Prosthetics

Componentry

There is a huge range of components available for prostheses. Many are interchangeable, but some things such as feet, knee units or liners can make a big difference to your comfort and function. The right ones for you will depend on things like your weight and activity level.

 

Other factors that affect your choice include particular activities you do (e.g. is your prosthesis going to get wet), compatibility between parts, cost, other medical issues, aesthetics and of course your preference.

Prosthetics related information sheets

Limbs 4 Life has created the following information sheets to assist you in understanding prosthetic technology as well as choosing the right prosthetic for you.

 

Treatment

Amputee clinics are run by a number of larger public hospitals. A Rehabilitation Consultant attends these clinics and is able to provide treatment for medical issues related to amputation, for example, phantom pain.

 

If your prosthesis is government funded it is usually a requirement of the program that you attend an Amputee Clinic to be prescribed a prosthesis. See funding

Like anything which is used a lot, your prosthesis will suffer wear and tear. Repairs and adjustments are an unavoidable part of an amputee's life. These can usually be arranged directly with your prosthetist. Do NOT attempt your own adjustments. You can easily make the problem worse. Funders and Clinics are usually very understanding about routine and accidental damage. However, if you damage your prosthesis negligently you may be billed for the cost. Try to avoid exposing your prosthesis to sand, salt, water or extreme heat. These can all cause your prosthesis to deteriorate. If you are going to use your prosthesis in these conditions discuss it when your limb is being made. It may be possible to alter the choice of components to better suit these conditions.

If you inadvertently do get saltwater or similar on your prosthesis (unplanned romantic walk on the beach, for example) rinse it off with plenty of freshwater as soon as you can and dry it off. If you can't remove the cover to do this then take it to your prosthetist as soon as possible. Certain components such as torque absorbers or locks for pin suspension are particularly vulnerable to sand and salt damage so be especially careful if you have these. Also remember that your prosthesis will be made with a particular weight limit in mind. If you are going to do heavy lifting or much more vigorous activity than normal, check that your prosthesis will be able to handle it.

 
 
 

Residual Limb & Sock Care

Maintaining the health of your residual limb/stump is extremely important. Hygiene is paramount to prevent problems. If you use a prosthetic liner it must be cleaned on a daily basis with a mild non fragrant soap or clean with a damp cloth and left to dry. Above knee amputees who don't use a silicone liner should wipe out their socket with a cloth. Stump socks should also be washed and changed daily. In hot weather you may need to change your socks several times.

 

A small hand mirror can be helpful to achieve this. Look for any inflamed areas or blisters. If you are having trouble seeing areas of your stump ask a family member to help you. Remember, if you have impaired sensation on your stump you may not feel areas that are getting pressure or rubbing from your prosthesis. People with diabetes or skin grafts on their stump can have impaired sensation. In this case a daily visual inspection is even more important.

Most people experience changes in the size and shape of their stump from day to day, or over a long period. You are responsible for keeping an eye on how well your prosthesis fits each day, and adjusting your sock regime to suit. If changing socks does not help you will need to contact you prosthetist. Moisturise your stump daily to keep the skin supple and strong. Dry skin is more easily cracked and is less able to tolerate the pressures of a prosthesis. Moisturising at night allows the cream to be absorbed by the skin, not your stump sock. Ingrown hairs can pose a problem for some amputees. It is recommended that you do not shave or wax your residual limb.

 

 

Amputees should check the health of their residual limb on a daily basis.

Funding

How your prosthesis is funded will depend on the cause of your amputation. Generally speaking the following categories apply:

 

  • If you lost your limb in a workplace accident, then your rehabilitation costs, which includes all the costs of your prostheses will be met by WorkCover. Most work accident claims are met by a number of different insurance companies, with WorkCover providing the overall legislative framework. These companies are required to meet 'reasonable costs', so fairly good componentry can usually be fitted if required.
  • If you lost your limb in a transport accident then you will need to contact the relevant authority in your state or territory to make a claim.
  • If you lost your limb due to disease or illness, you will be covered by public funding in your state of residence. Government funding via the public health system is available to all Australian citizens. Like many public health services, funding is limited. In most cases the prosthesis you receive will depend on funding allocations per state. Often the more sophisticated prosthetic items are not available.
  • Veterans who either lost their limb as a result of injuries received while serving, or who have a Gold Card, will have their prostheses paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).

