The Best Words for Family of a New Amputee

Posted on: November 4th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger


Words matter. As a caretaker, your words will matter most when your loved one is at their most fragile. Phrases meant to encourage may have an opposite effect if they’re mistimed or misinterpreted. In honor of National Family Caregiver’s Month, we recognize the hard work you do and suggest you trade these common inspirational phrases for words that really help you say what you mean:

“I know how you feel.” But you don’t. Limb loss is a permanent, life-altering experience, one that’s unique to every person. Express empathy and interest by asking them to put their experience into their own words, which allows you to show support through active listening.

Try instead: “I can’t imagine everything you’re going through, but I want to try. Can you tell me about it?”

 “This could have been so much worse.” A phrase like this can easily come across as “you’re being ungrateful.” While you’re thankful they’re surviving and headed towards recovery, they’re weighted down by loss, frustration, and the fear of an uncertain future. To show support, don’t dwell on hypotheticals and acknowledge that it could be the worst thing they’re facing.

Try instead: “While I’m glad you’re still here and healthy, I’m sorry you have to go through this to be that way.”

“Here, let me do it.” While your loved one will depend on you post-operation, they’ll want to regain independence in daily tasks as quickly as they can. Let them. Give them a sense of control by asking them to delegate help when they decide they need it rather than hopping in when you think you do.

Try instead: “You do what you can. Tell me when and how I can step in.”

“It’s time to start moving forward.” Your perception of “ready” may be lightyears different from your loved one’s. Though they may need a nudge if they’re resisting change, their opinion is the one that ultimately matters. Encourage them to begin their road to recovery by asking them to create goals that they see as signs of progress.

Try instead: “I know what you’re capable of and don’t want to see you get stuck in a less-than-best version of yourself. What are you willing to try today?”

You have their best intentions in mind. ­­Now put the best words in your mouth. For questions about caring for your loved one in a way that’s best for both of you, give us a call today. We’re here for you.

4 Scary Causes and Effects of Smoking-Related Vascular Disease

Posted on: November 4th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger


It’s the largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, with more than 480,000 Americans fatally succumbing to its effects each year. An estimated 42 million U.S. adults still do it, racking up a $170 billion yearly medical bill across the nation. It fosters bone decay, impotency, and more than 100 different types of cancer.

Please – put the cigarette down.

We believe knowledge is power. In honor of the American Cancer’s Society’s annual Great American Smokeout, we want to expose the cause-and-effect of smoking-related vascular disease. Consider how it snowballs:

  • The block… Smoking narrows blood vessels to the point that they’re blocked. Fatty deposits in the vessels build up and build up (called “arteriosclerosis”) until blood struggles to flow through as normal. As flow is choked, your body loses circulation of blood that carries the oxygen and nutrients it needs to thrive.
  • …might cause gangrene… Without oxygen, your body starves. And when it starves, it dies. As skin, muscle, and sinew dies, it turns black and becomes impossible for future blood flow, even if surrounding vessels eventually reopen in the absence of cigarette use.
  • …that leads to amputation… Decaying skin can no longer receive blood that carries antibodies that fight infection. Tissue is then susceptible to bacteria, which can attack surrounding areas. To prevent further spread of this crippling disease to remaining healthy tissues, amputation may be the answer. Extremities – parts ranging from toes and fingers to portions of feet to entire lengths of legs – may be removed, depending on severity and response time to the spread of disease.
  • …which worsens for diabetics. For those with diabetes, the risk of contracting vascular disease and other smoking-related complications that lead to amputation is three times higher than for those without. The chemicals and crud that cigarettes pump into your body may weaken its ability to respond to insulin. If your blood sugar goes unchecked, you’re at increased risk for diabetic complications in your heart, kidneys and blood vessels.

We believe in the power of holistic health and want to help you achieve the healthiest you possible. For a closer look at our mission of patient-focused service, read through our about page.

The Power of Positive Thinking: 3 Tips to Give You a More Positive Mindset

Posted on: November 4th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger


Could a brighter future be all in your head? Science says yes. Picture this: a study showed five groups different film clips that elicited different feelings, ranging from joy to anger. They were then asked to create a list of possible actions they would take if found in the same situation as the one they viewed. Those that had positive thoughts bumping around their heads blew their negative-minded counterparts out of the water in terms of quantity and quality of responses.

