Our Mission is to give individuals with limb loss the tools, information, and resources necessary to achieve their goals. We provide healthcare, advocacy, and educational services so that you can live your life without limitations!

Erik Schaffer CP at A Step Ahead Prosthetics

Why A Step Ahead Prosthetics?

A Step Ahead Prosthetics is more than just a prosthetics facility. Besides being in the forefront of prosthetic technology and development, we’re here to give anyone who has lost a limb the tools, information, and resources necessary to allow them to achieve their goals. We provide healthcare, advocacy, and educational services so that you can live your life without limitations!

Below: Learn about the things that make us better.

Making a Difference with Every Step

A Step Ahead Prosthetics is known around the world for its determination to make its motto — Live Life Without Limitations — a reality for its patients. A large part of that comes from diligently following our proprietary fitting guidelines. Although we understand why more automated procedures, such as laser scanning, have become commonplace in our industry, we still believe that nothing can approach the level of flexibility and function of an expertly hand-crafted limb-to-device interface, especially when combined with newer techniques. Each one of our prosthetic sockets is painstakingly made by hand for a fit that is simply unparalleled.
  • Our highly qualified staff holds decades of combined real-world experience in working with upper- and lower-extremity patients.
  • Expertise in and willingness to take difficult and unusual cases like hip disarticulations, hemipelvectomies, and Van Ness Rotationplasties.
At A Step Ahead, we have our own in-house insurance task force. Our belief is that you should be spending your time reclaiming your lifestyle, not on the phone arguing over claims with your health insurance company. Our insurance department has been justly awarded numerous victories with most major insurance providers. We work to make sure you get the prosthetic care you need!

  • Unparalleled list of victories with claims for prosthetic care initially denied by insurance companies.
  • Get the level of care you deserve, not the level of care insurance providers think you qualify for!
A Step Ahead is synonymous with the very latest in prosthetic technology and we believe that all of our patients should have access to it. Our close relationships with leading manufacturers of prosthetic components including Ottobock and Ossur ensure that we are always on the cutting edge! In addition, A Step Ahead houses its own Research and Development laboratory dedicated to designing and securing production of custom components not available anywhere else.

  • Our in-house research and development team strives to improve the lives of our patients and the amputee community at large.
  • A long standing relationship with manufacturers combined with decades of accrued experience allows us to always stay ahead.
Many of our patients were athletic prior to losing a limb – and they still are now! Others, encouraged by the results from their new prosthetics, have actually discovered the joys and benefits of practicing and participating in sports since coming to A Step Ahead Prosthetics. Whether it’s just walking a couple of miles or running a marathon, A Step Ahead will be there with you. We support our ever-growing team of athletes of all ages, Team A Step Ahead, which features many award-winning and record-setting members in sports as diverse as kickboxing, lacrosse, cycling, golf, and – of course – running. Their experience and learnings are sure to help you live a more gratifying life.

  • Over the years, A Step Ahead’s prosthetists and technical staff have spent countless hours with team members developing better sports prostheses.
  • From Olympic medals to world records to personal achievements, our incredible group of supported athletes have conquered it all.

4 Questions for Erik Schaffer C.P.

Q: What would you say sets A Step Ahead Prosthetics apart?
A: A Step Ahead was built from the ground up with one goal: allowing amputees to live life without limitations. Whether it’s fully investing in cutting-edge technology, spending the extra time understanding one’s real needs or advocating for our patient’s right to a full life, our approach is not always the most straight forward, but the results are clearly apparent in the life of our patients. We position ourselves as an “ecosystem of support.”


Q: Did you say “an ecosystem of support”? Interesting.
A: Yes. Through many years of listening and observing, seeing our patients grow, age and develop, we’ve learned that it’s not just about the latest technology; in fact, it’s about transcending all that. When you find the perfect balance between the device and a person’s capabilities, the technology becomes transparent. However, to accomplish that we needed to put in place a complete infrastructure around each one of our patients. From one-on-one consultations to a deep understanding of the healthcare system to finding the very best fit, A Step Ahead became just that, an ecosystem.


Q: Why are prosthetics so expensive?
A: They're not cheap, true. Our industry is constantly pushing forward to discover new possibilities, and like with any other high-tech equipment, the up-front costs and risks are high. When you stop to think about the impact of a missing limb in a person’s life you realize that gaining mobility and access is priceless. Fortunately, the capability to make ‘parts’ to amend and even enhance anatomical ability is a reality. Breaking new barriers is a costly process and companies invest large sums and massive brain power into solving certain challenges. Our job is to do whatever we can to increase the chances of a patient gaining access to the very best, and I’m proud to say our Insurance Department has been quite successful at that.