Support Links - Workcover

 

WorkCover Victoria
www.workcover.vic.gov.au
PH: 1300 136 089

WorkCover ACT
www.workcover.act.gov.au
PH: 02 6205 0200

WorkCover SA
www.workcover.com
PH: 13 18 55

WorkCover QLD
www.workcoverqld.com.au
PH: 1300 362 128

 

WorkCover NSW
www.workcover.nsw.gov.au
PH: 13 10 50

WorkCover WA
www.workcover.wa.gov.au
PH: 1300 794 744

WorkCover NT
www.worksafe.nt.gov.au
PH: 1800 019 115

WorkCover TAS
www.workcover.tas.gov.au
PH: 1800 019 115

 

Support Links - Transport

 

Victoria
www.tac.vic.gov.au
Ph: 1300 654 329

NSW
www.rta.nsw.gov.au
Ph: 132 213

South Australia
www.transport.sa.gov.au
Ph: 1300 360 067

Queensland
www.transport.qld.gov.au
Ph: 13 23 80

 

Western Australia
www.mainroads.wa.gov.a
Ph: 138 138

NT
www.nt.gov.au/transport
Ph: 1300 654 628

Tasmania
www.transport.tas.gov.au
Ph: 1300 851 225


Government Funding

Government funding via the public health system is available to Australian citizens. Like many public health services, funding is limited. In most cases the prosthesis you receive will depend on funding allocations per state. Often the more sophisticated prosthetic items are not available.

 


Aids and Equipment Program

Some states provide financial support for aids and equipment (assistive devices). There are often waiting times to receive funding for these items and modifications to your home and vehicles. Your Occupational Therapist will advise you how the scheme can support you.

If you have been discharged from rehabilitation or would like additional information contact Occupational Therapy in your respective state.
http://www.otaus.com.au/contact

 


Open source Prosthetic Information

Global organisations creating change through sharing knowledge

artlimb.com
robohand.com.au
enablingthefuture.org

NCPO - National Centre for Prosthetics & Orthotics

The National Centre for Prosthetics and Orthotics is based at Latrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria. It is the only training facility in Australia. Amputee volunteers are required on a regular basis to assist with the teaching program.

 

If you would like more information or to volunteer your services please call (03) 9479 5831
www.latrobe.edu.au/ncpo

 
 

Australian Prosthetic Facilities

AOPA Logo

The Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association Inc. (AOPA) is the peak representative professional body for prosthetists and orthotists in Australia. Currently AOPA has over 300 members, which represents more than 80% of all practicing professionals in Australia. A full listing of AOPA professionals can be viewed here


Victoria

  • Austin Health P & O
    Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre
    1 Yarra Blvd Kew 3101
    Phone: (03) 9490 7666
  • Ballarat Health Services
    102 Ascot Street Ballarat 3353
    Phone: (03) 53203878
  • Caulfield General Medical Centre
    294 Kooyong Rd Caulfield 3162
    Phone: (03) 9276 6261
  • Barwon Prosthetics & Orthotics
    McKellar Centre 93-95 Ballarat Rd North Geelong 3215
    Phone: (03) 5279 2251
  • Golf Links Rd Centre
    Golf Links Rd Frankston Vic 3199
    Phone: (03) 9784 8666
  • Latrobe Regional Hospital
    Princes Highway Traralgon Vic 3844
    Phone: (03) 5173 8383
  • National Centre for Prosthetics and Orthotics
    LaTrobe University Bundoora Vic 3086
    Phone: (03) 9479 5331
  • Northern Prosthetics & Orthotics
    40 King Street Shepparton Vic 3630
    Phone: (03) 5822 4277
  • Orthopaedic Appliances Health & Mobility Centre
    Cnr High and Bay Street Bendigo Vic 3550
    Phone: 03 5441 4333
  • Orthotics Australia
    666 Canterbury Road Surrey Hills
    Phone: (03) 9898 3440
  • Orthotic Prosthetic Specialist Centre
    311 High Street Prahran 3181
    Phone (03) 95102578
  • Orthopaedic Techniques
    93-97 Webb Street Fitzroy Vic 3065
    Phone: (03) 9416 3001
  • ProMotion Prosthetics
    Unit 36, 148 Chesterville Road Moorabbin 3189
    Phone : (03)9532 5098
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital
    Poplar Rd Parkville Vic 3052
    Phone: (03) 8387 2271
  • St Vincent's Hospital
    Victoria Parade Fitzroy Vic 3065
    Phone: (03) 9288 3836
  • St John of God Hospital
    136 Botanic Rd Warnambool Vic 3280
    Phone: (03) 5564 0645
  • Synergy Prosthetics Pty Ltd
    Health Sciences Clinic La Trobe University
    Kingsbury Drive Bundoora VIC 3083
    Phone: 0439 544 732

Tasmania

  • Orthotic Prosthetic Services Tasmania
    & The Tasmanian Artificial Limb Scheme

    94 Davey Street Hobart Tas 7000
    Phone: (03) 6222 7377

  • Orthotic Prosthetic Services Tasmania
    Charles St Launceston Tas 7250
    Phone: (03) 6348 7562
  • Orthotic Prosthetic Services Tasmania
    Brickport Road Burnie Tas 7320
    Phone: (03) 63406941

