Amputation often means saving the patient’s life or getting rid of severe pain. Timely surgery can lead to a low level of amputation, allowing the patient to use a prosthetic device.
Prosthetic legs replace the missing leg. Innovations in prostheses allow affected people to have a more independent and active life. They thus provide patients with a better quality of life.
How Much Does a Prosthetic Leg Cost?
The average price of a prosthetic leg is greatly influenced by the type of device, with a wide range to choose from starting with a basic one and up to the computerized version. Also, the amputation level must be considered when talking about the costs.
Depending on your health insurance policy you might have to pay deductibles or co-pay. Health insurance companies should cover all prosthetic legs in some way or another. However, there are situations when only specific types of legs are covered and the patient must meet certain health terms. Before signing any agreement with a doctor and proceeding to have a prosthetic leg talk with your health insurance company.
The price of a basic prosthetic leg is around $8,500 without insurance. Also, patients without insurance would pay more than $121,000 for an advanced computerized prosthetic leg that is controlled by muscle movements.
In the table below you will find the average prices for some of the most common types of prosthetic legs.
|Type of Prosthetic Leg||Average Cost|
|Basic below-the-knee prosthetic||$5,000 to $15,000|
|Computerized prosthetic leg||$55,000+|
|Flexible basic below-the-knee prosthetic||$7,000 to $12,000|
|Special hydraulic and/or mechanical assistance for better control||$25,000 to $50,000|
According to the Hospitals for Special Surgery, the average price of a new prosthetic leg is anywhere between $5,500 and $51,000. However, even the most expensive models must be replaced every three to five years as these get worn out during the time.
An article on Vice talks about the most expensive prosthetic leg named Genium X3 knee, also known as the „Maserati” of prosthetics. Its price is around $122,000. This type of leg prosthetic is dustproof, saltwater resistant, waterproof, and runs silently.
According to the same article, the price of a C-leg, made by Otto Bock Orthopedic Industry is anywhere between $42,000 and $62,000. This type imitates the real human leg.
Prosthetic Leg details
After amputation of the foot, the main focus is on medical care and improving the patient’s basic health. You will need to meet with a prosthetist after surgery, and it’s important that you talk about all the options with them so they can help determine what is right for your needs. The time between meeting and receiving an evaluation from this professional varies depending on how quickly the residual limb heals in preparation for fitting. According to the Amputee Coalition, often it takes two to six weeks after the surgery. In this first session, they will take measurements of the stump and create a cast. It’s also temporary so it can be used for up to one year while changes happen during the healing process.
After one year, when the stump stops from its growing process, another meeting with the prosthetist will be necessary, to talk about the available permanent options. Measurements will be made again in order to create a permanent leg. Creating a new prosthesis could take a few weeks, depending on the type.
There are two types of prosthetic legs patients can choose from:
- AK prosthesis or above the knee prosthesis, which is for the upper and lower leg;
- BK prosthesis or below the knee prosthesis, which is attached to the intact upper leg.
What are the extra costs?
A custom-fit prosthesis costs a lot more than the leg itself. With each appointment, you will be adding up hundreds of dollars without insurance.
Physical therapy is a necessary step for individuals who have just received their new prosthetic leg. The goal of this treatment, which normally costs $110 to $320 per session without insurance is to learn how to use it in everyday life. It can take up to three months before one feels comfortable (and oftentimes longer). Many sessions are needed, so it is not uncommon to pay tens of thousands on therapy.
A prosthetic leg won’t last forever, and even during the early stages of wear, it may need to be replaced. The average person can only withstand wearing their prosthesis for three or five years before either needing repairs or an entirely new device. This is due to the fact that they lose fit because of socket changes in liners. These liners are fitted together with different transmitters attached which ensure proper balance while walking on two feet.
With stylish leg covers, you can make any outfit pop. A quality cover will cost $30 to $50 (depending on size) and can come in many different colors or patterns to match your personal style.
How can I save money?
Financial aid options are available for people in need. Ther are non-profit organizations that can help with financial assistance.
One of the best ways to find a barely used prosthetic leg is on eBay. You can browse through their listings and see if any would fit well in order to save money.