Jump to content
Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Ally

MAS Socket - My journal

Recommended Posts

ALLY – RAK – MAS SOCKET

Female, 38 years old, 50 kg’s, trauma amputee (10 years), currently using Ischial Containment suction socket, flex-foot & Total 2000 knee, medium activity level, big wuss!

Thursday 3 August 2005

Well the big day finally dawned. After reading and hearing so much hype about this new MAS socket, I made my way to Marco’s offices to start the long process of fitting for one of my very own. :)

There was a lot of measuring, which needs to be 100% accurate, and Marlo’s instructions must be followed to a ‘T’. I am lucky to have a special and trusting relationship with Marco, so all the prodding and poking, looking for ‘this bone’ and ‘that bone’ and the ‘bone in-between’ wasn’t as invasive as one would imagine it to be. Finally, after more than 10 years of being an amputee, I know where my Ramus and my Ischium are located. Exactly located! I feel educated.

Marco says I am relatively easy to measure because he can feel the bones under my skin. I smile to myself, I know that’s just age – you know – when your skin kind of thins out….. :rolleyes:

The plaster-of-paris mould was as revolting as it normally is, with bits of gunk slopping around and making strange slurping noises as it was applied. I am still amazed that it goes on so cold, and slowly heats up as it sets. Catches me by surprise every time it does.

Note to self : Do a special guideline booklet for new female amputees on what to expect at your first fitting. It can be a frightening experience if you don’t know the procedure. <_<

The entire measuring and mould making procedure took about an hour. Not bad. I should be seeing Marco again on Monday or Tuesday next week for the first test socket. I am a bit nervous. We are going to use a different knee, the Endolite Mercury Junior. Perhaps the Total Knee has made me lazy (it’s so easy to use), but I am dreading all the energy I am going to have to expend with the new hydraulic knee. I used every excuse in the book to get out of it (including “it’s a high energy knee for nutter-amps who run all the time”), but he just smiled and shook his head, like a parent indulging a spoilt child.

Roll on next week!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesday 9 August 2005

Happy women’s day. And my first test socket is ready. Forget nervous. I am terrified!

11am - Ok, well, I take one look at this new socket, and it is WAY scary. :o The inside ‘ear’ is so high and pointy, how can that ever be comfortable?

I don’t want to put it on, but I do. I don’t want to put any weight on the leg, but I do. And it’s as awful as I thought it would be. Not sore, but so odd. With that damn ‘ear’ pushing right up my butt. No man. Marco just laughs at me, but I am not amused. :rolleyes:

I feel as if I am wearing a socket that only comes to my mid-thigh. There is no pressure or feeling of tightness at all around the very top of the leg. In fact, I have to check to see that I am in properly. If not for that bloody ‘ear’, then I would swear that the new socket is half-size. And I don’t feel safe. I feel bow-legged and very precarious, like I am perched on top of the leg.

Sitting is a problem. That damn ear again. And it hurts. So it’s off, tweak, and on. Off, tweak, and on. I stop counting how many times we do that. And eventually we get to a point where I can sit almost comfortably, but walking is a problem. I have developed trust issues with the MAS socket already!

And if anyone thinks that the personal poking and prodding for the initial measurements is invasive, lawdy lawd, don’t even go near the first visit for the MAS test socket. You feel like saying “you realise you’re gonna have to marry me now!” No kidding. ;)

12.15am – Marco says I can come back next week for the second test socket. Maybe even take it home. He says he thinks today went well. I’m not so sure. I’m getting too old for this sh*t. My nerves are shattered. I put my Ischial socket on and it feels like an old friend.

Marco can see I’m unsure. He reminds me how scared I was changing from a Quad socket to an Ischial Containment socket. Mmmm, I remember. He has the patience of a saint.

I’m going to have nightmares of being chased by giant ears. :blink:

And I am still terrified.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ally

Don't be too downhearted. If your prosthetist is very patient and both of you are willing to persevere you will get there in the end and it will be worth all the effort.

It took 7 test sockets to get mine right as I had a lot of atrophy due to wearing my old leg for 20 years.

Cheers

Micky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Alley:

I am so glad that you are running this post. I have heard about these things and have been somewhat curious about them

Love your detail........keep it up!!

I'm all ears.

ED

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with Ed here.. what a superb idea to post a journal, Ally. ;)

It is very interesting reading, and I have no doubts that many amputees will benefit from it. Mind you, not just AK's.

I'm a BK amputee, and yet I'm still drawn to read about your experiences. You will give many people insight into the life of an AKA.

Thanks :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Ally

Wow! You really have a gift for putting things into words!

