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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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SteveMDFP last won the day on July 28 2015

SteveMDFP had the most liked content!

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About SteveMDFP

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  • Amputation Type:
    R BKA
  • Amputation Date:
  • Amputation Cause:
    DM / Foot Infection
  1. SteveMDFP

    Medicare and Obamacare

    Captian KB and readers: You are probably referring to the recent proposal by the major Medicare carriers to "reform" the way prosthetics are covered by Medicare. Details are here: http://www.aopanet.org/2015/07/update-aopas-analysis-of-proposed-lower-limb-prosthetic-policy/ The proposal isn't a bill or law, it wasn't the idea of anybody in Congress or the White House -- it's a proposal by the corporations involved in billing Medicare for services. The proposal was up for a comment period, which is over. The public hearings and published comments were thoroughly critical of many aspects of the proposal. In theory, the Medicare administration could implement the proposal, but it got enough of a public thrashing that I think it's unlikely to be implemented. If the proposed payment policies *are* implemented, we'll need new legislation to reverse that. There's no bill in congress that we need to oppose, and probably no bill we need to support--yet. The underlying tensions about what should be paid for or not are present in ANY third-party payer system, whether the payer is a corporate insurance company or government benefit system. The only alternative to a third-party payer system is for you to pay for all your healthcare yourself, which we're all free to do.
  2. I'd recommend exhausting all reasonable options. You've been referred to a pain specialist, but not all pain specialists are alike. If you're getting meds and psychological treatment without adequate results, you might benefit from an *interventional* pain specialist, who might be able to dramatically improve pain with nerve blocks, perhaps. He'd at least be a second opinion on your pain regimen, which you really should have before an amputation. I hope you've had at least a trial of TENS. You might benefit from topical capsaicin gel, which is over the counter. Pain can usually be resolved without amputation, one way or another.
  3. SteveMDFP

    DIY alignment

    I've adjusted my own bka alignment. I wouldn't recommend messing around with it, if you can get good service from your prosthetist. But my first leg was so painful, and I was desperate to make it work, so I had my allen wrench out within 30 minutes of getting home. Before you do anything, do some research. Understand how the pieces you're going to be manipulating fit together. You'll be loosening one screw, and having to tighten the opposite. But you'll temporarily have to loosen one screw at right angles to those to be able to move the piece freely. Changing the angle at the ankle may require a compensatory change at the bottom of the socket. Make sure the connections are tight before you bear weight. Small adjustments at a time. COUNT the number of quarter-turns you're making, so you can return those screws to the same position if needed. Don't make a change and then have to walk a long distance--short distances first. All in all, it's probably a bad idea, but occasionally appropriate. Good luck. Steve
  4. SteveMDFP

    Allow me to introduce myself

    New York is a big state. In Western NY, you might consider Michael Love and his Pump-it-up socket system: http://www.amputee-center.com/pump_it_up.html I think many prosthetists prefer to stick with pin-lock because it's easier and quicker to fit. It takes more skill and work to fashion a socket that can hold a vacuum and still be comfortable.
  5. Hey, Frank. I'm something of a DIYer with prosthetics myself. We seem to be a rare breed. Prothetists (for understandable reasons) strongly discourage home made "improvements," but I think cautious and thoughtful modifications have their place. You can see some ideas of like-minded folks here Any kind of vacuum is sure to suffer some slow leaks at best, so if you're going to use a vacuum pump of some kind, it's going to need to stay on. If it uses a squeezable bulb, perhaps it can hang on your belt, or the tubing could be threaded through a small hole in your pants pocket. But in terms of your specific question, I'd guess your one-way valve might not be fully functional (or reversed?), or tubing gets worked lose when you remove the pump. When my current ill-fitting prosthesis becomes a spare, I have some thoughts of experimenting with it. I have a small 12 volt vacuum pump, and I think I can mount it on the prosthesis with 8 rechargeable AA batteries. Meanwhile, if adjusting the fit inside the socket is part of the goal, you might benefit from these handy, inexpensive silicone pads (repurposed from original intent). For me, they've made a dramatic improvement in fit. Steve
  6. The Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation, a nonprofit based at Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg Pennsylvania, is one of America's newest adaptive sports programs for people with disabilities. This rapidly growing program services wounded troops in the nearby Baltimore/Washington region, as well as civilian athletes with a wide range of disabilities. On Monday, they will hold their annual 100K Vertical Challenge. Ten teams and 30 individual will ski over 100,000 vertical miles. You can come to Whitetail to cheer them on, or sponsor the event from the comfort of your own home. Proceeds will support the work of the Foundation in providing sports education and training to people with a range of disabilities, both winter and summer. News articles about the Foundation and the Challenge can be read here and here. Best wishes, Steve