Here at PVA Prosthetics, we know the multidisciplinary approach is, as a rule, far superior to the status quo and that the benefits to the patient are irrefutable. It is difficult to find anyone in the healthcare industry unfamiliar with the “multidisciplinary team approach to healthcare” mantra, and for good reason; it works and has fundamentally changed how healthcare is delivered. Nurses, physicians, psychiatrists, physical therapists, and other medical professionals meet together to discuss individual patients to establish the most effective plan of care to achieve the best possible outcome. Most people, particularly patients, would agree that they prefer to have every available resource used in their behalf when they are ill.
In addition to improved communication between the various fields of expertise, improved communication with the patient is of equal importance.
Shortly after starting our program, it became apparent that our unique approach to prosthetics was not only beneficial to the diabetic and vascular disease patients, but to traumatic patients as well. Because patients with diabetes and vascular disease often experience drastic swelling or shrinkage that results from fluid distribution changes, particularly in the lower extremities, we make every attempt to fit them as soon as they are completely healed. If a cast of a limb is taken but the patient isn’t fit for a few weeks or months, the limb measurements may be completely different when they return.
Therefore, we make every attempt to fit patients the same day so that we can allow them to take the device with them to physical therapy so they can begin the prosthetic rehabilitation process immediately. We believe that being sedentary is harmful and physical therapy is beneficial so we do everything we can to expedite the prosthetic fitting process. Traumatic amputees also benefit from this model in that new amputees also experience significant volume loss/fluctuations post-operatively.
There are no such things as permanent shoes, tires for your car, or articles of clothing and that is certainly true with prostheses as well. (deleted sentence) Many of our patients work regular jobs and rely heavily on their prostheses to enable them to work to provide for their families and they are often limited on how many days they are able to be away from work. We recognize that when a prosthesis is no longer serviceable and needs repair or replacement and the patient must go without it for a time, they are often forced to use a wheelchair or another means of mobility which can revive the powerful feelings of helplessness and loss that they experienced immediately following the amputation.
Many of the amputees we have cared for over the last decade tell us that they don’t consider themselves “disabled” and that many of their friends, coworkers, and passersby don’t even realize that they have experienced limb loss—that is, unless they begin to develop problems or the device is missing for some reason.
We strive to return our patients to normal activities as soon as possible, so they can get back to living their lives in happiness.