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Topics - Steve C

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General Discussion / Cracked socket
« on: February 07, 2011, 03:27:59 PM »
I slipped on some large rocks along the shore while taking the dog for a walk and put a 3"+ crack in my socket. (There was the start of a crack there before) It starts on the back on the right side, pretty much level with the lowest part (at the back of the knee) and goes straight across and reaches about halfway to the front. The right side has virtually no rigidity left. Can this be fixed?
I have my newer leg that still doesn't fit right so I do have something but the thing is painful and can't wear it very long. Nor can I do as much as I used to. I've emailed the limbfitter but he hasn't replied yet.
At least I will finally have to get the newer leg 'fixed' so it doesn't hurt but until then, everything is more painful. Driving, sitting... The hassle was putting me off having it fixed or redone. I have no choice now.

It feels like in that slip yesterday I suddenly got 20% more handicapped.

General Discussion / Dog gets prosthetic leg
« on: January 31, 2011, 07:58:43 AM »

 A Tennessee couple was left with a difficult decision after their dog was hit by a car.

Surgery was expensive and they thought their options were limited, until they learned about a high-tech solution normally only available to humans -- a prosthetic leg.

Sam and Paula Swift watched in horror as their 9-year-old Siberian husky, Polo, was run over in their driveway. There were three options for Polo: amputate the leg, commit to multiple surgeries or a prosthetic paw.

"It's not something that's been really published in veterinary literature," veterinarian Trey Calfee said. "There's not a lot of research that exists on it that I'm aware of. So it was really the owner's directive. Can we do this with my dog. And the answer is generally always yes. The question is, is it financially a viable option?"

Polo's owners decided on the prosthetic. For several months, he will use a temporary prosthetic while veterinarians study it for wear and tear and recast Polo for a perfect fit.

The cost is $995 -- about a third of the cost of the surgery.

"It was more a cost versus quality of life and for the price of the prosthetic. It was not even really a question," Sam Swift said.
Polo uses his prosthetic leg like a real paw. His owners say he likes to get up and walk like he used to and is back to his husky ways -- quick to curl up in a pile of snow.

'Historic' New Coins To Mark London Olympics

The Royal Mint is issuing a new set of 50p coins celebrating the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 21 months' time.

Natasha Ratcliffe from Cornwall with her 50p coin for wheelchair rugby and handball

For the first time in the Mint's 1,100-year history, the coins have been designed by members of the public.
There are 29 designs altogether - one for each of the different sports that will feature in 2012.
As well as Olympic favourites like sailing, swimming and basketball, they show lesser-known sports such as goalball and boccia.
All the designs have been approved by the Queen and the Treasury.
A total of 87 million Olympic coins will enter circulation, so there should be more than enough to go round, says the Mint.

There was no shortage of contestants wanting to make their mark on Britain's currency heritage.
More than 30,000 designs were submitted earlier this year after the design competition was announced.
The winners come from across the UK and include a policeman from Manchester, a London journalist and a retired social worker from Derby.

They were chosen by a panel of independent experts and representatives from the Royal Mint, London 2012 and the International Olympic Committee.
A spokesman for the Mint said: "The release of the 29 Olympic 50ps is the largest simultaneous range of designs (we have) ever featured on a circulating coin.
"Since the 50 pence piece was introduced 41 years ago, when decimalisation was established, only 16 designs have ever featured on the heptagonal coin."


I think its brilliant to have the paralympics depicted on a coin! Its about time.

The 10-month-old porker is known by villagers as "Zhu Jianqiang" (Strong-willed Pig) after it was born with only two front legs and learned to balance on them well enough to walk.

According to its owner, Wang Xihai, it was one of nine piglets born in a litter this January.
He said: "My wife asked me to dump it but I refused as it's a life. I thought I should give it a chance to survive and unexpectedly it survived healthy."
Several days after its birth Wang decided to train the two-legged piglet to walk by lifting it up by its tail.
He said: "I trained her for a while each day. After 30 days she can now walk upside down quite well."
Wang said since the birth of the pig, which currently weighs 50kg (110lbs), his home has been besieged by visitors.
A circus even offered to buy for the pig for a large sum but Wang refused to sell.
He said "She proved to us that no matter what form life is it should continue to live on. I won't sell it no matter how much the offer is."