Q: At the end of the day, what really matters?
A: Our motto is “Live Life Without Limitations! “ and we believe that every amputee deserves the latest technology, without reservations. If going up the stairs carrying a basket of laundry is as important to you as finishing a marathon, so be it. When I started this I thought the reward would be to become one of the world’s top facilities, but I was wrong. Running the risk of sounding really cheesy, I must confess the real reward is seeing that big smile on somebody’s face at the moment they realize they’re about to regain control over their mobility. That’s when we know all the effort we put in has paid off.

We’re here for you.

With every step you take towards your personal goals, there’s a group of professionals supporting you. Our team of prosthetists, technicians, anaplastologists, insurance claims specialists and trainers have one goal: Providing you with the best possible care!

Meet Our Staff

Our History

A Step Ahead Prosthetics was founded in 2001 by Erik Schaffer, C.P., who wanted to create a prosthetics facility to offer a full ecosystem of support for amputees.

  • October- A Step Ahead Prosthetics opens its doors in Hicksville, NY with four employees.
  • September- A Step Ahead moves to its current facility on Newbridge Road in Hicksville, NY.
  • After her first attempt in 2004, Sarah Reinertsen becomes the first female leg amputee to complete the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
  • Amy Palmiero-Winters runs the Chicago Marathon in 3:04 on an A Step Ahead running prosthesis, setting a world record for below-knee amputees.
  • Sarah Reinertsen is chosen to compete on the popular TV show “The Amazing Race” and finishes in seventh place.
  • Kelly Bruno is the first amputee named as a ballperson at the U.S. Open.
  • Members of A Step Ahead’s staff are asked to participate in a conference on Osseointegration in Sweden. This promising new technique offers amputees the ability to wear a prosthesis without a socket.
  • Amy Palmiero-Winters wins the coveted James E. Sullivan Award as the best amateur athlete in the United States. She also becomes the first amputee to ever finish first overall at an ultramarathon at the Arizona Road Racers Run to the Future twenty-four-hour race on December 31, 2009 by running 130.4 miles during the allotted time.
  • John Tartaglio, a bilateral hip disarticulation amputee, finishes the New York City Marathon.
  • Sandy Dukat, an above-knee amputee, shatters the women’s record for the marathon with a time of 4:40:46 at the Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Phoenix.
  • A Step Ahead Prosthetics begins a still-ongoing program with the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces to bring amputee soldiers to A Step Ahead and provide them with prosthetic care.
  • Amy Palmiero-Winters wins the ESPN ESPY award for Top Female Athlete with a Disability. Her highlight for the year was becoming the first amputee in history to compete as part of a world-championship able-bodied athletic team when she was named the to the US Ultrarunning team for IAU 24-Hour Ultramarathon World Championships in Brive, France. She also became the first amputee to finish the extremely difficult Western States Endurance Race.
  • Kelly Bruno is named as a contestant on the show “Survivor.”
  • A Step Ahead Prosthetics is chosen as the first private prosthetics facility in the world to be certified to offer the BiOM bionic foot and ankle system.
  • After participating in its testing and development, A Step Ahead is among the first prosthetics facilities to receive Ottobock’s Genium microprocessor knee.
  • A Step Ahead Prosthetics Boston opens, providing A Step Ahead’s world-famous services to the New England area.
  • Gapaim Orthopedic Institute in Israel becomes the first A Step Ahead Accredited Facility.
  • Aviva Drescher stars on “The Real Housewives of New York City.”
  • A Step Ahead Prosthetics is chosen by Ottobock to be the first prosthetics facility to receive the rugged, waterproof X3 microprocessor knee.
  • Össur chooses to launch the new Rheo Knee 3 at A Step Ahead Prosthetics.
  • Amy Palmiero-Winters finishes first overall at World’s Toughest Mudder.
  • The entire SkinTones process is completely revamped to produce even more durable and realistic skins.
  • A Step Ahead successfully leads the charge against the “One Limb Per Lifetime” legislation in New York State.
  • A Step Ahead Prosthetics launches the Ottobock C-Leg 4 and the Össur Rheo Knee 3 Enhanced.
  • A Step Ahead begins offering custom-made covers and fairings for prosthetic limbs.
  • A young girl with limb loss and a love of American Girl dolls inspires A Step Ahead to begin modifying American Girl dolls with prosthetic arms and legs for amputees all over the world.