Your journal describes some of the very things I experienced while I was being fit with the MAS socket! I just hope your outcome is better than mine. After a few nightmarish months of many ill fitting test sockets and one laminated socket which never fit comfortably, I moved on to another type of socket. You can see some of my postings on this wonderful forum re the subject of "Test Socket Woes" earlier this year. I received some great advice...in fact Brenda is the one who referred me to my current prosthetist when things did not work out. :-)

I hesitated about commenting on my experience with the MAS socket because it was just MY experience, and success really does depend on the individual. My current prosthetist is familiar with the design but says he hasn't seen it work on anyone. He saw the one I had on when I showed up (hysterical and crying) in his office one morning and said no way could that ever be a good socket for me. Besides being constantly assaulted by "the ear", I felt like my leg was going to pop out at any moment (and I have a long residual limb). Also, I did not feel stable when I was walking. He said that although the leg appeared to be made correctly, it was obvious not a good "style" for me. So I'm hoping that you are one of the people who can wear it! I would LOVE to hear that you get a positive outcome. If not, hang in there, and move on to something else. If it's lower trim lines that you want, there are alternatives.

Good luck at your next appt..... I'm hoping to hear of your success! If you'd like any more details on my experience feel free to PM me.

Karen :-)

AKA

Orlando, Florida

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like reading your experiences, Ally. You have a knack for writing. Good luck as your journey progresses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow thats a good field report Ally~~The ear you are talking about is the one that supports the point at the inner thigh near the privates? I've seen pics of the sockets and was wondering how come the users never ever complained of pain, but has full of praises for it. I'm also dying to try a MAS socket but i dunno if they make it for KDs. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiya Pornster. Yip, that 'inner ear' that looks impossibly uncomfortable. Tis exactly where you say it is. It is a terrifying thing to look upon!

I took a pic of the MAS test socket next to my old faithful IC socket. I just need to buy another downloady thingey and then I will post it here.

Then everyone else can be frightened with me.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Post Ally

I suppose pictures are out of the question :lol: ? only kidding!! :D

Are you held in the socket by suction or a sleeve? The whole process sounds a nightmare, jeeze you must really want this thing.

People always ask is it comfortable? I always akin it to a small piece of glass being trapped between your toes!

Good luck anyway your a braver man than I, please keep up the posts

Cheers

PJ :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ally, what can I say, I think I left my dignity at the proth shop what seems like years ago, it went out the window. There just aren't enough chicky proth's in the world. Great posts-you may as well give me all the good bits and totally the bad bits since I'm facing this in a few months. My stomach is turning for you, I think I love my old faithful leg even more! Just think you might be lovin it in a month or so. My fingers are crossed for you.

Mel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Paul - my IC socket and the new MAS socket are both suction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friday 12 August 2005

10.30 appointment with Marco. Mental block makes me too tired to wake up, and I am late.

And there it is…the new socket with the same dreaded ear, larger than life. :(

It goes on much easier this time. I still feel a ring of tightness midway on my leg, and no pressure at the top, but somehow I feel a bit safer standing in it. I take a few steps using one crutch. Then a few more. I really don’t like the Endolite Mercury Junior knee. It’s on it’s lowest setting but it’s still hard to swing through, so Marco puts my Total 2000 knee on the socket.

Ahh! :) Pretty soon I am walking up and down between the two full-length mirrors. There’s no way I am going to fall out of this baby today. And it’s ok. The stupid ear is still digging into my butt and it bothers me. Marco asks if it’s sore. Nope, not sore. Could I get used to it? Maybe. Big maybe. I make a face, like “can you see I’m not convinced?”

The socket is very low in the front. Probably about a thumb’s length down. It’s weird. And sitting is still a problem. I tell Marco that maybe I need to learn how to sit so that the ear doesn’t move upwards and hurt me. But no, he isn’t happy with that. He wants me to be able to plop down and have immediate comfort. Hell, I can live with that! The outside of the socket (the bit opposite the ear) is very high up my hip, but comfortable. I can’t even feel it there, and it fits properly, no gaping at all. The socket will have to be a bit longer, I am hitting the bottom when I relax into it. I look down and there is NO CONTACT between the socket and that sensitive place in the groin area that has always given me trouble. In fact, there is a definite gap there. Like I said, it’s weird. And not unpleasant.

The ring of pressure is very noticeable to me, but I remember when I changed from a Quad Socket to an Ischial Containment Socket, the pressure was so severe that I thought I would never get used to it. But of course, I did. And relatively quickly too. So I am willing to work through this new feeling because I have ‘been-there-done-that’ before. Marco looks at my stump with his CP eyes through the clear test socket and he is happy with what he sees.

