New leg and a question

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I am a BTK amputee on my left leg and got my new leg and foot last week.  The brand/model of the foot escapes me, but it is a simple carbon-fiber spring with 2 smaller CF springs inside the bend of the foot with a vinyl cosmetic shell so I can put a normal shoe on it.  Having only got it last Friday, I`ve been wearing it every day for over a week now, getting used to the socket etc.  So far, aside from a skin rash from the silicon liner on my leg the first couple days, its been going very well.  My question is this: my foot/ankle does not have any vertical movement, only the spring in the foot, which makes any type of a slight incline very difficult.  While walking on flat ground is almost natural, after only a week for me, if I go up or down any kind of an incline I have to almost do a crab-walk sideways type gait or I`ll tip over.  Is this always going to be the case or will I eventually develop a sense of balance on hills?  I know guys mountain climb etc. with my type of amputation, but haven`t been able to find any info on what type of foot they use.  I`m really active, and before the accident I was hiking, camping fishing etc. almost every weekend, but the way this is now I really can`t see me hitting the trails again (unless I go to Florida where the trails are flat :-). 

You will retrain the muscles in your leg to do the things you want to do. You also need a foot capable of doing this. You need to know what your hardware is. Rough or uneven terrain is one of the hardest things to learn. It can lay you flat on your face in the beginning. Just stepping on a pebble with the toe of my artificial foot would send tremors through my body and stop me in my tracks. I also took inclines sideways like a crab. Some feet are better for uneven terrain than others.

I learned the proper way to run two years post-op. I can now tackle any terrain that I come across straight on. I can go up and down inclines with ease. Most of that is in the muscles in your thighs. They have to get stronger in order to hold you back as you descend.

You're still in the early stages. Be patient. I know it isn't easy as I've been there. Things just have to come slowly.

I'd go along with what naseigfried has said, but also, if you take an interest in the hardware later, you'll find there are feet and ankles that are better and worse at dealing with inclines and rough terrain.

Hi jlruddy hopefully you communicated with your prosthetist and he chose a foot suitable for the your activities. You should tell him/her about your difficulties on slopes. I do not think you are doing yourself any favors walking sideways on hills. You may develop bad habits that will be hard to change. Go slowly and force yourself to go up and down the slopes with your foot straight. You will quickly develop the balance, strength,  and skills you need. good luck, herb


I agree with what the guys have told you...but you will have to get a special type foot to go up and down slopes normally.  Also you are just beginning to learn to walk...it takes time.   :)


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