Infants and children require a specialized approach to their prosthetic care and depend on their parents and their prosthetic providers to patiently take care of their needs during these growing years. Limited communication skills, combined with rapid rates of physical growth, mean that pediatric patients require frequent office visits and more careful observation of their progress from month to month.
Hanger Clinic's Pediatric Prosthetics Program
Prosthetic patients between the ages of birth and about 18 years will require a new socket and other prosthetic modifications at least once a year and should be evaluated by their clinician every six months, with careful monitoring by a parent or caregiver in between visits.
Hanger Clinic offers pediatric services in:
- Upper and lower limb/extremity prosthetics, typically due to birth defect, accident or amputation.
- Specialized prosthetic adaptive or activity-specific prosthesis devices. For example, custom adaptations can be fabricated for musical instruments, swimming, basketball, baseball, or fishing.
Children are often times much more adaptable than adults. That is why infants who are born with a missing or partial limb, or children who lose a limb through injury or amputation, should be evaluated by a prosthetist as soon as possible. Often it is appropriate for infants and very young children to be fit with a passive prosthesis right away so that the prosthetic limb is incorporated into their developing body image and daily life. This will also help children socially as they begin interacting with their peers and help their friends understand the prosthetic.
One of the ways Hanger Clinic has made the fitting process easier for pediatric patients is with the Insignia™ Laser Scanning System. Insignia makes it easy to measure and fit pediatric patients for a brace, support or prosthetic socket. With a hand-held scanner and a computer, your clinician can capture and store 3-D images of the effected area and then use these to cast the brace, support, or prosthetic socket. Insignia images are exact to within one millimeter and the scanning process is quick, easy, and painless. However, there may be some circumstances where your clinician prefers to do a traditional cast of the affected area using plaster or another malleable material.