Prostheses Precautions

Custom prosthetics design can transform lives. We see it every single day as we work with our incredibly and inspiring patients. But we also see some patients run into situations with their prostheses that require a bit of care and planning.

To help you with your prosthetic devices, check out these tips below.

Be Wary of Water

artificial limbs alabamaYour prosthesis is not waterproof. Therefore, swimming or taking a shower should not be done while wearing your prosthesis. Custom prosthetic design usually involves metal components. Those parts can rust and therefore become damaged if exposed to water. If your prosthetic device does get wet, dry it off and take it to your prosthetist immediately for evaluation.

Do Not Walk Barefoot

Your lower prosthetic device is meant to be worn with a shoe. Therefore, walking barefoot increases stress on your prosthesis, which can cause mechanical problems and irritation around your residual limb. Additionally, doing so can void your warranty.

Alignment is Important

To operate at optimal performance, it is important that your prosthesis remain properly aligned. If your custom prosthetic device ever feels uncomfortable, talk to your prosthetist first. Never try to make adjustments on your own.

Listen to What You’re Hearing

If you are hearing sounds from your prosthesis, such as squeaking or crunching, you should check on your device immediately. Noises usually indicate mechanical problems that you should let your prosthetist analyze. For your safety and comfort, talk to a professional as soon as possible.

Have a Safety Chair

Many times those with limb loss can wake up in the middle of the night to get a drink or use the restroom without being fully awake and aware. They may try to take a step without first putting on their device and then fall on their residual limb which can cause injury. For this reason, placing a chair next to your bed can help bump you awake and act as a safety net if you do fall.

Learn about proper prosthetic care at BioTech Limb and Brace. Let our team help you improve your functionality and comfort with a custom prosthetics design.

We specialize in custom prosthetic and orthotic devices. Contact BioTech Limb and Brace to make an appointment or give us a call today to learn how we can help you recognize your possibilities.

Tips for Trouble with Prosthetic Sockets

Custom Prosthetic DevicesThere are many reasons why your prosthesis may be giving you trouble. Usually it has to do with your residual limb. If you allow yourself to get frustrated, you may tighten your muscles, which only makes the problem worse. So, just try to relax and follow these simple tips:

#1: If your residual limb is swollen, it may be because you are not wearing your shrinker sock overnight. Try putting your shrinker on for about half an hour and then try again.It could also be a result of your sock ply. The thicker the ply, the more difficult it may be to get the prosthesis on in the morning. If you usually sleep with a five ply sock, try wearing a three or four ply to make it more comfortable.

#2: If your prosthetic socket has a silicone liner with a locking pin, ensure that the pin is straight before putting on your prosthesis. If it is angled, it will not engage the mechanism and therefore will not lock.It is also possible for the lock release button to get stuck if dirt or other materials enter the hole where the pin goes.

#3: If your prosthetic won’t come off, do not panic. First always contact your personal physician or therapist for assistance. If it is after hours or you are traveling with your prosthesis, and you need to remove your prosthesis socket yourself, you first need to remove your residual limb from the suction liner.Get a cup of water and soap. Warm the soapy water, and then slowly pour it all around inside between the liner and your skin. Then, remove your residual limb by twisting the liner off very gently. If the liner still does not come off, you will need to make an emergency appointment immediately because your residual limb should not stay wet in the liner for very long.

#4: If the release button is broken, because it has fallen out or simply won’t work, try using a screwdriver or pliers to push where the button should be in order to release the lock. Then, contact professional limb and brace services immediately to get the button replaced.Remember that all prosthetic supplies, including covers, skins, shrinkers, suspension sleeves, and gel liners require a prescription for a reason. Make sure that every piece of your prosthesis is custom fit to your needs to avoid pain and discomfort.

Let the Experts at BioTech Help Today

Read more about proper prosthetic socket care at BioTech Limb and Brace.

Let our team help you improve your functionality and comfort with a custom designed prosthetic device today!

We specialize in custom prosthetic and orthotic devices. Contact BioTech Limb and Brace to make an appointment or  give us a call today to learn how we can help you recognize your possibilities.

Quin's Inspiring Story

Quin 1Meet Quin, a good-humored, baseball-playing, thirteen year old from Alexander City with an incredible attitude and heart. After being diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bones, Quin’s leg had to be amputated above the knee.