Positive thinking doesn’t just happen; you’ve got to work for it. However, with benefits ranging from lower rates of depression and distress all the way to increased lifespan, your glass is definitely 100% full of potential. We want you to harness the power of positive thinking to unlock a better you, beginning with these three steps:

  1. Check your self-talk: Tell yourself you’re in a bad mood, and you will be. Say that you’ll never bounce back from surgery and adapt to a new lifestyle, and you won’t. The words you let bounce around your head dictate the actions you do or don’t take. Keep tabs on the “can’t’”, “won’t”, and “never” dialogue, and immediately correct yourself when you catch it. The first step to embracing positive thinking is to tell yourself you are, even if you have to fake it ‘til you make it.
  2. Confront your stress head-on: Closing your eyes as a car slides towards you through an intersection won’t stop it from hitting you. Likewise, ignoring the weight of stress on your shoulders doesn’t stop it from dragging you down. Positive thinking requires you to acknowledge the negatives in your life so that you can best create a plan of attack to eliminate them.
  3. Choose optimism over happiness: To feel happy is to feel everything amplified: the sky looks brighter, your day looks less stressful, and everyone looks a little kinder. However, happiness is situational and based on an emotion that fades fast. Optimism, however, is in your hands. It’s believing that you’re responsible for creating and maintaining your own happiness. Look at a situation, identify all the positives and negatives it can reap, and choose to hold onto those positives.

A happier you isn’t discovered overnight, but embracing positive thinking today gives you a longer lifetime to find it. Reach out to us today and let us know what we can do to help add a little more happy to your life.

Techniques to Overcome 3 Prosthetic Pains

Posted on: November 4th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger


It’s unpleasant, but pain is part of the recovery process. Rather than letting it rule your life, there are coping tactics to help you manage it as it comes.  We recommend the following ways to control pain on your own in your home, whether it’s…

Phantom limb: Your limb may be gone, but your nerve endings are still alive and kicking, sending pain signals to your brain. They can create feelings of tingling, aching, or throbbing that are hard to ignore. Prescription medicines from muscle relaxants to beta-blockers can help ease the pain on a daily basis. You can also practice massage techniques on the residual limb to calm the hyperactive nerves. Additionally, the use of a shrinker can relieve and redistribute pressure. Listening to, engaging in meditation to relax your mind, and distracting yourself with reading or other hobbies can help to refocus your thoughts until pain subsides.

Reach out to us for more helpful tips on overcoming phantom limb pain!

Blisters, sores, and abrasions: Skin irritation on residual limbs is often the result of an improper fit with a socket that’s too loose or too tight, creating friction that irritates healing skin. A rash can occur as a result of a fungus or sweat, which is common with use of heavy suction liners. Antihistamine lotions, athlete’s foot treatments, and over-the-counter cortisone cream can help rashes clear up at home. In the event of blisters, leave them intact, cover with a layer of antibiotic ointment and give us a call right away.

Emotional: Grief following limb loss is more common than not. Like a physical recovery, an emotional recovery will include bumps along the way to achieving normalcy. If you or your loved one experience symptoms like appetite loss, poor concentration, lessened interest in enjoyable hobbies, or enduring feelings of hopelessness, depression may be on the horizon. Keep yourself on top of your feelings by increasing contact with loved ones and plugging into a support group. Be open about your feelings, write letters to yourself, set goals that will make you feel successful, and find your sense of purpose.

These techniques help you manage average levels of pain as they arise. However, they should serve as an addition and not as a substitution for care from medical professionals. Don’t hesitate to call us today to get in touch with experts who’ll help you past a sore spot.

Pedorthics 101

Posted on: September 10th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger
Get a better understanding of what a pedorthist does.

Get a better understanding of what a pedorthist does.

In the world of O & P, we mainly only hear of just that, orthotics and prosthetics. But what about pedorthics? And what does a pedorthist do?


Best and Worst Foods for Diabetics

Posted on: September 10th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger
A list of foods diabetics should be eating and should be avoiding.

A list of foods diabetics should be eating and should be avoiding.

