* * Anonymous Doc: Prostheses by Phone

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Prostheses by Phone

"I wanted to know if you had the phone number of the prosthesis place."

"What place?"

"I wanted to order one."

"That's not how it works.  You need to talk to your surgeon, and he'll connect you with the people who can fit you for the prothesis, and do the training and rehab you'll need...."

"I thought I just call a number."

"And they send you a leg in the mail?"

"Yeah.  I thought maybe they'd want to know my height, so I was going to ask you to measure me."

"It's more complicated than that."

"So if I go to my nephew's wedding this weekend, I probably won't be able to walk?"


"Oh.  I didn't want everyone to know I had to have my leg amputated."

"Unfortunately, it's a longer process than that.  They're going to know."

"Could I maybe get a fake prosthesis, and just pretend it's real?"

"A fake fake leg?"

"Yeah, I guess."

"I wouldn't know where to send you for that.  Maybe a costume shop?  But you're still going to need the wheelchair."

"I can't just get a pair of crutches or something?"

"I don't think you'll be able to maneuver on them without a lot of physical therapy."

"I have a couple of hours free tomorrow."

"No, it's a longer process than that."

"And will insurance cover something like this?"

"The therapy?  It should."

"No, the costume shop."


"What if you write a note?"

"I don't think so.  Sorry."

"Do you think a costume shop would deliver?"

"I really don't know."

"Do I need a referral?"


"Maybe my surgeon can give me a spare leg he has in the office?"

"I guess you could ask."

"Great, thanks."


  1. Wait, I don't see why crutches wouldn't work?
    Hang a stuffed leg, bent at the knee...you could make a really cruddy one just by stuffing the empty pant leg and using a knee brace from CVS or something and locking it into place. I dunno, I feel like you could cobble something almost-passable together, and you can definitely get around with just one leg and 2 crutches!

    1. Though at that point, I suppose you could just put a dummy leg on the wheelchair rest...less stress on it, and less likely for people to bump it or anything. Just say your leg is hurt, not that it's been removed.

  2. Hey, didn't that family from last week want to sell their mother's slightly used leg, cheap?

    1. Ha! I was thinking the same thing!