I’m not taking it home today. There are too many adjustments. Marco shares a secret with me. The last test socket was scrapped because when he checked the measurements, he discovered that he had made a MAS Socket with his Ischial Containment Socket brain. This makes perfect sense to him but doesn’t mean much to me. So he made a new test socket with his MAS brain, and I must admit, today is going a hellava lot better than Tuesday.

Marco sits me down and shows me exactly how the MAS socket holds on to you and supports you and moves with you. Yip, I can feel the penny dropping. It’s so simple, it’s just got to work.

I’m still wearing my “I hate the ear” face, so he measures it. And what do you know? It’s too long! HAH!!!!!! So my little friend is going to be cut down to size. Hehehehe….. :lol:

I am out of there in 45 minutes today. As I leave I say to Marco “you know, I would have taken it home for the weekend if you had told me to”.

And that’s a very good sign!

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news Ally :D

Looks as though your getting what you wanted. I got my Mauch knee with the College Park today, my had hurts with the adjustments my brain is making (very small brain). <_<

Giving these systems a chance is paramount, I hope I get more out of the knee than the Total which I think i had good as far as I could with!

Off to try step overing down some stairs!! You'll here the crash :rolleyes:

PJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmm, PJ, now there is something that I would be interested in hearing about.

The Mauch and the Endolite Mercury knees are similar in their mechanics.

Now, as I understand it, the Total Knee is for low to moderate activity amps, and the Mauch & Endolite are for nutter amps who walk-fast & run.

So, here is my (imaginery?) problem. Why can't I have a knee that I can slouch around with at home, walking at a snails pace.....as well as a yummy knee that strides like a demon outdoors???? All in one cute package ... "one" being the operative word here, can only afford one leg....

I battle with the Total to walk far and fast; and the Mauch/Endolite just wouldn't function in small spaces and indoors.

Your thoughts?? And how you are finding the Mauch after the Total?

I have been thinking that perhaps I should give the Endolite another try.......but they are so way different. I am stumped ! :lol: oops.... :lol:

Ally

PS : Next MAS post coming up....I went again today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ally, good questions that I will do my best to try to answer: ;)

The Mauch and the Endolite Mercury knees are similar in their mechanics.

Yes, they are but they both offer very different opportunities for function. I fell badly today wearing my Mauch today, it could be the bag I was carrying but I hurt myself and it has knocked my confidence. :(

Total knee is a very safe knee that gives confidence but encourages to walk on your heel.

Mauch wants you to use all of your foot, I use TT pylon with both knees which does give energy back. I also use the College Park Venture on both it’s to early to determine whether it is the foot for the Mauch how ever it is great on my Total knee set up, however I am over 200lbs! :o

Now, as I understand it, the Total Knee is for low to moderate activity amps, and the Mauch & Endolite are for nutter amps who walk-fast & run.

I’m not sure that’s totally true because athletes such as Sarah Reinertsen, get fantastic results from Total knee although I agree Mauch will allows more speed for the average user.

Have a look at Ryans video’s on this site to see what Mauch is capable of http://www.m3racer.com/

So, here is my (imaginery?) problem. Why can't I have a knee that I can slouch around with at home, walking at a snails pace.....as well as a yummy knee that strides like a demon outdoors???? All in one cute package ... "one" being the operative word here, can only afford one leg....

That is my wish, and I have it to a certain degree, my –leg is superb for around the home indoors or out. It is light less than 3lbs, which is easy for the user. The Total, which weighs 8lb as a leg is good for work but become heavier as the day goes on. Mauch is nearly the same weight as total is easier to wear all day, it’s horses for courses. The J-leg kills the Mauch & Total knee at close quarters in and around the home, when they get to stretch their legs the Total & Mauch systems come into play!

This is probably wear the C-leg comes in, although again it is very heavy! <_<

I have been thinking that perhaps I should give the Endolite another try.......but they are so way different. I am stumped !

If I where you at the moment, I would get your socket sorted so that your happy, our brains can only take so much change, get happy with your MAS, then make some choices.

I will keep you up to speed on the Mauch, perhaps a TT pylon would improve your Total or a Venture foot. :angry:

Perhaps we are both looking for something that does'nt exist yet? But we'll keep looking yes?

Good luck with socket, watchout for those ears!!

PJ :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If I where you at the moment, I would get your socket sorted so that your happy, our brains can only take so much change, get happy with your MAS, then make some choices.

Have you and Marco being talking??? :lol: :lol: That's exactly what he said to me when I offered to give it another try on the MAS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tuesday 16 August 2005

Yip, another great day in Africa :) (this is when you haven’t been robbed, mugged or hi-jacked at gunpoint for two consecutive months), and off to see Marco.