General Discussion / Handicap badge denial
« on: August 28, 2010, 07:03:53 AM »


The climb proved perilous for the men who struggled for purchase on Mt Kilimanjaro's loose rock and scree paths
Three US amputee veterans have climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, enduring tumbles and sores to reach Africa's highest peak with only one good leg among them.

The veterans - of Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq - hiked to the top of the 5,891m (19,330ft) high Tanzanian mountain in six days to show that disability need not lead to inactivity.

The trip typically takes five or six days, and the men had to stop frequently to adjust their titanium prosthetic legs, as they slipped constantly on the loose scree-covered paths.

At 26, Neil Duncan of Colorado, who lost his legs in Afghanistan, was the youngest of the trio

The hikers were Dan Nevins, 37, who lost his legs in Iraq; Neil Duncan, 26, who lost both legs in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan in 2005; and Kirk Bauer, 62, who lost a leg in Vietnam in 1969.

"If three amputees from three different wars and two different generations with literally one good leg can climb Kilimanjaro, our other disabled friends can get out and go hiking or go biking or swim a mile, can get out and lead a healthy life," Mr Bauer told the Associated Press news agency.

Mr Nevins developed a bad sore on one of his stumps and after reaching the peak was evacuated on a wheeled stretcher.

Mr Bauer is executive director of Disabled Sports USA, a Washington DC-area organisation that promotes physical fitness and sport participation for individuals with disabilities.

General Discussion / Life on the farm
« on: August 08, 2010, 07:59:31 AM »
I spent a bit of time with my yearling foal yesterday. Shes is real affectionate and follows me around like a dog at times. I was wearing my new-ish leg and she found a new purpose for it. Donkey scratcher.
The leg doesn't have any cosmetic covering and while I was sitting on the ground she used the pin release as a chin scratcher.

General Discussion / Pirate medical insurance
« on: June 20, 2010, 08:26:00 AM »
It seems that pirates had their own type of medical insurance...

Captain Henry Morgan

"A standard compensation is provided for maimed and mutilated buccaneers. "Thus they order for the loss of a right arm six hundred pieces of eight, or six slaves ; for the loss of a left arm five hundred pieces of eight, or five slaves ; for a right leg five hundred pieces of eight, or five slaves ; for the left leg four hundred pieces of eight, or four slaves ; for an eye one hundred pieces of eight, or one slave ; for a finger of the hand the same reward as for the eye."

Captain Edward Low

"He that shall have the Misfortune to lose a Limb in time of Engagement, shall have the Sum of Six hundred pieces of Eight, and remain aboard as long as he shall think fit."

General Discussion / Endolite Suspension Sleeve
« on: May 30, 2010, 07:21:33 AM »
Has anyone used the Endolite Trans Tibial Suspension sleeve? Its the one the seam going down the center of the knee and is black on the inside (with the inside surface covered in tiny pyramid shapes)?

I received a free one from my limbfitter when my pin leg wasn't fitting, so I could keeping using my old (non-pin) leg until the new one was sorted. The new suspension sleeve grips like mad, which is good, but I must admit that the inside makes my skin really itch at times. I think its the tiny pyramids shapes that end up covering my upper leg with little indentations.

He took more off the inside of the 'new' pin leg in the back where I seem to have the most pain. Unfortunately I can't wear the pin leg as when I wore it a lot before I went to see him (so I could give him a good run down of whats not working) I developed a blister on the top of my knee right on a large scar from when they inserted a metal rod to try and save the leg.

General Discussion / Having a fly day
« on: May 10, 2010, 07:38:35 PM »
The day started off as 'day three' of my dog not eating. I'm worried and call the vet and get a appointment for 7:30pm.  I go back to using the pickaxe to find and dislodge small up to massive stones out of a hillside of mine. I haven't a clue to how it happened but I somehow hit myself in the side of the knee with the pickaxe on my good leg. It hurt so bad I thought I might actually be sick. I wasn't and the knee calmed down some for me to gingerly do a bit of soil raking. I drove to the vet (2 hr round trip...looks like she caught a bug of some sort. She's on pills now). When I got out of the jeep at home the knee was nearly stuck in the bent position. The whole knee is swollen, reddish pink, throbs and I have a healthy knot on the side. Can't really walk and so now I hobbling around on the crutches again. The pain is fairly brutal. Depending on how it is in the morning I may have to go to the 'vet' myself. As I remember at rehab they told me to be sure to take good care of my good leg. Obviously I wasn't paying attention.

Sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes you're the fly.

General Discussion / World's first leg transplant to be given go ahead
« on: April 25, 2010, 07:48:46 AM »
I don't know if I would chance it myself.

World's first leg transplant to be given go ahead


The world's first leg transplant is to take place this summer. The breakthrough operation could offer hope to millions of amputees and injured war veterans.

Health chiefs in Spain are expected to give surgeon Pedro Cavadas the go-ahead for the pioneering operation next month. The news comes just a day after it emerged surgeons in Barcelona had performed the world's first full-face transplant.

Cavadas, who has already carried out a partial face transplant and three arm transplants, plans to perform a double leg transplant using limbs from a dead donor.

The unnamed recipient, who would otherwise face life in a wheelchair, had both legs amputated above the knee after an accident.

Spain's National Transplant Organization (ONT), which has studied the request, has already indicated its support.

The country's regional health chiefs will decide whether to approve the operation at a meeting at the end of May. Medics will then alert hospitals nationwide to try to identify a donor.

The operation is expected to take place in the summer at La Fe Hospital in Valencia. It will give hope to British soldiers who have had legs amputated after falling victim to roadside bombs in places like Afghanistan.

Rafael Matesanz, President of the ONT, said: 'My impression on Dr Cavadas' dossier is favourable and that the operation will be approved as the world's first leg transplant.'

Mr Matesanz claimed leg transplants were less complicated than face transplants but had a 'limited clinical justification'.

'In our view a person who has lost a leg is much better off with an artificial limb than a transplant which involves a complicated operation, a long period of rehabilitation and lifelong medication to prevent rejection of the new limb,' he said.

'The same is true of a person who has lost both legs below the knee.

'The case we are dealing with here is that of a person who has lost both legs above the knee near their hips and doesn't have sufficient muscle for doctors to consider fitting artificial limbs.

'These are patients who are facing life in a wheelchair and is the only situation where a double leg transplant is clinically justifiable. 'I hope the operation can take place this year if it is authorized.'

Donors for the three double arm transplants carried out by Dr Cavadas were found within two months of the operation getting the go-ahead, he said.

'The operation is a difficult one but is no more complicated than an arm transplant,' he added. 'Where soldiers have lost legs above the knee, there could be a clinical justification for a transplant and this operation could give them hope.'

Details of the leg transplant operation have not been released. However, it is likely that the donor legs will need to be filled with blood when severed and then chilled.

The bones will be connected first, followed by the tendons and arteries. The nerves can then attached, followed by the veins. A hand transplant operation lasts eight to 12 hours - and a leg operation could be a similar length.

The patient will need to take immuno-suppressive drugs to stop the legs being rejected. Nerves regenerate at the rate of about an inch a month and it is likely the patient will be able to feel their leg after a year.

Spain became the first country to carry out a first full-face operation this week.

A man in his 30s was given another man's lips, nose, jaw, teeth, palate and cheek bones as well as his facial muscles and skin from the bottom of his hair to the top of his neck.

The unnamed recipient is thought to have shot himself in an accident five years ago when he worked as a farmer. The donor, whose family have also demanded anonymity, is believed to have died shortly before the operation in a road accident.

The 24-hour op, involving 30 medical experts, took place on March 20 at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron Hospital although details were only released this week.

It followed 10 partial face transplants in four countries - France, Spain, the United States and China.

Isabelle Dinoire was given the world's first face transplant in November 2005 in France after her original face was ravaged by her dog.

Spaniard Pedro Cavadas, 45, has carried out a string of headline-making operations.

In 2005 he reconstructed the reproductive organs of two children from Kenya mutilated by locals who believed cooking an under-age virgin's male member cured AIDS.

He successfully performed the world's first double hand transplant on a woman in 2006.

Alba Lucia, 47, had spent 28 years without hands after losing them in an explosion in her native Columbia.

