Jump to content
Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by alfieatk

  1. alfieatk

    Advice for amputation newbie

    After 8 years of suffering a painful complicated fused ankle and infections I have made the decision to have a right bka which will be done around the end of March. I have met lots of amputees now and chatted to people on this site over the last year or so and have decided that it is the best way to go. I have stuggled with the dilema that I have been able to cope with my current busted up leg so it was no so bad that I definately needed an amputation but it was far from being good enough to say that I would not benefit from having one. So after weighing everything up I, the doctors and other amputees, think I would be much better of having it done. I know I am swapping one set of problems that I currently have for another lot as being an amputee, but I hope that the new problems will be a lot less restrictive that what I have now. I spent a lot of time looking at ertl, but decided not really suitable for me. I am having my operation done by in Selly Oak, Birmingham, as I chose to go there as they operate on all the soldiers who come back injured from the Gulf, so they do more amputations per year than any other hospital in the country. Mine will be a bit tricky to do, to ensure it is kept below knee as I have lots of scar tissue on my lower leg but I am confident that I have got the best medical team looking after me. It has been very weird organising the amputation of my leg and I have surreal moments when I think it is not happening to me. But now I have made the decision and signed the forms to go on the waiting list, it is almost a relief. But I think it is going to be a long eight weeks, I think I would rather get it over and done and get on with my rehab. I am sure I am making the right decision but I do have moments of doubt that I may change my mind and bottle out of having it done. I am taking a bit of a leap of faith that it will make my life better, and if I reach the level that the other amputees I have spoken to, then my life will be much better. I think I currently live my life at 30 per cent of what I would like to do, mainly due to pain. I just wondered if anyone had any advice on how to cope with the wait until D-day and then after waking up without half my leg. Plus the following few days and weeks getting used to being an amputee. I am worried I won't adapt physically and mentally, but everyone says that I will and in the end it just becomes a part of your life. I am just worried that I may hate it. I don't want to have the amputation but I don't want to stay as I am, and the latter is the overiding argument that has convinced me that amputation is the right way to go. I am 36 now with two young boys and I want to be able to play football and adventures with them, but I am very limited in what I can do at the moment. I really dont want to have an amputation in 10 years time and then think "I should have had this done years ago," so I am biting the bullet and getting it done now. Fortunatly I got some money from the idiot's insurance company who knocked me off my motorbike, so I am going private for my physio therapy rehab and my prosthetics for the first year or so as I hear that NHS after care in this area can be patchy. But I am wondering what advice you guys on here can give me on both a mental level to prepare and deal with what I have to come and also from a practical physical point of view. I will spend the rest of the afternoon looking through posts on here to get some useful info but I thought I may as well introduce myself and also ask the question directly. Thanks for any help and advice you are able to give.
  2. alfieatk

    Can I fly after amputation?

    Hi everyone, I have been on this site a few times over the years but I have recently taken the decision to have an elective right BK amp. I will prob be in 8 weeks time but now I have made the decsion I want it sooner rather than waiting that long. I have been stuggeling with my ankle fusion for 6 years and the pain is too much. Anyway I want to set some goals and things to look forward too after the operation and during rehab. I am thinking ahead to the summer and wondering if medically I won't be able to go on a plane for a certain period of time because of the risk of blood clot in the leg. Does anyone know if there is a recommended period of time you should leave it between having the operation and going on a flight? Will ask my dr next time I see him but that may not be for a while. Ive just realised the Topic Title is a little misleading unless they put some wings on while taking half my leg off. Thanks, Alfie
  3. Hi Guys and Gals, After doing a lot of research and suffering a lot of pain over too many years I am very close to taking the plunge and having an elective RBK amputation. I live in England and so I am seeing one orthopedic surgeon and his fellow plastic surgeon on a private consultation. The other one is via the NHS but I asked and been successful in being seen at Selly Oak, Birmingham, as that is where they do far more difficult amputations than anywhere else, as all our injured soliders from Afghanistan and Iraq are taken there. Due to extensive injuries to my bone and skin in my lower leg it will need a really good team to keep my amputation at a below knee level, rather than throug knee. I just wanted to know what are the most important points I should raise and questions I should ask about how they propose to undertake my amputation. I have a list so far such as; what they will do with the nerve endings? and what steps they suggest to reduce phantom pain? But you know what it is like you often think of the most obvious or important questions once you have left the consultations and it is too late. I have got a few weeks before my appointments so all suggestions welcome. In short I have had about 25 operations in the last 7 years, leaving me with a very painful and complicated fused ankle for several years now. So I have exhuasted my medical options and with a growing family I don't want to miss my children growing up by hobbeling after them or sitting down all the time. I am aware of the ertl procedure but it appears that it can only be done privately in the US, so I want to try and avoid that issue in this posting. Alfie
  4. alfieatk

