image.
After a the cast or digital image of the affected limb is obtained, a plaster positive of the affected limb is created. The prosthetist then modifies the cast. Once the modification is complete, the socket material is molded over the plaster positive.
A diagnostic socket, often referred to as a ‘test’ socket, is then fabricated using clear plastic. This type of plastic is easier to modify than the materials used in the final socket. Because the plastic is clear, the prosthetist can see the affected limb inside of the socket, to determine the necessary adjustments.
The diagnostic socket shown on the left is fabricated for an above knee, or transfemoral, amputation.
Once it is determine that the fit and function of the test socket successful, the final socket will be fabricated. The final socket is fabricated using more durable materials and designed for long term comfortable use. The final socket can also be fabricated using custom designs and colors.
In Bio-Tech’s on-site lab in Durham, the components are assembled onto the final socket and prepared for the final fitting.
At the final fitting, the prosthetist evaluates the function of the prosthesis during use and listens closely for feedback from the user.
Adjustments are made and, once the individual and the prosthetist are satisfied, final delivery of the prosthesis is complete.
Regular office visits are encouraged after final delivery, to ensure that the prosthesis continues to fit well and functional properly.