Those with diabetes understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to properly maintain their diabetics, which includes eating healthy foods. But what exactly does eating healthy foods mean? And which foods are not healthy for diabetics?


Diabetes Management and Prevention

Posted on: September 10th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger
A healthy diet can help those with diabetes live a normal, happy life.

A healthy diet can help those with diabetes live a normal, happy life.

After understanding the effects of diabetes among the American population, Premier Prosthetics wants to inform you on how you can manage or prevent the effect of diabetes on your life.


Americans and Diabetes: Get the Facts

Posted on: September 10th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger
Today, diabetes is affecting millions of Americans.

Today, diabetes is affecting millions of Americans.

In 2010, among adults aged 20 years or older, roughly 73,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed due to diabetes. Does this surprise you? Premier Prosthetics wants to take this opportunity to explore the staggering facts on how diabetes is really effecting the American population.


Prosthetic Devices and Preventing Sores

Posted on: August 5th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger
Stay healthy and pain-free by preventing sores before they happen.

Stay healthy and pain-free by preventing sores before they happen.


A well-fitted prosthetic can make or break someone’s comfort with their device. To first and foremost prevent discomfort and sores with your prosthetic device, consult Premier Prosthetics for a custom device that is fitted just for you.

However, if you are experiencing discomfort and are developing sores at the end of each day with your prosthetic device, check out these 6 tips for preventing pain and skin irritation.

  1. Avoid changing the way you carry yourself. Adjusting to a prosthetic will completely change the way you walk, but once you have an established way of walking or standing that is comfortable, stick with it. Avoid activities that force you to stand or walk in awkward positions that make your prosthetic uncomfortable.
  1. To prevent irritations and infections, wash the skin that comes in contact with the prosthetic and the socket of the prosthetic every day with antibacterial soap.
  1. Our body part sizes change throughout the day based on activity level, food intake and even the weather. To deal with this, try adding or removing socks or liners until the fit feels better.
  1. Work to maintain a stable body weight. Even slight changes in body weight can affect how your prosthetic fits, so aim to stay at the same weight you were when you were fitted.
  1. Eating healthy and drinking plenty of water helps to control your body weight and keep the skin in your prosthetic healthy.
  1. If you have diabetes, monitor and control your blood sugar as recommended by your doctor to help keep the blood flowing to the skin around the prosthetic and keep it healthy.

Premier Prosthetics aims to fit each patient with a custom prosthetic device that fits them properly and comfortably. For more information on better fitting prosthetic devices, contact Premier Prosthetics today!

Preparing Children with Prosthetic Devices for a New School Year

Posted on: August 5th, 2015 by Premier Prosthetics Blogger
Ease your kids into the near school year to help them be as successful as they can be.

Ease your kids into the new school year to help them be as successful as they can be.


August is here which means that it is back-to-school season! For many kids, by this time each summer they are itching to go back to school, to see their friend’s every day and to be one grade older. However, kids with prosthetic or orthotic devices may have concerns or insecurities about returning to school. Premier Prosthetics wants to help your child get excited for school and feel comfortable in their own skin. Consider these tips before sending your child back to school this fall:

  1. Ensure that the classrooms, bathrooms, and playground equipment at your child’s school are safe and accessible for students with a prosthetic devices.
  1. Introduce your child to their new teacher before the first day of school. This way, both your child and your child’s teacher can get to know each other is a more relaxed setting. Inform the teacher of any difficulties that may arise and how to handle them. When the teacher is comfortable with the prosthetic device, the other students are more likely to follow suit.
  1. Prepare your child for questions and curiosity from other students about the prosthetic. Empower them with confidence to appropriately address questions and curiosity from others.
  2. If teasing does occur, encourage your child to inform their teacher or a trusted adult. Let them know it is not acceptable and they do not have to endure it. Encourage them to stay calm and that getting upset may only make the situation worse.
  3. Remind your child that everyone is different in some way. We are all made differently and have unique life circumstances that make us special. Think positively, act positively and positive things will happen!

Premier Prosthetics hopes these tips get you and your family excited and prepared for a new school year! As always, Premier Prosthetics is here for your prosthetic and orthotic needs and to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today!