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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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About Tigertatt

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/03/1971

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  • Yahoo

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Central California foothills -- USA
  • Interests
    Music - I play guitar and bass,Hiking, Camping, Fishing, Water Skiing/Sports, Gardening, Volleyball, And Most of All My Family/Kids.

Profile Fields

  • Membership Type:
  • Amputation Type:
    Ertl RBK - done by Jan Ertl
  • Amputation Date:
    January 18th 2008
  • Amputation Cause:
    severe low tib/fib fracture 2/7/06
  1. Tigertatt

    Harmony vs LimbLogic

    Which Harmony are you talking about -- the original manual pump system that crates vacuum as you walk or the new E-Pulse unit? If you are compairing the E-pulse to the Limblogic the only real issue here is how much room do you have. the Harmony system can mount any where on the prosthetic and is a good system for those that have room restrictions. If you use the limblogic system the unit mounts between the socket and foot (or knee in AK's) and can create room and spacing issues (though in a pin system the limblogic unit takes up about the same space as the pin lock portion in the socket does). From what I know and have heard is that the E-pulse system is noisy and does have some issues that have yet to be resolved by Otto Bock and connects to the socket via a hose , I personally have issues with stuff hanging off my socket that I could catch on something and tear off so I'm using the Limblogic system that is well designed fairly quiet and has an added bonus of being waterproof down to 10 feet something the E-pulse is not. The original harmony is a fairly solid unit with little that can go wrong with it and has no need for batteries or a need to be charged every few days, it is heavy though.
  2. Tigertatt

    What foot arou wearing?e y

    very happy with my Perfect Stride 2 x3
  3. Tigertatt

    Seattle Catalyst

    She's wrong about trying different feet -- you SHOULD try all the feet you are interrested in and pick the one that feels best for you (after all it is your money). It's NO COST for you to try feet, it does make more work for your prosthetist and maybe that's what she is trying to avoid. Also do NOT sign off on your leg untill you are COMPLETELY happy with how it feels and satisfied with all the parts or how it looks for that matter. I myself use the Pefect Stride and for now believe it's by FAR the best foot on the market for any active (active being the key word here) --BK amputee and many AK's. I currently know 7 other people using the Perfect Stride 2 x3 and ALL of them say it's the best foot they have used to date.
  4. Tigertatt

    0ww limblogic vs

    NOOOOOO Problem Derrick! I try to give you the information that I have in straight forward, no PC fluff, no BS, in my honest opinion way. When I was in your situation there was only ONE person that came out and gave me honest, no BS information and I am ever thankful that she did so to this day. I'm just trying to pass that on now that I am in the know.
  5. Tigertatt

    Feed back on Feet

    If you want the no BS, no sales pitch, no politically correct fluff, then the Bioquest Perfect Stride 2 X3 is the best foot on the market right now for your needs (if you have room for it, it is pretty tall but from what you posted it should fit). The best combo right now is the Perfect Stride 2 foot with the Ohio Williow Wood, Limblogic VS vacuum system, though getting the vac system set up perfect takes a bit of time. http://www.bioquestpros.com/index.html http://www.owwco.com/limblogic.php Now for the politically correct stuff --- There are many feet on the market and since we amputees are all so different there is no way I can help you decide what foot is right for you and only your doctor or prosthetist can truely answer this question for you. blah blahh blahh (god i can't tell you how many times I heard this crap from other amputees)
  6. Tigertatt

