Author Topic: Newbie amputee, have some questions  (Read 12155 times)

Offline Freytheviking

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Newbie amputee, have some questions
« on: December 12, 2010, 02:10:18 PM »
First of all I would like to say thanks. I have been lurking on these boards for a month and have found the info here extremely helpful. It has given me hope. I was in a motorcycle accident 3 months ago that took my right leg just above the knee.

I have been working with Hanger (dont know any better) and I just got my temporary prosthetic, a Mercury unit made by Endolite. Right now I'm not too concerned of how well the knee works. I am however worried about my socket. The one I got seems to be too big and I am getting a lot of pressure on the bottom of my stump. Where is the bulk of the pressure supposed to be allocated? My socket seems to be too long as well, making my knees asymmetric (good knee is located higher than the other). Should I be worried about this? It certainly looks like crap when I'm sitting down with pants on.

Thanks in advance!

Max 

Offline Freytheviking

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2010, 02:13:17 PM »
1 more question, does anyone know of any good prostheticists in the dc/virginia/maryland/Baltimore metropolitan areas?

Offline Genki_rockets

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2010, 10:43:32 PM »
There are two many good prosthetists around DC/MD area that I don't think it's fair to name anyone individually.

Look for MAS certified prosthetist.  What's MAS? http://www.oandp.com/articles/2004-06_03.asp  If anyone is MAS certified, unlike Hanger idiots, that means at least they know how to make sockets. LOL

Also, if you are looking for the absolutely the best prosthetist in the nation, I don't want to name names but lookup & see who is servicing Walter Reed.  :D 

If you are living anywhere near DC/MD area, you gotta be brain dead going to Hanger.  Hanger is like McDonalds of restaurants, except lot worse. LOL

Lastly, there is a recently patented connector part that allows you to have even knee length.  The part was developed & patented by a prosthetist in Maryland.  I can't remember his name now but your prosthetist should know about it.

In the meanwhile, really focus on that short step drill everyday. ^^  Good Luck.

Offline herb

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2010, 11:19:43 PM »
Hi Max - unless you have a knee disarticulation amputation, you should not be bearing any weight on the end of your residual leg. Your weight should be bearing on your pelvis and on the rest of your residual leg. If you have a transfemoral amputation and you are bearing weight on the end of your residual leg with a brand new socket you are going to be having major problems soon. Your residual leg is going to be getting smaller and you will be bearing more and more weight on the end of your leg.

Your knees do not need to line up to work properly but cosmetically they should. For amputees with very long residual legs,  there are low profile knees and special connectors that will allow the knees to line up. It sounds like your prosthetist did not line you up with the best equipment. I suggest you should be finding a better prosthetist even if you need to travel out of state. Having the right prosthetist will make a huge difference in your success in returning to a normal life.
good luck
Herb
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 10:36:54 PM by herb »

Offline uScott

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 03:19:39 PM »
You do have to have a properly fitted socket.  It doesn't matter how much whiz-bang technology you bolt to the socket, if the thing doesn't fit right it'll never work for diddly.  Sometimes you just have to keep going to different prosthetists until you find one who can build something that works for you.

I am also long AK, my stump was so long that there was ZERO room for any kind of adapter, not even a pyramid coupler, between the socket and knee, and even then the knee stuck out a little bit.  You know that stumps will shrink in time due to muscle atrophy, right?  Well, mine actually lost some length over the course of a few years, due to losing bulk in the tissues they folded over the end for padding, at least a couple of inches.  Still don't have much room for hardware, but my knees actually line up now, so that's something.

Let us know how things go, OK?

Offline chrysochloridae

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 05:48:51 PM »
Hi Freytheviking

Just to let you know that it is perfectly normal to experience rapid shrinkage in the 1st year post amp. Usually occurs faster if you have no other medical conditions (e.g diabetes), are young, fit and active. If you are feeling pressure on the end of your stump then try adding socks (start with thin then work up to thick - 2 thin = 1 thick) you should be feeling pressure on your ischial tuberosity (bum bone) such as the feeling of sitting on half a bicycle saddle

As for the knee length thing, there are plenty of good, High activity knees that are low profile. My personal favorite is the Endolite KX06. I would imagine that this issue would be resolved when they go to a definitive prosthetic leg.

