Prosthetic and Orthotic Services - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC AmputationRIC Amputation Patient wearing an RIC Bionic Arm (See RIC's Center for Bionic Medicine)

Prosthetic and Orthotic Services

The process you will go through is similar for prosthetics and orthotics at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). The more complex the device, the longer it may take for you to receive your custom-built device. Generally, though, you will have a detailed initial evaluation, casting, fitting, delivery and then follow-up care once you begin using the device.

What Can I Expect?


In your initial meeting with your prosthetist or orthotist, you will discuss your lifestyle, career, hobbies, plans and expectations. The clinician will then evaluate your current strength level and range of motion as well as your general health and the condition of your limbs.

You will want to bring any device you are currently using and wear clothing that allows access to the affected limb. Once the clinician has had a chance to fully evaluate you and recommend a device to best fit your needs, he or she will consult with your referring physician and your insurance for approval and clearance.

Measurement and Impression-taking

During this visit—which for some devices will be during the evaluation visit—the clinician will fully measure the residual limb as well as the unaffected limb. He or she will then take an impression with plaster or fiberglass. Within a couple of weeks, your device will be built from a model created from this impression.


Fitting may involve one visit or a series of visits, depending on the complexity of your custom-built device. Your prosthetist or orthotist will want to ensure that you are comfortable and that the device is aligned and positioned properly on your body. He or she will observe you using the device to ensure it is working properly. Once the fit is right, the device will stay at RIC for about two weeks for final fabrication.


Once your device is ready for you to take home, you will come to RIC to pick it up. Your clinician will make sure you know how to operate all of its features and instruct you on its care and maintenance. You will receive an initial wearing schedule to allow your body to adjust to it. You also will want to schedule your therapy sessions as soon as possible to further assist in using your new device.

Ongoing Care

As you use your prosthetic or orthotic device, you will likely want to return to RIC for adjustments or minor repairs. If your device stops working or fitting correctly, please stop wearing the device and call RIC for an evaluation and possible repair.

Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinical Center for Kids

RIC's Prosthetics & Orthotics Clinical Center (POCC) is especially proud of its services for children with orthotic and prosthetic needs. Orthoses or prostheses may be appropriate for children with the following conditions:

Prosthetics and Orthotics for Kids

  • amputation
  • congenital limb differences
  • cerebral palsy
  • spina bifida
  • muscular dystrophy
  • neuromuscular disease
  • spasticity
  • club foot
  • foot drop
  • flat feet
  • gait disorders
  • brain injury
  • spinal cord injury
  • burns