    Feed back on Feet

    There are many great NEW feet on the market in the last 3 years but it's hard for any of us to comment on your post without knowing what your activity level is and what you personally require out of a foot. The Venture and Onyx are both well designed feet but they act different and one or the other might be better for your situation. The Bioquest Perfect Stride II X3 foot is one of the best new feet on the market if you are a very active person, however if you're more a K2 kind of person this foot isn't for you. http://www.bioquestpros.com/index.html If you walk alot on sidewalks and work in an office building where you are on your feet all day then you might really like Freedom Innovations, Renegade series of feet, the have a very nice walk with a smooth roll over and good energy storing. http://www.freedom-innovations.com/renegade/index.html The BIGGEST thing you should know is that almost every single foot on the market today comes with a 30 or 60 day trial period from the manufacture saying that you can try and use any foot for said time period and return it at NO COST (to you or your prosthetist) if you do not like it for ANY reason. So the BEST thing you can do is have your prosthetist order up 2-3-4 feet that you are interrested in and TRY TRY TRY them ALL and pick the one that you like best. If for any reason your prosthetist is unwilling to do this than it is time to find a new one.
  7. Tigertatt

    Stick with painful fused ankle or have amputation??

    I did it. Similar situation as yourself, I had a painful club for an ankle/foot and went though with the RBK in 2008, BEST thing I could of done. here's a link to my Intro on this forum, you can follow my progression though the process of deciding. http://www.heathermills.eu/forum/index.php?showtopic=4292
  8. Tigertatt


    If you are an extreme athlete then YES it is all that! but it is NOT an everyday use knee, you'd need an everyday walker leg too. "The XT9 Energy Storing Prosthetic Knee is different then any other knee on the market because it was designed specifically to fill the gap that great walking/running knees leave behind. The XT9 ESPK works well for dynamic energy storing and return during flexion and extension of the knee in an athletic stance -such as on a board- and for shock absorbing -during skiing and other activities. The XT9 is a specialized sporting knee. Just as ski boots allow the user to ski in a way they never could with normal shoes, but doesn't work well for normal activities itself, the XT9 allows the user to do things they never could with a general purpose knee but does not work well for general purposes itself. " ---taken from the xt-9 web site.
  9. Tigertatt

    What to expect?

    Since Skullycat is a rare visitor here nowdays I guess I'll have to step up as the Ertl advocate. YES the Ertl procedure is a MUCH better procedure IF -- done 100% correctly the way the Ertls say it needs to be done. Many doctors do a half ass modified version of the Ertl because they THINK they know what they are doing and these doctors are the ones the end up giving the Ertl a bad name. I have not ever heard of a BK amputation done by an Ertl approved doctor that went bad or the patient did not like. I had Jan Ertl (Now in Indianapolis)do my Right BK amputation, I was in the hospital for 4 days and flew home to Ca a week after the surgery date. I had my BK prosthesis at the end of 8 weeks post op. The time it takes to get into your prosthesis will vary and depends on how well and fast you heal. You want your entire sutur line to be completely healed before you use your prosthesis (you can get fitted earlier though). YES the Ertl amputation takes about a year before your stump is completely solid because you do have to grow a new bone in the bridge but once this bone is solid then you will be off and running. Out of all the Ertl amputees that I personally know, NONE of them have any phantom pain (phantom sensations yes but no pain). This is one of the major advantages of the procedure. The entire hospital stay and cost of the procedure (in Jan 08) for me was 22k plus about 3k it took to fly and stay in Indianapolis, I would pay 25k(less than most new cars) out of pocket AGAIN any day to have the quality amputation that I have. If your current doctor is willing to learn the procedure and if you don't mind being his/her "first Ertl" then there is a Video offered though the Barr Foundation (50 dollars US) that is designed to teach the procedure to willing surgeons. If your doctor agrees to learn the procedure and watch the video then I would also have him/her call one of the Ertls and verify that they understand the procedure. The Ertls are usually very willing to do this. If you have any furter questions feel free to send me Personal Message (PM) and I'd be happy to go into greater detail.
  10. Tigertatt

