A prosthetic is a man-made device that's used to replace a missing or diseased part of the body. Prosthetics often allow patients to maintain their mobility. In some cases, prosthetics are used to enhance one's appearance. If you want to know more about these important medical devices, read these answers to four frequently asked questions about prosthetics.
1. What are the Most Common Types of Prosthetics?
There are three primary types of prosthetics which include:
- Joint prosthesis - used to replace hip, knee, or shoulder joints when they get damaged and are causing pain and decreased range of motion.
- Arm prosthesis - used to replace an arm, it can either get attached below the elbow or to the upper arm.
- Leg prosthesis - used to replace a leg, it can either get attached below the knee or attached to the thigh.
All of these types of prosthetics help the body to maintain optimum function and mobility.
2. What Are Cosmetic Prosthetics?
There is another type of prosthetic that is not necessarily used to increase function, but instead to enhance appearance. For instance, someone who has lost an eye can get it replaced with an ocular prostheses, which is an artificial eye.
This type of prosthetic won't help the person see any better, but it can help to increase their self-confidence. Other types of cosmetic prosthetics include silicone hands and breast implants.
3. Do Prosthetics Cause Any Pain?
With some types of prosthetics, there can be some discomfort. This is especially true of prosthetics that are used to replace missing limbs, such as the arm and leg. If the prosthetic doesn't fit correctly, it can cause residual limb pain.
Another type of pain that many people with a prosthetic experience is called phantom limb pain. This pain usually occurs following the surgery but in some cases, phantom limb pain can go on for years.
4. How Much Does a Prosthetic Cost?
Prosthetic limbs cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. However, because they are considered medically necessary, most insurance companies, including Medicare cover the entire cost of a prosthetic device. Since cosmetic prosthetics aren't usually medically necessary, they may not be covered by insurance.
This may vary, however, as some insurance companies, including Medicare, will cover the cost of a breast prosthesis. When it comes to any type of prosthetic, it's a good idea to check with your insurance company to see what they cover and whether or not they cover devices that use advanced technology.