Prosthetics

Our prosthetists work with several hospital divisions and outside providers to create prosthetic limbs for children with various conditions and situations, including, but not limited to:

  • Amputations
  • Cancer
  • Congenital deformities/limb deficiencies
  • Trauma

The Lurie Children's Difference

Our team of skilled prosthetists is focused on pediatric patients, and is well-suited to make recommendations about what will be most useful and comfortable in a child’s life. Each prostheses are custom-made and designed to meet the unique needs and goals of each patient we treat. 

We work closely with Lurie Children’s physical therapists and occupational therapists to make sure that with the prosthesis the appropriate level of function is achieved. This comprehensive care brings all the specialists children need together under one roof, which allows us to make better and more informed treatment decisions.

What to Expect

We provide pre- and postoperative consultations, and accept prescriptions for prostheses from doctors.

Preoperativ​e Consultation

During a preoperative consultation, patients can expect to talk about their current physical state and their goals and expectations for post-surgery life. Our prosthetists will take this opportunity to discuss the potential limitations and well as capabilities of our devices and set mutual expectations.

Postoperat​ive Consultation

Our postoperative consultations generally occur after surgery while a patient is in the acute phase of rehabilitation. The prosthetists will do another physical evaluation of the patient and again discuss expectations and goals. 

Patients with​ a Prescription

This process is very similar to a postoperative consultation in that the prosthetists will evaluate a patient’s medical history, physical condition and ask about any previous prosthetic care that person has received in the past. 

After the evaluation, we discuss all possible options with the patient and family  to help them choose the best prosthesis for their lifestyle.

Creating the Prosthe​sis

Depending on the patient’s condition, the limb will either be casted or scanned​  to collect necessary information to create the prosthesis. Patients with a recent amputation may require  a temporary prosthesis while the main prosthesis is made. Patients start with a temporary device because the limb will continue to change shape as it heals. The advantage of a temporary prostheses is that it is easy to adjust and fine tuned before the final, or definitive, device is fabricated.  After the limb swelling has stabilized, the definitive prostheses will be fit and provided to the patient. 

As a child grows and develops and their needs change, so modifications will be made to the prosthesis until eventually a new prosthesis will be made. Our team with schedule regular visits to assess the fit and function of the prosthesis. Each prosthesis is custom-made for patients according to their specific lifestyle needs. If the prosthesis is not fitting well, it is important to make an appointment so the fit can be improved.

Types of Prosth​eses

A prosthesis is used to replace a missing limb or body part. We can create a prosthesis for the following areas:

  • Upper extremities
    • Fingers
    • Hands
    • Below the elbow
    • Above the elbow
  • Lower extremities
    • Foot
    • Below the knee
    • Above the knee

Upper Extremity​ Prostheses

We have three kinds of upper extremities prostheses: passive, body-powered and myoelectric. Passive prostheses are generally the first type of prosthesis an infant would receive if they are a candidate for prosthetic treatment. Body-powered prostheses use cables and harnesses to direct their movement. Myoelectric prostheses are powered by batteries and electric motors, and respond to muscle movements. They’re more durable and less discrete than myoelectric prostheses.

The prosthesis a patient uses is determined by a number of factors, including age, personal goals, level of fitness and life style choices. Patients can also decide how they’d like their prosthetic limb to look – we can make the limbs look very mechanical, like a real limb or include personal design touches. Our prosthetists will discuss options with you and your child at length to decide which prosthesis is right for your child.

Lower Extremity ​Prostheses

We use mechanical joints and, in some cases, microprocessors for our lower extremity prostheses. Various types of prosthetic suspension are used to optimize function, safety and maintain soft tissue integrity

Paying for a Prosthesis

We will work closely with the family and insurance companies to determine prosthetic coverage. This will allow our team and your family to make the best decisions for your circumstances.

Make an Appointment

After receiving a referral from a physician, you can make an appointment to have your child evaluated by calling our office at 312.227.6210 to schedule an appointment.

Once you have met with the prosthetist for the initial evaluation, we recommend that you call your insurance provider to determine if this is covered in your plan.

Our services are available at the following locations.

Philanthropy

Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org or call 312.227.7500.