    what socket would be best for me

    The weak link in the system is the outter sleeve that seals your leg to the socket. Pin holes (or any hole) just make the pump on an active vac system run more. unless you have a BIG hole the system still works just fine but runs more often reducing your battery life. When I have new sleeves without holes I can go 3 days without charging my Limblogic pump, if i have a couple small holes I can go 2 days, and If I have alot of small holes I can go 1 day or less before I have to charge the pump again. The system still works 1000 times better than the pin did for me even when I have a ton of holes in my sleeve. I live on acrage with barbed wire and my road is gravel and I work on and fix everything and I'm going to stay with the vac system, YES !! I do have to be more careful with how I do things , I can't crawl around on my hands and knees fixing stuff like I normally have unless I take the time to protect my sleeve with some kind of pad or knee pad. If I know that i'm going to be under a car or working on something in the dirt that day then ill just grab one of my old sleeves that already has a ton of holes in it and use it. I keep a tube of super glue in my pocket (thanks to Abilitytrek for this tip) incase I do poke a hole in my sleeve. Personally for me, the vac system is 1000 times better than the pin ever was and allows me to do much much more than the pin ever did and it is worth it for me to take the extra care to keep from poking holes in my sleeve. Bottom line -- the "system" over all is not fragile, the pump can take alot of abuse but the sleeve is the weak link. The biggest plus of an active vac system is NO MORE ply socks!!, the active vac keeps a fairly constant volume in your stump though out the entire day, your foot become way more responsive, and you lose the pistoning effect of the pin system. -- try it and see if you benifit more from an active vac than you do with the pin system, you can always swap back to the pin if you don't like it, but you'll never know if you don't try it.
  11. Tigertatt

    Used legs?

    Depends on your situation and how good your insurance is. Majority of the cost in a "new" leg is the making and fitting of the socket (around $5000 us). and depending on the length of your stump the parts and pieces that your friend has may or mayNOT fit under your limb. New prosthetic feet (and most parts) usually come with a 24-36 month warranty and by using used parts you run the risk of the used part failing and causing you further injury, leaving you no recorse since you were using 2nd hand parts. The harmony is a good system but it does have issues with build height and weight where some of the newer products are smaller and lighter. If I were in your shoes, I'd have my main leg fabricated completely new. A new amputee will usually need 2-5 different sockets over the course of the first few years since their stump shrinks and changes alot over this time. At some point you will end up with a couple extra sockets yourself and by then you will have a better Idea on if you want those old parts and if they will even fit your situation.
  12. I chose to amputate after a sever but very low compound tib/fib break, it was right above the ankle. It never did heal to my satisfaction and had other issue not to mention a very large skin graph that was producing blood clots. After deciding that amputation was the best thing for me to do this brought me to the next big question, how high should I go up? So my next step was to start doing my homework on the products (feet) that were on the market and seeing which ones I liked and seeing how much room they needed to be used. I ended up having Jan Ertl do my amputation and Jan really is an amputation speciallist so we just sat down and designed my amputation and the height we decided on was pretty much mid calf. The longer your stump the more leverage you have. The longer your stump the fewer products you can use. Before deciding on the amputation, I suggest doing all the reading you can about the products (feet, socket systems, liners, sleeves, amputation techniques) that are out there and once you find some you like then talk to your prosthetist (or any/many prosthetist(s) for that matter) and then decide from there. For me it was the correct choice and by doing my homework before hand I avoided alot of the problems other people have had.
  13. Tigertatt

    what socket would be best for me

    Yes, VERY GOOD point here. Custom liners are something not talked about much here and are good to point out. Any CP can send a copy of your limb (positive, negative or electronic) to a couple different companies (Silipos and Evolution come to mind or some CPs can fab them in house) and have a liner made to match the needs of your limb. If using this type of liner with an active vacuum system your CP will have to put some kind of cloth over the vac port to keep the bare silicone/urethane from getting sucked into the hole and preventing vacuum.
  14. Tigertatt

