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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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Everything posted by dalec919

  1. Hello community- I'm looking for recommendations from experianced AKs regarding mechanical knees. I have been using computer assisted knees since I lost my leg 3 yrs back. The problem with electronic knees is water, mud, etc will damage or stop them from working. I am looking for a good durable knee as a second leg for the weekends that is hydraulic or mechanical, that is decent to walk around in, but can get wet or even muddy. My activities are things like cutting firewood, riding ATVs on muddy roads, canoeing, woodworking, and the like. My prosthetist suggested one of the endolite knees, but my experiance with endolite products hasn't been very good so far. Any suggestions? - Dale
  2. dalec919

    Opinions Wanted:

    Shane- what was your thoughts on the 3r80?
  3. dalec919

    KD Amputee ready to get a new knee/leg.

    Othotic Prosthetic Center is who I go to, was featured on Discovery Channel a few years back. Located in Fairfax VA and Rockville MD. Elliot or Ben are both excellent. http://www.opc1.com/
  4. dalec919

    Mechanical knee for outdoor activities

    Hi Grum, Been a while since I checked the board here, and I think the site was down for a few weeks. I am supposed to be getting a Genium to replace my Rheo knee, but from some of the reviews I have seen on it, not sure thats a good thing or not. I am also approved to get a second knee and foot, so I'm wanting a good solid mechanical setup that can stand some water, mud etc. My prosthetist suggested an Endolite Mercury, but I dont have any info on that one. Thanks for sharing your experiances. Dale
  5. dalec919

    Getting up from the floor

    Its a simple trick, and when I was new I tried everything with no success, until I saw some videos on youtube (I believe it was on youtube) - you might try searching there on on the web for a video. Basically, with the leg on, belly on the floor, you an push it out to the side as as others have mentioned, and use your hands and hand over hand move them toward your good leg (keeping your good leg straight) until they are practically under your abdomin. Your butt will be up in the air with your hands underneath, then you straighten out with your abdominal muscles. A few tries and you will be able to hop up and down with ease. If the leg falls off, just push it sort of back into the socket first before you try this, then after you are up you can get push down into the socket it back on. (hope that makes sense) Now its also possible to use the same technique to get up using one good leg without the prosthetic on... to from the belly position, push up with your arms, and walk them toward you until your butt is in the air, and your leg should be straight as you straighten out with your waist. Think is, unless you have something to grab on, or a crutch, then you might fall down after standing- unless you have really good balance from hopping around a lot on one leg. The sad part is that when I was getting physical therapy after my accident, none of the clinic therapists could show me any of this. If you cant find a video, then let me know and I will make one using my flip and put it up on youtube.
  6. dalec919

    New Socket

    Chris- I had a similar problem with pain and a "lump" a couple years ago, and it turned out to be a bone spur about the size of a finger that had grown out the bottom of my stump. I recommend you have a Dr. X ray it, and they need to shoot it from front and side angles. If its not that, you will want to find a good plastic surgeon that does limb and reconstructive work to check the soft tissue. I just had some great work done in the DC area that rearranged nerve endings and muscles, and my phantoms are almost gone now. I have had both pin and different "suction" sockets. Note, there are true "suction" units, like Neal mentioned, and then there are sockets that use ICEROSS seal type liners that force the air out and the seals form a vacuum that holds the leg on. There should be no reason that the socket would be any more or less comfortable than a pin system, other than the socket may be a tighter fit. Given that everything inside your leg is good, the tighter fit would be preferred from a stability/mobility standpoint.
  7. Hello all. I thought I'd write and share a couple of experiances in hope that any information might be of help to someone. I've not been active in the forum for a while due to a phase that I attribute to "moving on" with my life after the accident, but after talking with some of the medical staff at Georgetown University Hospital, I am inspired to participate again in sharing with others our experiances, as amputees. My original LAK was 2 1/2 years ago from an auto accident. I recall my phantoms for the first 6 months were dibilitating, and I took Gabapintin and then switched to Lyrica. The Lyrica was helpful in controlling the pain, but I found myself suffering from memeory loss, and so I went to my Dr. and requested to be "weaned off" of the medication. Also, I had tried some medical accupunture treatments, which were expensive, and I found no noticiable improvements, so I stopped after 3 sessions. In the next 6-12 months, I was walking in my prosthetic on a daily basis, and that seemed to calm my "angry nerve spirits" that would still send jolts up my leg at anytime, unannounced. The phantoms could hit anytime, while sitting or driving, but mostly during periods of inactivity. Other times, the phantomes would be more like sensations of a knife blade, hacking at my missing foot. Eventually, I tuned out most of this sensation, but as many of you know, a "zinger" phantom is something to make you yelp or jump, and you cant ignore those so easily. I was fortunate at this point, that I could take a few Advil at night, and it would calm me enough to be able to sleep. At about 12 months from the amp, I developed a pain in my stump that was a soreness, or bruised feeling. The more active I was, the worse it became. I went to the DR and the xray showed some large bone growths at the bottom, about the size of a finger. A surgery was done, and they removed all that bone growth, and after 8 weeks I was back in my prosthetic. Again, after the surgery, my phantoms flared, and again they calmed down after a few months, but still would come back in the form of the zingers or knife hacking feeling. Fast forward another twelve months- I had relocated to Washington DC area, and my new prosthetist felt I needed a revision to remove excessive tissue that caused my socket fittings to loose and undesirable. He referred me to a plastic surgeon (Dr Attenger at Georgetown University Hospital) who determined that I could benefit revision surgury. He also asked about phantoms, and I told him about my zingers, which had been getting worse lately. The procedure was done 4 weeks ago, along with another surgeon who specializes in nerve treatment. After the surgury, the Dr told me that they had found some neuromas, and that my sciatic nerve had been dangling loose inside. He also told me that the sciatic nerve branchs out - one is a return nerve, and so they cleaned up the nerve endings and fastened the loose ends together. 2 weeks after the surgury, I was experiancing phantoms, but weaned myself all the pain meds and dealt with the pain, mostly by taking Advil and staying busy to ignore the sensation. Now its been 4-5 weeks, and I was happy to report to my Dr that my phantoms were significantly better, and that I had not had any zingers in weeks! My current pain, is about 1 or 2 in the range scale, and I am hopeful that it continues to diminish. Next week I get refitted for a new socket, and in two weeks I hope to be walking about, with a much improved fitting, and without pain. I continue to remain cautiously optimistic, but so far the phantoms are at an all time low. While everyone has different circumstances, I hope that maybe this information has a benefit to someone out there. Good luck to all of you and keep taking each day in a positive direction in continually working to improve your life. Dale
  8. dalec919

