Assisting people with limb loss or deficiency
Our Prosthetic service assists people who have limb loss or deficiency to achieve mobility, function and quality of life through appropriate clinical and prosthetic management.
What we do
We are a specialised service providing clinical assessment and evaluation for a wide range of clients with limb loss and deficiency, leading to the custom prescription, design and manufacture of prostheses in our facility.
We provide prosthetic rehabilitation services as well as comprehensive definitive management.
We are committed to working closely with the amputee medical team as well as with allied health professionals including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists.
Who we care for
We provide treatment for a wide range of private and public clients who either:
- require an amputation
- have been admitted to hospital or who are living in the community having undergone an amputation
- are long term and experienced prosthetic users
What to expect
You can expect a high quality, evidence-based and up-to-date service consisting of all aspects of prosthetic management, including relevant medical and prosthetic assessment, prescription, casting, fitting and delivery, as well as liaison with other allied health professionals.
Regular reassessment of prosthetic needs and goals in addition to maintenance and adjustments will ensure continued good outcomes from your prosthetic management.
Your first visit
- your first visit will involve a rehabilitation physician, a prosthetist/orthotist and possibly other health professionals who, together with you, will discuss your goals, and devise a care plan to help you meet your goals
- many factors affect whether a prosthesis will enhance your independence. These include heart and chest problems, skin issues, arthritis, and neurological conditions such as stroke
If you are going to be fitted with a prosthesis
- if you are going to be fitted with a prosthesis as part of your plan, a time will be made for a Prosthetist to assess and take measurements and a cast of your residual limb. These will be used to make the prosthetic socket. This appointment will take about an hour
- there are different types of prostheses as they are custom designed to meet your needs - yours may not look the same as other prostheses that you see
Your following appointment
- the next appointment will generally be for the first fitting of your prosthesis. It can take anywhere between one and three weeks or even more for the prosthesis to be ready for fitting, depending on what prosthetic parts are to be used and on the design of your prosthesis
- at this appointment, you will try on the prosthesis, stand, and perhaps take some steps to check comfort and function, all within the parallel bars for support
- your prosthetist can make a number of changes and adjustments at this stage to achieve the optimum outcome
Trialing your prosthesis
- at the trial stage, the structural components of the prosthesis can be seen, so it may look quite strange to you. A cosmetic cover can be added at a later stage to make it look more like your other leg
- if you have never walked with prosthesis before, you will need to learn how to use it in conjunction with your prosthetist and a specialist physiotherapist. This usually means wearing your trial prosthesis for several physiotherapy sessions before graduating to your first “definitive” (permanent) prosthesis
- when all aspects of fit, comfort and function are confirmed, another appointment will be made for fitting of your definitive prosthesis to take home when you are ready
- you will be given regular review appointments with the Amputee Clinic to ensure your progress. As your residual limb will commonly change in shape and size (even subtly), so will the socket fit of your prosthesis. Adjustments may be required
- if you develop any other problems between scheduled appointments and need to have your prosthesis reviewed, you can contact your prosthetist for an appointment
- as your residual limb shape changes, you will require socket replacements. This will be assessed at your regular review appointments
- if your needs change unexpectedly, please contact your prosthetist and a plan can be made to have these re-assessed
Commonly asked questions
Who will pay for my prosthetic care?
Currently in Victoria, the Victorian Artificial Limb Program provides prosthetic care free of charge to eligible public patients on an as-needs basis. Public patients are those who have lost their limb due to disease, an accident that is not compensated (such as at home) or have congenital limb loss.
Depending on your age and region, you may be entitled to funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
If you lost your limb in a work or transport accident in Victoria, then your rehabilitation costs (including for prosthetic care) will be met by WorkCover or the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).
If you fall outside these categories, or if you wish to have additional prosthetic services (for instance a recreational or second prosthesis), we may still assist you. Please contact us to discuss this with your prosthetist.
How long will it be until I can take my prosthesis home?
If you have never had a prosthesis before, the time taken from initial assessment to final fitting of prosthesis will vary depending on many factors, such as wound healing, skin integrity, general strength, balance and endurance, the condition of your other limbs and your other medical considerations.
It also may take several sessions to learn how to use your prosthesis safely. When it is safe to do so, you can take your prosthesis home.
What do I do with a prosthesis that is no longer needed?
If you no longer have any use for your prosthesis, please return it to our department for proper disposal. If you have any questions about this, please ask your prosthetist.
How to access this service
Contact us directly
Caulfield Access is responsible for intake, information and referral processing for a wide range of community and ambulatory services.
Family, carers, case managers and patients can contact Caulfield Access to access our services.
Once a referral has been received, a Care Coordinator will phone the patient to discuss their needs and organise appropriate services. The Care Coordinator will provide the patient with their phone number. Patients are encouraged to contact the Care Coordinator if they have any concerns.
To make a referral
Call the Caulfield Access Unit on (03) 9076 6776
What to bring
Every time you come
- Medicare card
- Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
- Private health insurance card (if applicable/if you want to use it)
- Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
- Previous X-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results or reports
- Medicines you need to take while you are here
- List of medicines you are currently taking (or the boxes), including medicines you have bought without a prescription, such as herbal supplements and vitamins
- Glasses, hearing aid(s) and/or walking frame if needed
For a clinic appointment
- Your appointment letter
- Any special items listed on your letter
- TAC or WorkCover claim number (if relevant)
|Amputee Clinic||Caulfield Hospital||260 Kooyong Rd, Caulfield VIC 3162|
ResourcesAll patient resources
Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association
description of orthotics and prosthetics
Caulfield Hospital - Prosthetics Patient Information Handbook: For Lower Limb Amputees
Providing information and support to amputees and their families while promoting an inclusive community
Prosthetics NDIS information brochure
Prosthetics Service - What to consider when attending your NDIS planning meeting