General Discussion / Amputee Soldiers Tackle Arctic Challenge
« on: March 19, 2010, 07:11:28 AM »
Amputee Soldiers Tackle Arctic Challenge

Four soldiers who all lost limbs in war zones are aiming to become the first ever amputees to walk unaided to the North Pole.

The team will trek 400 gruelling miles across the Arctic Circle whilst dragging 100kg sleds in an expedition that is being backed by Prince Harry.
Captain Martin Hewitt, Lieutenant Guy Disney, Marine Matthew Kingston and Rob Copsey were selected from 100 wounded servicemen and ex-servicemen who applied to take part in the trip.

Three of them were wounded in Afghanistan and are still serving in the military.

Lt Disney of the Light Dragoons lost a leg after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, Captain Hewitt of the Parachute Regiment suffered gunshot wounds severing all nerves to his right arm, and Marine Kingston, of the Royal Marines, lost a leg after being shot.

The fourth team member is an ex-Royal Engineer Rob Copsey, who joined the military at 16 and served in the First Gulf War and Rwanda, where he lost his lower right leg after treading on a land mine.

It's going to show employers that if you've lost a limb you're still capable of doing any job.
Former soldier Rob Copsey, who lost a leg in Rwanda
"It's the ultimate challenge," he said of the expedition.
"All schoolboys hear about Scott of the Antarctic and those sort of trips.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I'm grabbing it by the horns and going for it."
Rob is now training seven days a week.
His regime includes dragging a home-made "sled", consisting of three roped-together tyres, along Dover's pebble beach.
He told Sky News his only real fear is frostbite.
When wind chill is accounted for, the men will face temperatures as low as -80C.
Other challenges will be polar bears and hostile, unpredictable terrain.

Prince Harry backs the expedition
"The North Pole is 90% a mental challenge and 60% physical," said respected Arctic guide and expedition leader Inge Solheim.
"One hundred per cent isn't enough. You have to give it 150%."
Rising to the challenge is nothing new for Rob.
After losing his leg he has run multiple marathons, skied in the Alps, and taken up skydiving.
Prince Harry is attending The Rifles Club in London to help launch the expedition in aid of Walking With The Wounded, an organisation that helps rehabilitate wounded ex-service people.
The Prince said: "This polar adventure will exemplify the tenacity and courage of those who serve in uniform."
"It's going to show employers that if you've lost a limb you're still capable of doing any job," said Rob, who now works as a customs officer.
"It's a state of mind. If you've got a strong mind, if you've got a strong support network of family and friends, you can do anything."

General Discussion / Bionic Hands Seize Success
« on: February 03, 2010, 10:46:43 AM »
Little Big Shots: Bionic Hands Seize Success

Touch Bionics began as the brainchild of the Scottish NHS to develop artificial limbs. Now, from wounded soldiers to disabled children, Touch Bionics helps people in more than 40 countries worldwide.

My chance to lead Touch Bionics, just after it spun out from the NHS, came at the perfect moment. I had just sold a previous start-up, and I was ready for my next challenge.
Our company does something extraordinary. Without surgery, we can attach an artificial hand or fingers to a patient.
We put electrodes on the skin above the nerves in your arm, shoulder or wrist. So when you want to move your hand, you can control your i-LIMB Hand just by thinking.
Each hand or partial hand can be given an artistic covering to match the patient's own skin, using LivingSkin, so you can hardly see that it is not real... unless you want to go for the Terminator look!

Touch Bionics patient Juan Arredondo

People with disabilities or injuries use our products worldwide.
We help soldiers with military injuries all over the world - in the UK, the US, Israel and Iran. We don't have to worry about politics, just about helping patients.
I realised we needed to sell outside the UK to make a profit, so I took our concept to key players in the US.
The US has a strong, developed market for prosthetics. It is always difficult to break into the US, but we decided to do it ourselves and sell to people directly.
At the beginning, we attended specialist international exhibitions and made contacts.
My advice to exporters would be to research, talk to potential customers, and remember there's no substitute for hopping on an aeroplane and meeting the key players.

Contact UKTI or Scottish Enterprise - there's a lot of people who can give you advice.
Today, we export 95% of our products. We sell everywhere from Australia, Latin America and Europe to Asia.
Now that we have an international footprint, we can launch new products globally.

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