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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Freddy

My Stump Surgery Is Set

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Hi Folks,

On June 7th I am having surgery on my AK stump. An orthopedic surgeon will shave the bone regrowth from my femur, had this done in 1996, and a plastic surgeon is going to excise a deep scar that keeps getting infected with fungus each year. There is an ERTL AK procedure to stop bone regrowth, but the nearest surgeon is in PA. I will be at least 8 weeks on crutches before I can be fitted for a new socket. It should be back to normal by Labor Day when I return to work as a teacher, if everything goes as planned.

As the days get nearer to June 7th I am becoming increasingly anxious about the surgery. At this moment my stump is doing fine as I wear it 12-14 hours a day, but I know that I will get more fungal infections if I do not have this surgery. Fungus causes my stump to swell and it becomes very painful to wear my prosthesis as edema leaks out. Having been under about a dozen times I feel that maybe the next time I may not wake up. Funny how the mind works when one has several months to think about upcoming surgery. Oh well, I will keep you posted on how things are going after surgery.

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Freddy

We are all with you. I may have to have a revision on my stump, for similar reasons. Mine is especially "gnarly" and has been infected several times.

If you've been "under" several times the chances of a problem are very small. It's usually the FIRST time that's a real problem.

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Freddy, you're right: you DON'T want to keep battling fungus and edema! Take a deep breath and go for the surgery. I have recurring problems with stasis dermatitis and edema on my "whole" leg, and that's miserable enough: I can't begin to imagine wearing a prosthetic socket over it!

I'll be thinking of you on the 7th and wishing you a speedy recovery!

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Being completely dumb here, how do you get fungus on your stump?

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Being completely dumb here, how do you get fungus on your stump?

Interesting question you ask. It is easy to pick up athlete's foot(fungus) by walking around the locker room barefoot. Sitting by the pool, locker room benches, and the whirlpool is a likely place. Once it has a foothold you might not notice it until it festers inside your prosthesis for several weeks. My scar is a perfect place for fungus to grow as I have had one outbreak each year lately. Powders and creams only work early on, then you need PO anti-fungals for a month or longer. I guess if you are careful you can avoid it. Doctors have told me my stump scar is a fungus magnet.

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Hi Freddy,

I think anyone would be anxious for an upcoming surgery, so don't fret too much- you are normal! :)

The only thing I thought of while reading your post, is to make sure you expect that you will have some "down" days after your surgery and you may even think, "Why the heck did I have this done?!" I say this because our Karen (krazy1200) had the ertl procedure last summer, and I know things got worse before they got better and she wasn't really prepared for that. All said and done she is very happy with the surgery and glad she did it- she just wasn't expecting the rough patches while healing. Just be patient while you are healing and come here for support if you need to!

Best wishes to you Freddy, keep us posted!

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I just had a revision 2 mths ago, I am glad I went through it. Things are better already. I went the distance. I went to OK City and had Dr. W. Ertl do mine. I am glad I did.

Good Luck and best wishes.

Skully Cat

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Doctors have told me my stump scar is a fungus magnet.

Freddy, that sounds like a good name for a rock band, "Fungus Magnet". B) Hey, I like it.

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Thanks for the encouragement folks. My PC doctor wants to see me Tuesday as my BP is a little high. Guess they want to get it down a before the surgery.

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Good Luck with it all Freddy. I have absolutely no words of wisdom relating to what you are about to go through. I had a revision immediately (days) after my amputation, to size it, but other than that, all of my other surgeries (44) had nothing to do with my stump itself.

As for the "being under". The only thing that bothered me was the "hallucinations" from the anesthetics. They had to be that, or else I really did attend the "Mad Hatters Tea Party", plus a couple of other extremely "strange" things. They scared the daylights out of me. And to think that there are some people who take those drugs for "fun". OUCH!!