And I’m not late, or terrified. ‘Apprehensive’ would be the word today.

There it is. And the ear! Well, I couldn’t be happier. It’s much flatter at the top, and shorter. About half an inch shorter. I smile. I ask Marco if I should give the Endolite knee another try, but he says that I should deal with the socket first. Good plan.

I don it and man it feels so tight. Squeezing the damn life out of me. I realise now that my Ischial Containment socket is too big. I must have had quite a bit of residual limb shrinkage since I first had it fitted in September last year. This is going to take some getting used to. Again.

We get the ‘ear’ where it’s s’posed to be and I can see why there is no room for error when you put on this socket. There’s only one spot that little brat-ear can fit. Marco made me put it on skew, or so it seemed to me. But it fits ok. Don’t think I would have gotten it on correctly by myself on the first try.

Walking is ok, no crutch today. Marco does his sergeant major thing :’SWING YOUR ARMS”. Sigh, I have to do everything in this damn relationship. :angry: So I swing, and stride, and try to look up, and when I finally de-stress a bit, and start to walk in a more relaxed and trusting way, it’s feeling good.

The front of the socket, which is very low cut, is digging into my thigh, pushing against my muscle, and I don’t think it’s something I can get used to. Marco says he will flare the lip out a bit.

The length is cool now, I don’t bump the bottom of the socket. Bit of pressure at the end of my stump on the side bit of the bone, Marco will push it out. We fiddle a bit with the alignment because I still feel a bit bow-legged. I’m not sure we get it 100% right, but I am very distracted with the tightness, and also with the front lip, which hurts.

And the ear…..I have to laugh….I have made such an issue about it, but I swear people, it was a monster extension in my previous visits here. :lol: Today the ear is more subdued, and although I can definitely feel it pushing up into my derrière, I reckon I might get used to it. It’s certainly not sore.

I go and sit down. Ok, that was fine. So I plop down. Hey hey! And it’s feeling not so bad. Definitely not sore, still feel the ear, but it’s not pushing on the bone. So I lean right back (almost flattened, with bum on end of chair and head on the back) and wham! The ear catches me. Marco looks at me with one eye. He wants to know what’s wrong. I say “I can’t sit like this” – he says “and why do you want to slouch?” I have no answer to that one. <_<

We find a wall, and I do cross legged standing, and wide legged standing, and it’s comfy all the way. Marco wants to try the sitting cross legged thing, so down I go, and I manage to cross my legs about 60% of the way. I really don’t know how the girl on the MAS site does it, because the more I try to push the prosthesis towards the floor, the more it feels as though it’s going to lose grip against my skin, and twist out of position. (I know this because the ear warns me!)

And so, another fitting that even I have to say has gone well. Marco says that when I walk with the MAS socket, I look as though I have more control than when I use ‘old faithful’.

And of course, I have to take a look at my rear-end with this new MAS socket. My oh my. I have twin buttocks. TWIN! Not one that has succumbed to gravity, and one sitting halfway up my hip. You know that lopsided look I’m talking about ladies. They are almost identical. Wow. B) And you know what that means?? No more ruining good pants from sitting on the hard end of a high fitting socket. (I'm guessing, but the odds are really bent in favour of my new little theory).

Can’t take it home today, Marco is going to tweak it a bit : make the front lip flare, give me more space at the bottom where the bone is catching, and bring the hip-hugger side a bit higher. I still am in awe at the fact that there is nothing catching me around my groin. And I am not sitting on the rim of this socket. The back is almost as low as the front. It’s an amazing thing to feel.

Just over an hour, and I am on my way home. Yip, another great day in Africa!

:)

PS : My camera decided to corrupt its own memory, so I will take new pics at my next visit with Marco and post them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So pleased it's working for you Ally :D keep us up to speed as you go

PJ :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Paul. Went back today - was there over 5 hours. Am very sore and dog tired. Not sure anymore if I am bruised or the socket is hurting me.

Here are some pics, all taken today.

This is one earlier in the afternoon - Marco is flaring the 'ear' out a bit. This is after the ear had been shortened.

mmas_bend_18aug.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that clearly didn't work.

Please check out the pic's here : Ally's Web Site and click on the MAS Socket Pictures link on the left....

Night night

<_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ally, i have just finished reading your journal, and the link to your web site,i dont know what to say cept thanks for sharing it with us and i hope that things go really well with the fitting of the mas socket,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ally, I also read your website. You're quite a good writer. What an awful time you had in the hospital! Makes me thankful for health insurance.

PLease continue to keep us posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×