    Phantom and stump pain- shared experiances

    Ann, I can't really advise on what to do with your bone spurs, but I would hope that your Dr can determine if they are causing issues. I would think that if they are of any size at all, they could lead to soreness, especially if your socket pushes against them. As for being out of the leg- 8 weeks is what my Dr told me to stay off of the leg. Best of luck with it. Dale
  9. dalec919

    Phantom and stump pain- shared experiances

    Neal- thanks. Since they tied my sciadic nerve endings together, so far no zingers- knock on wood tho, since you never know when those things can find us. I used to get them mostly when driving in the car. I always wondered if the electrical emanations from vehicles had anything to do with it. Regardless, I think phantom pain and limb is something that maybe never goes completely away, but our brains learn to tune must of it out- like repetative noise around us which we dont really hear.
  10. dalec919


    I was having a terrible problem with itching and blistering. My prosthetist had me try Monistat Cafing Relief Powder-Gel. It was created for relief around bikini lines, so you will find it in your drugstore in some intersting sections. Its a little pricy - around $6 US, soe try and get some coupons if you can. Bottom line- this stuff really works, and it has a rubbery type of finish that doesnt cause your liner to slip off, like most lotions.
  11. dalec919

    Opinions Wanted:

    Hello Shane, I'm anxious to hear the replies to your question. I am interested in the same type of thing, a mech knee/leg that I can use for outdoors, hiking, canoeing, etc., that I don't have to worry about the battery dying, or of getting it wet or dusty. Hope to hear of some user's experiances with that knees that work, and provide good stability. Toe catching is an issue, just even walking down the woods in my property can be a challenge with tripping.
  12. dalec919

    Comments on phantom pain

    Hey, I guess I would like to pose this question to those who have had amps for a long time, but does that "tingly" feeling ever go away? One guy who has been 30 years as an amp, and is a prosthetist, told me that he still feels "numb" in his phantom limb. I have assumed its just something you get used to, and your brain "tunes it out" over time.
  13. I have this foot, but I have to question if its what you are looking for. The foot really works well on inclines, and also compensates for uneven ground, but I think the trade off is that "kickoff" the toe you are looking for. I think you should test drive it first, and go from there.
  14. dalec919

    For the woman out there, I need advice?!!

    I dont know the rules for medical treatment in Canada, but if possible I would try to find another Dr. to get an opinion. Are you able to have this done in the US? I know if a really good surgeon, and you could probably get in and out in less than a month.
  15. dalec919

    Leg Insurance

    I remember checking once with my insurance company. Some homeowners policies have coverage for it under certain conditions. I would call them first to see what they say. Give us an update if you find out anything.
  16. dalec919

    New to site and Amputation

    Keith, Coming here was a good move, I have learned a lot from others here. I lost my left above the knee (LAK) a little over a year ago in a car accident. I also had a revision recently due to some bone spurs that developed. The bone spurs were so painful that I couldnt wear my prosthetic leg. Along with Higgy and Mick, my question would be to learn more about where you feel the pain, and even what kind of pain - does it hurt on your skin, or bone, or do you feel too much pressure? I bad fit can cause all sorts of interesting pain. My first question is how long ago was it that you had your amputation? Dale
  17. dalec919