You'll be just fine. I know these things. :D

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Guest bearlover

Best Wishes Freddy, I can feel your concern..Things will be ok...Soon it will all behind you. Thoughts are with you..hang in there! ;)

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Good luck Freddy, we will all be thinking of you.

Ally

xx

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I passed my pre-testing as my doctor gave me a new drug to lower my HBP. The anesthesiologist said it was fine and I will be in lala land. Wednesday afternoon I will find out when to arrive on Thursday for a 3 hour surgery and 3 hour recovery and likely I will be there until Sunday. I will post when I return home and can sit down without too much pain. Thank you all for your encouragement. It does help to have support. My wife is more nervous than I am. I decided I have to be the positive one so she will be alright. My dad is going to come down from NH to stay with her until I am out of recovery. Sometimes it is harder on your family than on you.

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Hi Folks,

All went well. They sent me home on Friday. He only made a 2 inch incision and scraped the entire femur where the bone growth was. The plastic surgeon excised the scar and the chief surgical resident said it looked "beautiful". The visiting nurse is coming by today to change the bandage so I will get my first look at it. There is not any pain now. Now I just have to be patient while it heals.

Freddy

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Wow, sounds like you are doing well! My prosthetist mention revision surgery yesterday and, as I'm a fairly new amp, I yelled out NO WAY! :D But of course, if the pain gets bad enough, we'll do anything to make it right...

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Thanks for the update, Freddy... I'd been wondering how it went, and it sounds like it went well, indeed!

Marilyn, I agree with the "NO WAY!" It's their job to fit YOU, not your job to fit your body to their preferences. As long as there's not a MEDICAL reason for revision surgery I'd tend to avoid it.

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Thanks for the update, Freddy... I'd been wondering how it went, and it sounds like it went well, indeed!

Marilyn, I agree with the "NO WAY!" It's their job to fit YOU, not your job to fit your body to their preferences. As long as there's not a MEDICAL reason for revision surgery I'd tend to avoid it.

Yep, YOU GOT THAT RIGHT 'cherylm'

FREDDY:

Glad you aren't in any pain & are doing OK.....we always anticipate the worst, don't we.....or at least I do. Bet you and your wife are glad thats over. Be good & listen to your nurse & wife.

;) ann

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The stump and scars look really good. I cannot believe he was able to remove all of the bone growth through such a small incision with minimal swelling this time. Pain is much less also. The plastic surgeon said it would be 8 weeks for the excision scar to heel. August 7 will be 8 weeks. It should be plenty of time to make an inner AK socket before Labor day in September. With such a little change to the stump it may be easy to do. I remain hopeful.

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Glad to hear of the good outcome Freddy...A trick that I used while in the hospital for all of my recovery time, wasn't counting how many weeks were ahead, I counted the time that passed. It's amazing how much faster it makes it seem.....Sounds like all went well, and I'm sure you will be back up to speed in no time.

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Update.

Stitches were removed today with Steri-Strips in their place and my surgeon is pleased with the progress. I will see him in 4 weeks when I can try on my prosthesis then as my stump has not changed much at all. I can swim, but need to wear my shrinker to keep the swelling down and to stay on my diet. I have lost some weight. Things are looking good! I could be walking again by August.

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Sounds like good news all around! Thanks for the update, Freddy!

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Update.

Stitches were removed today with Steri-Strips in their place and my surgeon is pleased with the progress. I will see him in 4 weeks when I can try on my prosthesis then as my stump has not changed much at all. I can swim, but need to wear my shrinker to keep the swelling down and to stay on my diet. I have lost some weight. Things are looking good! I could be walking again by August.

When your ready - Freddy, let me know, and I'll run you a foot race. (That's what we call my wife's brother - "Ready Freddy". Just an in-family joke.) :P

I keep offering this to people, but nobody takes me up on it - THANK GOODNESS. Anyway, the thought is there.

Good to hear of your progress. Thanks.

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Guest bearlover

Hi Freddy, Sounds like your on the mend! Happy to see you post...! :)

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Good news, Freddy.

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