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The fitting process for a prosthesis usually begins when your residual limb is no longer tender or swollen. Typically, this is four to six weeks after surgery. In some cases, immediate postoperative care will be used and a socket or rigid dressing will be placed on the limb during the first week following surgery.
The Upper Limb Program (ULP) utilizes a fitting protocol that includes casting the person’s residual limb and fabricating a series of diagnostic test sockets. Our Insignia Laser Scanning System captures the precise shape and contour of the residual limb and computer-stores a series of three-dimensional images. Your clinician will review the scanned images with you and together, you can make fine adjustments.
Our patients tell us they like being involved in the fitting process and having their scanned images and anatomical data available at the click of a mouse. The final modified scan is sent to a Hanger Clinic Central Design Center and the specifications are fed directly to an automated carver. The result is a precision form that is used to fabricate a test socket. The test socket is manufactured from a thermoplastic material and then fitted and refined during your following visits. Once the test socket has been perfected, a "definitive," or final, socket will be made from lightweight thermoplastic or from a resin-matrix composite similar to fiberglass.
Plaster casting is another, more hands-on process that is sometimes used to create a custom mold for the socket. Your prosthetist will decide the most effective means for casting your socket.