As for socket types, i don't think a MAS socket would be that good for you at the minute as it requires alot of fittings and i would imagine that you're stump would have shrunk by the time you get a definitive MAS socket. I'd try an Ischial containment socket (speak to your prosthetist about it). Its always tough in the first year, but my advice would be to persevere with what you have until the majority of your shrinking has occurred and then get a definitive socket made up - i can't think of anything worse than having lots of sockets done too early and then having no $$$ left in the pot when your stump has matured and you truly need a definite socket!

as you can probably tell, we're a good group of people from all backgrounds and experiences on here; feel free to ask on just abouts anything! Keep us posted on your progress....  :)

Offline Genki_rockets

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010, 10:50:22 PM »
chrysochloridae, i don't think i said he should get the MAS socket.  All I was saying is that a prosthetist competent enough to make MAS definitely knows how to make good fitting socket.
 
That's what I was getting at. ;D

Offline Freytheviking

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 01:37:26 PM »
Thanks for the responses guys. I'll take a pic of my prosthetic and see if I can post it here. The socket does look pretty primitive from the ones I have seen although this is still my temporary prosthetic.

Lil bit more about myself. I'm 24 years old and was highly active before my accident, which is what sucks about it the most about it. Hopefully I can get a well fitting socket soon and go back to doing the stuff I like to do.

Offline chrysochloridae

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 02:09:32 PM »
sorry Genki, misread your whole post. You're spot on though, i would say that a MAS socket is the most difficult to do - if you can make a MAS then a standard IRC should be no problem!

Freytheviking,
i won't lie to you frey, the 1st year is probably gonna suck. being as young as you are and active too you're probably gonna find it difficult as there will be a good few times that you'll want to throw your leg out the window! In my experience as a prosthetist though, going slow is the fastest way to go - as frustrating as it may be until you're stump has matured. As Genki said, focus on the short step drill.

Offline Genki_rockets

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2010, 10:35:37 PM »
Freytheviking, please keep posting your experiences at Hanger, good or bad.  More you write on this forum, more chance that another amputees like you will stumble on to this site.  As for uploading your socket pictures, just click "Attachments and other options" below.

IMHO, our system is corrupt and broken beyond repair by self interest & corporate greed.  Since the most prosthetists are not looking out for our best interest, amputees need to help each other & posting your experience here will do just that.

I was watching a news/documentary program from NHK (Japanese TV station) other day.  They were showing Korean surgeons who were using stem cell to treat diabetic foot ulcers.  By filing in the affected area with stem cell, they were curing untreatable ulcers that most times cause eventual amputation of the foot.

The procedure was being done in Japan as the Korean government had outlawed most researchers and surgeons from experimenting with stem cell in Korea.  So instead, the Japanese government stepped in and was allowing them to perform the procedure in Japan.  Also, the procedure can't be done in the U.S. as FDA won't allow it even thought they have over 97% success rate & the procedure was performed more than several hundred times.

I have a feeling this procedure may never become available in the U.S. as other than the eventual BKs, so many people and industries stand to lose so much money.  This simple, 15 minute stem cell procedure would bankrupt Hanger and most prosthetic companies.  Now, who would want to see that happen?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 10:37:38 PM by Genki_rockets »

Offline Freytheviking

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2010, 01:05:10 AM »

Offline Freytheviking

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2010, 01:07:07 AM »
Whoa big picture lol, but that's my prosthetic with the second test socket. Unfortunately I am still feeling a lot of pain/pressure on the bottom of my residual limb and I am starting to think I need a new prosthecist. I have been checking these guys out (www.mdop.com) and they seem pretty competent and is MAS socket certified. Thoughts?

Offline Genki_rockets

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2010, 06:00:30 PM »
Wow!!!  At first, I was like what the hell?

Then, I finally saw that awful Hanger socket.  LOL

From what I heard, Maryland Orthotics has this one super prosthetist.      http://www.mdop.com/web/Our_Story_-_Our_Practitioners_-_Dennis_Haun.html

The problem is, everyone else isn't very good.  I heard from a friend that they tried to do a bait & swtich on him when he went there.   So if you get seen by that guy named Dennis, great.  If not, I would walk out of there. 

Good luck & have a wonderful Christmas.

Offline ann

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2010, 12:44:25 AM »
To be honest, I have never seen a leg like that one.....

Offline Freytheviking

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Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2010, 03:09:44 AM »
To be honest, I have never seen a leg like that one.....

I'm guessing then that it's a bad socket right lol? Good that I'm getting a new guy to do my prosthesis then.