Adjustable Prosthetics for Children
At Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics, we love nothing more than providing children with the support they need to live happy, healthy, active lives.
Our friendly, experienced Prosthetists and Orthotists take the time to work with parents and carers to understand a child’s medical history and developmental stage. We also pay close attention to what a normal day involves for your child – how they play, where they go and what they do, so we can recommend a prosthetic solution that will complement and enhance their life.
Making children feel comfortable and at home is an important part of our philosophy and approach. Our clinics have dedicated play areas with toys and games to make sure it’s an enjoyable and fun experience for everyone.
The decision about whether or not a child will wear a prosthesis comes down to a range of factors – their age, development and activity level, the type and level of limb loss, and their capacity and willingness to learn how to accept and use it.
Our Prosthetists are highly skilled in designing, manufacturing and fitting prostheses for children, using the latest equipment, techniques and lightweight, flexible and skin-friendly materials.
Prostheses for children have a completely different set of components to adult prostheses. However, as a child grows, their prosthesis can begin to incorporate smaller adult components, which opens up a range of different options and possibilities.
Recreational prostheses are often very important for children as they allow them to participate in different activities, including sport, with their family and friends. Examples may include a waterproof leg to allow them to go swimming or surfing, a leg specially designed to play soccer, or an arm that can be used to ride a bike.
Prosthetics for different stages of development
The growth pattern of children requires more frequent prosthetic adjustments and/or replacement of both the prosthetic sockets and components.
We specialise in:
- Body Powered Upper Extremity Prostheses (Conventional)
- Externally Powered Upper Extremity Prostheses (Myo-electric)
- Hybrid and cosmetic Upper Extremity Prostheses
- Sport and Recreation upper and lower extremity Prostheses
- Everyday prostheses for lower extremity (Low activity to High activity)
Frequently Asked Questions
Is your child ready to take the next step?
At Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics we make sure that your child will be safe and comfortable with their new prosthesis. Our staff of specially trained professionals is dedicated to helping children feel confident and successful with their prosthetics.
Is it safe to use prosthetics on children?
We make sure that your child has the best possible chance for success by taking the time to do extensive research on products, materials, and techniques. Our prosthetics are designed to be comfortable and safe for children, minimising the risk of any side effects or complications.
Our trained staff will work with you from start to finish, making certain that your child is comfortable and safe on their new limb. We work closely with our patients and their families to understand their needs and provide them with a prosthetic solution that is not just functional but also aesthetically pleasing. We want every session to be a positive experience for them!
We offer world-class service at an affordable price point. Unlike many other providers, special rates apply to clients that can’t access funding programs like the NDIS — we want every child to experience the joy of wearing a custom-made prosthetic at an affordable price.
Can children get a prosthetic?
To answer this question, we must first understand the concept of prosthetics. A prosthetic is a device that replaces a missing body part.
Prosthetics can be divided into two categories:
- Prosthetic limbs (Legs and arms)
- Other prosthetics (Cosmetic silicone devices like ears, fingers etc.)
The acceptance rate of lower limb prosthetics is very high, and for children to live normal active lives they will need a prosthetic device. Upper extremity prosthetics like arms and hands have a lower acceptance rate and many kids improvise to do day to day tasks with their sound side. Task specific prosthetics to do sport and recreational activities are more common in upper extremity prosthetics.
What materials are used in prosthetics for children?
Aluminum, Titanium, Magnesium, Copper, Steel, and a range of other metals are utilised in producing prosthetic limbs. They are all utilised in different amounts and for different uses, whether they are pure or alloyed. We use industry specific materials and components tested for safety and durability by industry leaders like Otto-Bock, Ossur, and more.
Pros and cons of children’s prosthetics
The use of artificial limbs in children allows them to participate in and around their home, school or community in a way that they may not have before. These prosthetics are designed specifically for children, which means that they are lighter and more durable than adult prosthetics.
However, there is some concern that the use of these prosthetics might cause side effects in the long run. These may include pain sensitivity, skin changes, and even infections.
Some children might also feel like they don’t need their new limbs. This can lead to frustration for the child and parents/carers alike when the child is unable to do things that they used to be able to do before getting their new limb. Children in general learn quickly and adapt to a prosthesis in just a couple of weeks.
Regular adjustments of the prosthetic socket can lessen the negative effects of wearing a prosthesis. Keeping liners clean and dry when in use reduces friction and skin irritation. Weight gain and weight loss are also contributing factors that can affect socket fit and function. Additionally, the arrival on the market of new materials such as silicone gels, co-polymers, and polyurethane helps in creating better stump quality optimised for every day and long use.
How much does a prosthetic for children cost?
Unlike adults, children outgrow prosthetics quickly and require replacing. Prosthetics can cost anywhere from $6,000 to over $50,000 depending on how complex it is. However, even the most expensive prosthetic limbs are built to only withstand around three to five years of wear and tear. Thus, the amount mentioned above is not a one-time cost.
How often should children's prosthetics be replaced?
In most cases, children’s prosthetics are replaced more frequently than adults. This can be anything from 6 months to a year depending on growth.