Brian Horton with BioTech, met Quin in Children’s Hospital while he was being treated with radiation therapy. After forming a personal relationship with him, Brian discovered Quin’s affinity for sports, particularly baseball. Quin’s mother shared videos of him helping local baseball teams with drills and Brian was inspired and was determined to help Quin continue to achieve his dreams and pursue his love for sports.

A Custom Running Prosthesis for Quin

Since Quin’s limb loss was above the knee, BioTech was met with the challenge of getting the prosthesis to fit and remain adjustable. Why? During and between radiation treatments the size and shape of Quin’s leg would fluctuate slightly, which required frequent readjustments to keep the prosthesis comfortable and allow Quin to continue functioning at an optimal level.

Brian knew that the right running prosthesis was essential to help Quin get back on the field, which was the ultimate goal. Brian worked with the BioTech team to develop custom-fit prosthetic device to provide Quin with utmost comfort and flexibility.

Using a shrinker for fitting (a compression sock), Brian measured the circumference of Quin’s leg and began to design the new running prosthesis as they waited for Quin’s sutures to heal.

The Ottobock running prosthesis was made in house at BioTech Limb and Brace, shaped like a J, made with carbon pylon, which was chosen due to its light weight.

Within hours of the first fitting, Quin was making his way up and down stairs and across the parking lot in his evaluation socket, getting used to the feel of a new running prosthesis. By August, a mere two months later, he was out and running around without any trouble.

artifical limbs alabama

Quin has become known at BioTech for his personality and perseverance. He’s even formed a relationship with another well-known BioTech patient, Noah Galloway, along the way. Noah invited Quin to watch him live in LA on Dancing with the Stars. There, he met celebrity basketball star, Kobe Bryant (and told him his favorite basketball player was LeBron James!). Bryant did not hesitate to tell Quin that he taught LeBron “everything he knows” - to which Quin replied, “Not everything.”

We are so very proud of how far Quin has come and are thrilled to have him as part of the BioTech family. He truly is an inspiration to all of us every single day.

The BioTech Advantage

At BioTech, we strive to make every person who walks in our door feel like family. Our goal is simple - to help people recognize and then achieve their possibilities!

Experience the difference of a proper fitting prosthesis today! Contact BioTech Limb and Brace.

Advice for Traveling with a Prosthesis

Prosthetics Traveling can be very exciting! As you plan for your relaxing trip, there are a few things that can help you when traveling with a prosthesis.

Security at an airport often causes the most complications, but there are other considerations to traveling with a prosthetic device. Read on to learn what you need to know before you go.

Helpful Tips for Traveling

It is helpful to know that any passenger traveling with a prosthesis has the right to be screened without removing it. Providing documentation of medical conditions, however, does not exempt any passenger from additional screening if it is required.

Pat downs, the metal detectors, and imaging tools are all ways in which passengers may be screened. Be prepared. TSA officers may ask you to lift clothing or remove a belt to see your prosthesis and/or test your prosthetic device via X-ray for harmful materials.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a help line called TSA Cares you can call to receive proper guidance on traveling with various needs, including travelers who have experienced limb loss.

When you are preparing to travel with a prosthesis, orthotic device, or other personal equipment, call TSA Cares up to 72 hours in advance for assistance.  You can speak to a representative who can assist you with particular questions.

Tips Before the Trip

Just like you do with everything else before your trip, make sure your prosthesis is in good condition before you leave for your trip. You don’t want any problems while you’re trying to relax. Inspect your suspension. Make sure the straps are not frayed.

Make sure everything has been cleaned well with soap and a washcloth. Look at any liners to check for gaps that may need glue or tears that may need more than that. Also, check for any rust or loose screws.

What type of weather and environment will you be visiting? Depending on your destination, you may want to take a prosthetic skin for protection. Keep some extra prosthetic socks and socket liners with you as well. Duct tape and glue, if they are small enough, may be helpful to keep around as well in case you need to make some minor repairs along the way. Don’t forget any creams or ointments you may use for comfort as well as any prescribed medication. Plastic bags or ponchos can be helpful to have as well to protect from water and sand if need be.

In the end, the most important thing is keeping in contact with your trusted prosthetics professional. They can help you in case of any emergencies and can give advice on the proper care while traveling with a prosthesis.

