One of the most important decisions you’ll make as an amputee is choosing your prosthetic lab and prosthetist. Because making this decision is so important, it requires patience and in-depth research into the industry. You should ensure that all of your questions are answered before you sign off.
Why is finding the perfect prosthetic lab so important for amputees? The reason is that your prosthetist is the person who will be designing and fitting your custom prosthetic. The more skilled the prosthetic lab you choose, the more comfortable, healthy, and active you’ll be able to be with your prosthetic device.
If you’re looking for the best prosthetic lab in Arkansas, make sure that you’re looking for the right signs and asking the right questions. We’ve compiled this guide to finding the best and most advanced prosthetic lab in your vicinity because we want the best possible health outcomes for each and every patient.
1. Are They Sought After?
To find the best prosthetic lab in Arkansas, ask around. Generally speaking, the busier a prosthetic lab is, the more popular it is with patients. Busyness can be a good indicator of the quality of care on offer.
However, it’s still important to make sure that the lab you find can work with your schedule. This is a catch-22 situation. You want your prosthetist to be good enough that they’re highly sought after but also streamlined enough that you can fit into their schedule in a reasonable time frame.
After all, if you need a prosthetic to live a functional and pain-free life, you don’t want to have to wait six months for your first appointment.
To get an idea of the timeline between appointments and the level of patient care, call the prosthetic labs on your list and ask them a few questions. First, ask when you can make your initial appointment/consultation. Then, ask how long wait times in their waiting room usually are.
Their answers will give you a general idea of how busy they are and their availability.
2. Look for the Latest Technology
A good prosthetist never stops learning. You don’t want to work with a prosthetist who’s still using the equipment and techniques they’ve used for the last 30 years. The latest technology in prosthetics allows your prosthetic devices to be designed and fitted exactly to the topography of your limb.
3D printers, CAD/CAM scanners, and other high-tech machinery have made prosthetics more detailed and comfortable than ever before. Ask your potential prosthetist what machinery they use, how old it is, and what they do to involve their staff in continuing education.
3. Choose Someone Accessible to You
While many patients are willing to travel for the best possible medical care, it is important to choose a prosthetic lab that offers high-quality care and that is easily accessible to you.
A three-hour drive may not seem like a big deal now, but what if your prosthetic requires maintenance and you can’t take a day off work to make the trip? You’re more likely to cancel an appointment when you have to factor a long-distance trip into your busy daily schedule. Eventually, your care will suffer.
Accessibility also means the responsiveness of the lab. You’ll want to choose a prosthetist who answers and returns calls quickly. If they don’t call you back when they say they will, find a new prosthetic lab.
4. Choose a Prosthetist You Connect With
If you don’t trust or like your prosthetist, you’re less likely to comply with your treatment plan and maintenance schedule. If you’re uncomfortable, you’re also less likely to speak up about an improper fit or site pain.
This can lead to pain, sores, blisters, infection, and faulty equipment. So, make sure that you treat the selection process as an interview. Schedule an initial consultation with your potential prosthetic lab and come prepared with a list of questions. Get a feel for how they interact with their patients and how you personally get on with the staff.
You should feel comfortable enough to voice your opinions or communicate your needs and questions with them throughout the duration of the services.
5. Bring Someone With You
It’s a good idea to bring a support person with you during your interviews with potential prosthetists. Ask questions to determine whether the prosthetic can provide the care and service you need, and have your support person take notes.
Ask about the prosthetist’s availability and willingness to spend time with you and determine how quickly they respond when it comes to emergency appointments. Having someone you trust with you as moral support will provide comfort and hold you accountable. They can remind you of any questions you forgot to ask and help you process the information you received after your initial appointment.
Looking for the Best Orthotic Lab in Arkansas?
Look no further! Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics offers cutting-edge technology, compassionate and friendly staff, and decades of experience in the field. We work with new amputees and experienced vets alike.
All our orthotics and prosthetics are custom designed for the utmost comfort and care. We believe in providing a lifetime of support to our patients. Lean on us while you learn to move forward.
To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced prosthetists, contact us online or call us at (501) 683-8889. We have locations in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Bryant, Fort Smith, Searcy, and Conway. Click here for more information on each location.