    Questions to ask surgeon before elective RBK

    Thanks again for the advice. I was wondering what they did about the nerves. I will do a search for Roz and pm her if I can find her, I have PM a few previous people on here and they have been very good about coming back to me.
  5. alfieatk

    Questions to ask surgeon before elective RBK

    Thanks, very good point to ask them how many amputations they have done. Simple but very effective way to work out how much experience they have. I have seen a few surgeons now and well regarded prosthetists and they all say I do not have the luxury of choosing the lenght of my stump, I am looking at very near the minimum level (about a hand and half's width) before they would do a through knee.
  6. has not set their status

  7. Dear All, I am currently deciding if to go ahead with an amputation of my right leg below the knee as my current ankle fusion is giving me a constant pain. I am really hoping to find someone to speak to who had a fusion first and then an amputation to see how it worked out for them. To cut it short (if you pardon the pun) I was knocked off my motorcycle almost six years ago, shattering my right leg. Three years ago I had my ankle totally fused so it does not move at all and is left slightly pointing down. My leg is 3 inches shorter in my femur, that cant be fixed, and I also have to wear a raised shoe and walk with a slight limp. But the main problem is I am in pain every day and I get very tired with the morphine I have to take every day. Some days the pain is really bad and cant get out of bed and other days it is not too bad. If it was really bad all the time it would make the amputation decision really easy but some days I live an almost 'normal' life. But I still spend several days a week sitting down resting or in bed. There is also the risk that the older I get, I am 34 now, then there is a higher chance of me having an above knee amputation as there is not a great deal of undamaged skin below my knee. As I am young it should heal up well and form a solid stump but this will also change as I get older. On top of that my fused ankle could lead to premature arthritus in my knee and hip. And if I get an infection again and they have to do an emergency op then that could well be above the knee. So I feel like I have the Sword of Damaclese hanging over me. If it was a simple below knee amp then I would prob go for it but there is about a 15 per cent chance it would go above knee. I am would prob be better off with a bk than I am now but if it went above I am prob best staying as I am. But the longer I leave it the higher the chance of it going above kneee is. I would hate to be left having to use a wheel chair. I wish I could just try out an amputation, but of course if I don't prefer it then I can't have it put back on. I suppose am just worried about the idea of being an amputee and having to put my leg on and off all the time. But saying that I cant walk at the moment without putting my adapted shoe on. I have meet three guys that my hospital who have had successful amputations but I just wonder if they only put forward the ones who it works for. Is there a fair number of people who have had amputations and then regretted it out there? I am aiming to try and make a decision one way or another in six months time I would apprecaite any help or advice anyone out there can offer. Thanks for your help Alfie
  8. Ok thanks, I should make it clear that I am talking about dr in the UK, I have just noticed how many Americans are on here and I dont want to travel that far. They are talking about maybe a thru-knee which would I suppose give me mobility somewhere between an above knee and below knee amputation.
  9. Thanks everyone for the help and advice I will look at the postings suggested above and come back with a fuller reply and probably more questions. I am just investigating the idea at the moment as there does seem to be a lot of ticks adding up in the plus box for amputation, but everyone is different and reacts differently to operations so I am just trying to cast the net as wide as possible to I get a true picture of what could happen and how it is likely to be. My big fear is that I had a lot of skin grafting from my ankle upwards towards my knee, I have seen a couple of surgeons and fitters and they say there is a 10 to 20 per cent chance (depending on which one you ask) that the skin won't be enough or strong enough to cover the stump. If that were to be the case then I would then have to have a thru-knee or above knee operation. If it was a certainty that it would be below knee I would almost definately have it and in reverse if it was a certainty that it would be above I would probably not. Am I right to be so worried about a thr and above knee. I know that everyone always thinks that their surgeons and prosthetic fitters are brilliant and the best but can you guys recommend the ones you feel are the best to deal with. I live in north London but can travel anywhere to see experts, I have already been to Dorset Orthopedic a couple of times and a few dr's in Harley Street. Thanks again for you help and support. Nigel