At BioTech, we ensure quality service always. Our team is here to serve you with professionalism and experience. Contact BioTech today to learn more about your possibilities.

Chad Bailey's Story

Chad Bailey’s life was changed 12 years ago when he lost his foot from the heel forward. He sought an orthotic device that would give him a comfort fit and make him feel like he had his foot again. Instead, he received a brace that was made of solid plastic and hurt so much that he couldn’t effectively use it.

Then Chad turned to BioTech, which built the second brace. Chad has been using the brace that BioTech created for him for 10 years now and says he couldn’t ask for anything better!

What was the difference? BioTech uses cutting edge technology to custom fabricate each piece for the individual.

BioTech Uses Carbon Technology

Eric says that the key to creating the perfect brace for Chad was BioTech’s use of carbon technology. The company is taking technology that was previously only available for prosthetics and they are applying it to orthotics.

Chad’s brace was created in BioTech’s own carbon laboratory in Birmingham, Alabama. Most prosthetic and orthotic facilities don’t have a carbon laboratory, but BioTech has this technology in house to ensure quality and a perfect fit for our clients.

We used a unique application of pre-impregnated carbons that give the brace energy storing capability. The carbon is laid up to suit the individual based on their height, weight, and activity level. BioTech’s carbon technology has given Chad the toe spring to make him feel like he’s got his foot back!

Custom Orthotic Devices

Customer Satisfaction is our Goal

At BioTech, our customers are like family. We want them to be able to achieve anything they want to accomplish and we will do everything in our power to help them along the way!

When asked about his experience with BioTech, Chad smiles and says,”It’s wonderful. They do a great job here.”

Are You Ready to Experience a Custom Fit Created Just for You?

Purchasing a prosthesis or orthoses shouldn’t be like buying clothes. There is no “off the rack” solution. At BioTech, your comfort and ability are our number one priority.

If you are ready to experience the comfort that comes from having a custom piece created just for you, contact BioTech today. We want you to help you achieve your possibilities!

BioTech Proudly Presents the Ottobock for Life Event August 24th

Birmingham Event

We are so excited to sponsor the Ottobock for Life Roadshow this August 24 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens! The event will feature the newest products in prosthetics, including the most advanced technologies.

Come hear powerful stories of quality outcomes from people wearing the prosthetics themselves, and witness an appearance from a very special guest! It’s an event you don’t want to miss.

Ottobock is today’s technology leader in prosthetics.  Below we have listed just a few of the incredible things to look forward to at the Ottobock for Life Event.

The Michelangelo Prosthetic Hand

The Michelangelo Prosthetic hand is perhaps the most exciting prosthetic to be showcased at Ottobock for Life. This hand uses electrical pulses from the body to put the hand in motion. By attaching electrodes to the skin, you learn to flex a certain muscle in order to lift a finger, turn your wrist, grip a cup, and so on!

It is capable of seven grip types and provides a flexible wrist. It’s designed to work as close to the functions of a human hand as possible and was aesthetically designed to blend beautifully into the natural body image.

The C Brace

The C brace is an orthotropic mobility system that is built to deliver increased mobility. Patients who use the C brace are most excited about its ability to easily increase and decrease speeds, and gain greater knee flexion. Its greatest advantage is the ability to provide support throughout an entire gait cycle, versus the common lock and unlock prosthetic knee joints.

Extra Goodies

The Michelangelo Hand and C Brace aren’t enough? You will also get to learn more about microprocessor knees, and the Triton Smart Ankle.

Prior to the event there will be thirty minutes of delicious appetizers, beverages and mingling. Soon after, Ottobock’s clinical specialist, Byron Backus, CP, will be speaking on the technologies and functions behind their newest and most exciting prosthetics. Patients using their prosthetics will give personal testimonies and demonstrations.

All of this is great, but don’t leave too soon! Before the presentations are over, Noah Galloway from Dancing with the Stars will make an appearance. Following Ottobock for Life will be a cocktail reception and Meet and Greet with Noah himself!

Register before it fills up!

BioTech is so proud to be sponsoring such an educational and life changing event. Hearing straight from Ottobock specialists and patients is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

If you are interested in any of the technologies Ottobock presents, you can RSVP via email to schedule an appointment with BioTech for the following Tuesday and Wednesday to try them on yourself!