    what socket would be best for me

    There is something better, Flip. I think we both know what that is. I hate to see you still messing around with this when you are obviously getting no where. This OWW system seems to be more trouble than it's worth. You can move forward. I hope soon! If you follow the OWW "rules" and actually treat it as an entire OWW system then YES it's trouble. If you have a decent prosthetist and do your homework and design the system out of the best parts for your situation and buy each part as an individual item (much like tires that come on a car aren't always the best for the conditions you drive in) then your final product will also be solid. The Limblogic pump is a well built unit, your socket is as good or bad as your prosthetist, as i posted above there are many many different sleeves and liners and all of them can be used in any combination that best suits your situation, If you accept the word of your prosthetist and sign for a prosthesis that isn't completely up to your needs or standards well that's on you. --- IF -- more of us are willing to come forward and share our TRUE OPINIONS and experiences of these products and stop being politically correct and affraid to say a product SUCKS (in your opinion) then we all stand to win. I don't see that Flip has as much a problem with her legs as she does with her prosthetist and OWW and hopefully now also has the tools and knowledge to fix the "problems". I've been on this forum for over 3 years now and I joined trying to find out information about the "best" products to use figuring the "best" people to ask would be amputees themselves, boy was I wayyy wrong on that one. Out of the thousands of amputees on this and other forums I can truely say only 3 have given me any "good" information based on their real life experiences and opinions. So since the day amputation was an option for me, I've been studying and researching prosthetic parts, I've asked 100's if not 1000's of questions to other amputees and prosthetists from all around the world and I can honestly say less than 3% of them have had solid honest answers and opinions. For some reason most of us have just accepted the line "we are all different" and some go one step further and preach the "different" aspect. If every single prosthetic part were custom made just for me then I could accept that as an answer but they AREN'T. Feet, Knees, Liners, Sleeves, Vaccums, pin locks, ect ect ... all come off a prefab shelf before it ships to your prosthetist who does nothing more than pick a size and weight that meets your needs (much like picking a shoe size). So this is the reason I try to post as much information backed by personal experiences that I can and I never have an issue giving you my person opinion of a product. If it's a product that I have not personally used or seen in action I will try and find someone that does and point you in their dirrection. In the past few months I have seen more people comming out of the shadows and offering up more honest opinions (yes there's a few of you that have always stood tall on your soapbox and I always admire/thank you for that) and we are now seeing more people asking more questions about products thus inspiring others to question if the system they are in is the "best" for them. This is a fantastic change in my opinion, for the more we all know and share with each other the more comfortable we can be. So mmarie if there is "something better" than PLEASE share it with all of us so that we all my prosper from it.
  15. Tigertatt