    Planning for RAK amputation

    I agree with Neal on the meds- especially with the Gabapentin (Neurotin). I have experianced phantoms since the beginning, and still have them to this day. My Dr put me on Gabapenton, which reacted badly with the Vicoden I was taking. I then switched to Lyrica, which worked fairly well- the sensations didnt go completely away, I could still the sensations, but they didnt "hurt". However one of the side effects I experianced was short term memory loss. Over time, my brain tunes out the phantoms, and I will occassionaly get a "jolt" or two, and the rest of the time the phantoms for more like background noise. Its one of those things that the body learns to adapt to.
  18. dalec919

    Planning for RAK amputation

    I dont envy your situation, in that you have to make a choice. I had none, since my leg was severed instantly. While the pictures paint that prothetics are wonderful, and even "give an advantage" for olympians, there is a reality that exists that you should be aware of- particulary for above the knee, and that it takes a lot of time and work for the prosthetic to fit properly, and even then there are good and bad days. The C-leg is a fine knee, and there are several others similar that have microprossesors to help aid in the walking. But in reality, they are little more than an advanced "braking" mechanism that helps control the swing of the leg. The actual work is mostly done by the hip muscles. For me, its been a little over a year since my accident and I am just now able to walk short distances without the cane. Like many, I had to have a revision surgery- I had bone growth on my amputated leg that had to be removed, and so its been a bit of a long journey. Having said all that, I would opt for what I have now, vs the 10% you have in your leg. The question I would ask yourself is have you completely gathered all the information out there to make certain before that its the only viable option before you remove it-- that there is no hope of something better, now or in the future that could "fix" your knee. While you are with a very reputable Hospital, and your Dr. may be one of the best, like anything else, medical technology advances quickly and no one person can know everything that is out there. I would get a second or even third opinion about your knee before you go through with the amp. I do know of one of the top knee surgeons in the Houston medical center, who is the director of Orthopedic medicine at one of major hospitals, if you are interested I can email you the information. I think yoiu are very wise in coming here for information and to seek the experiance of others. I know I have learned a lot here, and it has helped me in my journey. Good luck with it all. Dale
  19. dalec919

    What do you say?

    Makes you wonder if you went in for surgery that they would operate on the correct one!! LMAO I just had a revision, and the Dr. told me there was some case in Florida that they took the wrong leg, and a week later did the same again to another patient. Now they have to mark your leg with a sharpie, and you have to sign a paper that they marked the correct leg.
  20. dalec919

    What do you say?

    This is so danged funny. Thank your friend for his response as it will likely get "re-used"
  21. dalec919

    Echelon Foot

    Its a great foot, but there can always be something better by tommorow. For now, I will keep mine until that "better" one comes along. I think Endolite has a pretty good return policy, something like 60 days- ask your prosthetist. You might give it a "free try" and go from there.
  22. dalec919

    Motion Foot by Motion Control inc.

    It looks really interesting- especially the range for Incline. I have an Echelon, and like it, but its much more limited in the range.
  23. dalec919

    New Nerve medication -- Lyrica

    I took Lyrica for about 6 months and was recently "weaned off" by my Dr. I still have occasional twitches from the Phantoms, but not like I had in the beginning. Lyrica really worked well for me in controlling the phantoms. For those just starting, it really takes about a month before its fully working. It doesnt really stop the phantoms, but it takes the edge off so that you can sleep and function during the day. For me, the biggest side effect was short term memory loss. It was very noticable for a while and once I got off of it, I feel much more in control of my memory. The other thing you need to be cautious of is to never stop cold turkey. If your Dr RX runs out or insurance is dragging on approval, get the pharmacy to give you some "loaners" for a week to get you by. My Dr weaned me off over the course of about 6 weeks. Good luck to you all.
  24. dalec919

    Da Blues

    Have you tried an antidepressent? I take Lexapro, which they put me on in the hospital (at my request) and have been very fortunate that I havent gotten down since the accident?
  25. dalec919

    New Nerve medication -- Lyrica

    I have used Lyrica for about 6 months now for the phantoms. It works well for that, but I have noticed short term memory side effects, which seems to be one of the more common published issues. I tried Gabrapentin before that and couldnt take it- made me very stressed. I have never been a ADD, but I also have more trouble staying focused on the task. My Dr. is weaning me off of it now, with a long term decrease in dosage from 150 to 75mg. He wrote out a chart that has me taking the 75mg a day for a couple days a week, with increasing frequancy over 6 weeks. I just hope the phantoms dont come back- I'm not sure which is worse. We are all a bit in different situations, but it helps to hear how others are dealing with it. Good luck to everyone.