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Amputee Support: Helping an Underserved Group
“You all aren’t just changing lives, you’re saving them,” says quadruple-digit amputee Matt, who is an administrator for a new online support group specifically for finger and partial hand amputees.
Designed primarily as an amputee-to-amputee forum, the Facebook support group also serves as a place for caregivers, industry experts, and those pursuing a career in orthotics and prosthetics to share ideas and gain insight. It’s also proved to be a great place for medical professionals to share their expertise and offer solutions.
Since its launch, the site has offered unparalleled support to its members. Conversations around phantom pain, dealing with trauma, and prosthetic devices continue to flow, creating authentic connections and a true digital community.
“I searched for something similar after my accident without luck,” says Jacqueline, a support group member who lost her index finger in 2017. “Having the opportunity to help others in the same position is wonderful. I look forward to making connections.”
For digit amputees, the lack of support after treatment is substantial. Studies suggest* approximately 52, 000 finger and thumb amputations occur annually in the U.S. alone. That’s not including those who are born with no or partial fingers. Ninety-two percent of upper extremity amputations are fingers.
A quick Google search, countless amputee testimonials, and feedback from industry professionals show that this population suffers from inadequate support. While lower extremity amputees, for example, have entire foundations dedicated to them, digit amputees rarely have even a pamphlet specific to their needs. So as the questions stacked up on where to find support, one company came up with an answer.
Based near Seattle, Naked Prosthetics (NP) has been providing custom, functional prosthetic fingers since 2013. Aiming to shift the paradigm in finger, thumb, and partial hand amputee care, NP saw the need for continued support for this population, beyond doctor visits and therapy appointments.
“We invest just as much into our client care as we do our devices,” says Bob Thompson, CEO of Naked Prosthetics. “And that means we support our clients and their patients from the first phone call to the final fitting and beyond. Each person has a unique situation that requires special attention.”
Based on this philosophy, NP launched the support group in February of 2019. It’s a small drop in the big bucket of resource voids for this population. But it’s already making a difference.
“I appreciate the group and am glad for the support,” says one user. “Thanks everyone for allowing me to be a part of a wonderful group,” says another.
NP hosts the group, but contrary to traditional business models, the initiative is not about sales, it’s about support. Members won’t see product advertisement or receive solicitations. The intent goes back to the heart of the company: caring for amputees who have traditionally been underserved.
For more, visit npdevices.com, join the support group conversations, and follow NP on social media.