    what socket would be best for me

    For me I am not and do not worry about dust and dirt on the vacuum pump itself ( I have the limblogic VS from OWW) but water does worry me, the unit is water resistant but for the pump that's the only thing I can see hurting it. I live in the country, it's not a farm but it's all dirt, grass, weeds and gopher holes with no pavement or concrete anywhere in site. I have to mow and weedeat acres and acres and I usually do it in shorts and I've yet to have any issues with grit or grim getting into the pump and my sleeve holds up fine as long as I keep from crawling around on my hands and knees in the gravel and sticks fixing stuff. The Vac unit sucks the air from inside the socket ONLY so if you can keep the inside of your socket clean (pretty easy with a sleeve on) then there's not much of an issue gunkin up the vac pump. The sleeve that seal the top of the socket is truely the weak link in the system and I've found the Otto Bock Derma ProFlex sleeve very tough yet sheer and flexable at the sametime (just don't crawl around on gravel with it hehe). With the Limblogic unit there are no hoses to catch on stuff or pull out and leak, the unit is about as big as a hockey puck (it was the exact same size as the locking part on my pin system so it didn't change my build height at all) and isn't very heavy, the battery life for me is 2-3 days as long as I don't have leaks in my sleeve and it will go a full day even if I do have a couple small holes. What I have gained by switching to a vac system has been all positives with very few negatives. Hi Tigertatt! I have some questions for you if you don't mind. I am bilateral below knee and was first in the pin lock system for the first 2 years and now have been put in the vacuum Limb Logic system by OWW. I have had alot of problems first with the liners and having to turn them down at the top, then with the sleeves that OWW suggested go with the vacuum legs. I don't know if it's because I'm bilateral or not, but OWW sleeves are very heavy duty which make it very difficult to bend your knees. I'm talking simple things like going up and down stairs and even getting into the car. I have a conference call set up with the engineers at OWW between them and my leg guy to see what can be done, hopefully this week. I can't use these legs if I can't bend my knees. They have promised to make the liner thinner at the top so that it doesn't have to be folded down (most other vacuum systems don't make this a necessity, so OWW needs to get on the ball with that one). I'm not sure if you are bilateral or not, but do you think the Otto Bock sleeve would work for a bilateral below knee? Flexible enough? My leg guy tried various other sleeves, but not the Otto Bock one and the vacuum went on and off all day long when I was at work.. I'm fresh out of ideas, have been back and forth to the leg guys 1 million times (just kidding, just seems that way),so I'm wondering what you think?? Thank you for your help! I never did like the way OWW said to roll down the top of liner so I did some shopping and ordered the ALPS - SPI sleeve it has fabric on the part that goes into the socket but none up above the socket part, just pure silicone and this allows the outer sleeve the same seal as if you roll over the top of the OWW sleeve. I've always had great luck with ALPS liners in the past so this was an easy choice for me. I would recommend getting the ALPS liner that tapers from 6mm in the socket to 3mm behind the knee and abvoe -- PSI-XX-6/3 Proximal Seal Interface, 6mm to 3mm tapered, http://www.easyliner.com/PSI.aspx this will allow the least amount of liner behind your knee and NONE of the folding over crap OWW wants you to do. For the Sleeve I used the OWW sleeves they recommend to use with the Limblogic and found the 3 i had were TOTAL JUNK (sorry OWW) it looks like such a good sleeve with a good concept but build and design on them is just TERRIBLE! I switched over to the OTTO BOCK -- Derma ProFLex sleeve and it's 1000 times better. much stonger yet sheer at the same time and the best part MORE flexable than the OWW sleeves. http://www.ottobockus.com/cps/rde/xchg/ob_...s.xsl/1760.html This combo of sleeve/liner has allowed for less material behind my knee than my pin system I had did so even with adding the outer sleeve i have better knee bend now than when i was in the pin system. Just remember, everyone wants to sell you their product so they will always tell you that you "need" to use their product or that theirs is the best. The sad thing is that some prosthetist get kick backs and benifits for pushing one brand over the other so you always need to do your homework and go with what YOU think is the best for you because in the end only YOU can know what's best for your situation. Oh almost forgot -- I had big issues with my socket eating holes though my sleeves at first, with the good advice from others here I got a "gaitor" from Otto Bock when I ordered my Otto Bock sleeves. The "gaitor" is just a lycra sleeve (very thin) with a slick coating on it that I taped in place just below the top of the socket and pull up over the top of the socket onto the top of liner, this allows the Sleeve to to seal on to it and the liner but won't let the top edge of the socket cut holes through my liner. Without it I always had pin holes in my sleeve letting the pump run constatly. This brings me to something else -- myself and 2 others that I know of have had issues with leaks in the system between the pump and where it connects to the socket. the O-ring set up OWW uses to seal here is of poor design. Best way to test if you also have this leak is to just tape up the hole in the bottom of your socket (electrical tape is best) if the pump keeps running after you tape up the hole in the bottom of your socket then YES you also have this leak. -- OWW now is sending out a silicone to fix this problem. I spent 3 days hunting down this leak, i thought it was my sleeve for the longest time but once i put a new sleeve on that i knew had no holes in it and the pump still ran, I knew it was something else. It is a simple fix , don't even have to take apart the socket just add silicone and let dry ( I used the RTV I had in my toolbox but OWW wants to sell their own RTV for more than the 3 bucks a tube I pay for it).