Western Australia

  • Fremantle Orthotic Services
    10 Selby Street Shenton Park WA 6006
    Phone: (08) 9281 3444
  • 7/110 Hulme Clinic Myaree WA 6154
    Phone: (08) 9330 3636
  • Orthotic Prosthetic Solutions
    2/643 Newcastle Street
    Leederville WA 6007
    Phone: (08) 9328 8022
  • TLC Unlimbited
    Unit 4, 147-151 Belmont Avenue Belmont, WA 6104
    Phone: (08) 9277 2988
    Fax: (08) 9277 2944
  • South-West Orthotic-Prosthetic Services
    16 Strickland Street Bunbury, WA 6230
    Phone: (08) 9721 1077

Queensland

  • Artificial Limbs & Appliances Pty Ltd
    Unit 1 - 67 Depot St Banyo Q 4014
    Phone: (07) 3266 1255
    Fax: (07) 3266 7033
  • Townsville and District Health Service Monthly clinic in Townsville and Cairns
  • Artificial Limb & Appliances
    33 Jeays Street Bowen Hills QLD 4006
    Phone: (07) 3528 7233
  • Barry Leech Prosthetics
    7 Pinter Drive, Southport, Q 4215
    Ph (07) 5532 0506
  • Brisbane Prosthetics & Orthotics
    Unit 8, 107 Muriel Ave Moorooka QLD 4105
    Phone: (07) 3392 8440
  • Brisbane Prosthetics & Orthotics
    Chermside Medical Centre
    686 Gympie Rd Chermside Qld 4032
    Phone: (07) 3256 4777
  • Freedom Prosthetics
    1/222 Hartley St, Bungalow, Cairns, 4870
    Phone: (07) 4035 1404
  • Northern Regional Health Authority
    16 Madden St Townsville QLD 4814
    Phone: (07) 4775 2821
  • OAPL
    85 Beach Road
    Hervey Bay, QLD. 4655
    Phone: (07) 3849 8152
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital
    Ipswich Rd
    Woolloongabba QLD 4102
    Phone: (07) 3240 2245
  • Prosthetic Solutions Qld
    Unit 2, 20 Valente Close,
    Chermside QLD 4032
    Phone: 1300 423 338
  • Queensland Prosthetics
    Unit 16, 50 Kellar Street
    Berrinba, QLD 4117
    Phone: (07) 3803 7317
  • Royal Brisbane Hospital
    Level 2, East Block Butterfield Street
    Herston Qld 4029
    Phone: (07) 3636 8365
  • SSS Prosthetics and Orthotics
    Suite 2/196 McLeod Street
    Cairns QLD 4870
    Phone: 07 4041 4715
  • SSS Prosthetics and Orthotics
    2/16 Casey Street, Aitkenvale, Townsville, QLD
    Phone: (07) 4775 1323

ACT

  • Momentum
    Prosthetic & Orthotic

    17 Bemboka Crescent Canberra, A.C.T, 2617 Australia
    Phone: (02) 6154 0339

NSW

  • Albury Prosthetics & Orthotics Service Lavington Campus 335 Reservoir Road Lavington NSW 2641
    PH: 02 6049 0100
  • APC Prosthetics
    2 Redbank Rd Northmead NSW 2152
    Phone: (02) 9890 8123
  • APC Prosthetics - Hunter
    7 Ailsa Road Broadmeadows NSW 2292
    Phone (02)4969 8700
  • Appliance & Limb Centre
    16 Cope St Redfern NSW 2016
    Phone: (02) 9319 1955
  • Hunter Prosthetics & Orthotics -
    John Hunter Hospital
    Lockout Road New Lambton Heights NSW 2305
    Phone: (02) 4921 4151
  • Northern Prosthetics
    136 Midgen Flat Rd,
    Broken Head NSW 2477
    Phone: (02) 6687 0777
  • Premier Prosthetics
    Sydney Business and Technology Park
    Unit 52/2 Railway Parade Lidcombe 2141
    PH: 089649 4177
  • Reis Orthopaedic & Surgical Services
    25 John Street Lidcombe NSW 2141
    Phone: (02)9643 1444
  • Southern Prosthetics and Orthotics
    95 Plunkett St Nowra NSW 2541
    Phone: (02)4423 2475
  • Southern Prosthetics and Orthotics
    16 Second Ave. Unanderra NSW 2526
    Phone: (02) 42 721444

South Australia

  • Adelaide Orthotics and Prosthetics
    Royal Adelaide Hospital North Terrace Adelaide 5000
    Phone: (08) 8222 5288
  • OPSA
    1 Rockville Ave Daw Park SA 5041
    Phone: (08)8275 1655
  • Prostek
    2 William St Mile End South SA 5031
    Phone: (08)8352 6511
  • Whyalla Hospital
    20 Wood Terrace Whyalla SA 5600
    Phone: 08 8648 8316

Northern Territory

  • Prosthetics and Orthotics Dept.
    Royal Darwin Hospital
    Rocklands Drive Tiwi NT 0810
    Phone: (08) 8922 8241