Prosthetic Central Fabrication

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a WaterGait different; how is it made?

A WaterGait is unlike your standard prosthesis. WaterGait is a laminated socket, bonded to a hollow hard plastic shell, custom shaped to match your natural leg and covered with Skinergy™ Silicone cosmetic skin or a custom-sprayed nylon skin finish.

How sturdy is a WaterGait?

The WaterGait is currently rated to patients 250 pounds or less.  With proper care, it should last as long as a standard prosthesis.  The skin finish can be re-applied for under $300, should it become damaged or worn.

Is it completely waterproof?

Yes, the WaterGait leg is completely waterproof! Beware of a water-resistant water-leg! These are legs that will eventually rust or become moldy and require more maintenance. The WaterGait  only needs to be washed after use.

What kind of foot is used on the WaterGait?
There are only a handful of feet that manufacturers recommend for use in water.  We currently use the Seattle Light Foot and the Energy Foot by Tru-Life. These are energy storing feet that fit inside the Skinergy skins and are very cost effective, unlike most other prosthetic feet.

What kind of suspension can be used with a WaterGait leg?
Nearly any suspension method is practical to use for the WaterGait. Shuttle Lock and Passive Suction are the most common. The one method, currently very popular, that we do not recommend is an Active Suction System. These are generally very expensive and bulky and therefore not practical for use on a WaterGait.

Is the WaterGait competitively priced?
Yes! A standard hollow-shelled water leg is generally priced around $5,000. Your practitioner generally can’t afford to make a water leg for less. They will tell you to wear an ill-fitting, ugly, old prosthesis until it self destructs.

The WaterGait is priced under $2,000. If you are covered for a water leg, we will work with your practitioner to supply you with your WaterGait for the least amount possible. If you are not covered then you are a prosthetic consumer and can purchase a WaterGait directly from us for under $2,000.

Is the WaterGait covered by insurance?
Some people are covered for a ‘special use’ prosthesis under their insurance. In those cases, we recommend purchasing your WaterGait through your practitioner.

Can I put my old foot on a WaterGait?
In rare cases, you may be able to do so. In all likelihood, a new foot that we supply will be more practical, but new feet are always coming on the market and improvements are something we continually focus on.

Can I put a movable ankle on a WaterGait?
We can attach the Rampro ActiveAnkle or SwimAnkle to a WaterGait for those people who wish to ‘point the toes’ for active swimming or scuba activities. These add about a thousand dollars to the cost of the WaterGait and change the cosmetic appearance of the leg significantly.

Who else makes WaterLegs?
Your practitioner can either have a water leg made using the old fashioned, expensive method. There are a few water-resistant components on the market, but for all practical purposes, you will find that the WaterGait is the most practical and cost-effective solution on the market.

What about the AquaLeg?
The AquaLeg is a $3,000 custom silicone covering, which is intended to go over you’re your prosthesis but does not actually waterproof it. You are still limited in your choice of feet that you can use. Additionally, if you get a hole in the AquaLeg covering, water will get in and you risk ruining your prosthesis. It is an interesting concept, but we feel it has far too many drawbacks to be practical. The WaterGait, which is a customized, waterproof leg—not simply a covering—is designed with affordability, functionality, fit, lifelike appearance, and practicality as its strong points.

How can I get a WaterGait?
Call us, contact us online through our website, or email us to get started. We will work with your practitioner, or with you directly to make a mold of your best fitting prosthesis. We then take this mold and build your custom WaterGait. Generally, no fittings are required as it’s a clone of your current fit and alignment. The process only takes a couple weeks—not months.

Are there payment plans available?
We do require a deposit up front to initiate your order, but the balance can be paid in as many as six monthly installments of approximately $300. 

Is the WaterGait Guaranteed?
Yes. It is guaranteed to fit as well as the prosthesis we duplicated. If an adjustment is needed, we will make it. The WaterGait itself is warranted against manufacturing defects for 90 days. So you can have a full season of fun knowing you are completely covered.

Is there any special care I need to know about?

  1. ALWAYS wear a surf sock or water shoe with the WaterGait! Flooring can be both slippery and harshly abrasive. We do not warranty the skin covering if people wear through it by walking barefoot on sidewalks and other abrasive surfaces. Plus, it’s simply smart to wear surf socks when stepping in water where you can’t be certain of what you will be stepping on.
  2. If worn outside, wash with mild soap and anti-bacterial spray we supply to you to avoid moldy and musty smells. Treat it as you would any other outdoor clothing that you value and want to keep looking and smelling good.

Does the WaterGait come in different colors?
The Skinergy Silicone Skins we use are available in a full range of life-like tints. They have a realistic depth of color, unlike some monochromatic off the shelf skin finishes. They are quite durable and you get to choose the color that you think matches the best. Custom color matching is available at our facility in the Chicago area, if you want to visit us in person. If you have unique coloring or lots of freckles to match, we can do a very nice job of making a good-looking match to your skin, adding less than a hundred dollars to the cost.

Custom Exoskeletal leg made by Lee Shirer

Custom Exoskeletal leg made by Lee Shirer