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Tigertatt

First Leg

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Ok I'm still not sure if or when I will be facing amputation but I do have the luxury of knowing that when it happens i will be able to get ANYTHING i want. The best of the best. I will be a right BK amputee with pretty much any stump length i want(or works best) since my dmg is way low by my ankle.

My question(s) --- Should I ask/tell/demand for the parts and pieces i want or should I let my prosthetist guide me?

I've been told to interview many prosthetist, which I plan to do, but what type of questions should I ask in this interview? I don't want to come off like a know it all jack as_.

And if you were in my shoes what socket system/foot would you want for a first foot (money is no object)?

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David, RULE #1: Find a prosthetist you trust and TAKE THEIR ADVICE. At this point in the game, you may think you know what you want... but there's a LOT more to this than just "buy the Cadillac." I'll explain in a minute!

Somewhere on the forum, there's a thread called something like "Questions to Ask Your Prosthetist." It's an older thread, so I don't remember if that's the exact title... you may need to search a bit for it, but it gives a lot of good suggestions for "interviewing" a prospective prosthetist. Some that I recall off the top of my head include making sure that they're properly certified by a reputable professional organization, that they've continued to learn about modern developments in the field, finding out if they have fitted many patients with the same level and type of amputation you have (and talking with some of those patients, if possible). If you're wanting to be actively involved in making decisions about your "parts," you should also make sure that they are easy to talk to and interested in what you say!

Now... for the "parts"........

There is NO single "best" prosthetic foot, ankle, knee, socket, suspension system or any other component. There's a saying: "every amputee is different." It's the truth. Even the slightest difference in stump length, or the condition of the skin, or the alignment of your hips and knees, or any number of other variables can make a huge difference in what works or doesn't work for you.

Your prothestist should work WITH you to determine the set of components that will best meet your needs. They should take into consideration things like your height, weight, general health and physical condition, and the SPECIFIC activities that you want to keep in your life. "I want to walk long distances" isn't good enough... they should also consider how often you want to be able to walk long distances, how long those distances are, how quickly you want to walk them, and over what terrain... smooth pavement, open ground, and rocky hillsides all present different challenges and different "bits" will react better in different situations. "I'm active and in good shape" doesn't do it either... they need to know HOW active, how often, and doing WHAT.

When I got my first leg, I was looking for a foot that would be comfortable to stand on, be sturdy, give me some energy-return to make walking less tiring, and allow me to walk easily over primarily level surfaces and, secondarily, over open lawn and well-tended paths. I wanted a suspension system that kept my leg secure, was as comfortable as possible, and was quick and easy for me to put on and take off by myself. I had a couple of long conversations with my CPO about that, and we came up with a system that worked well for ME, where I was, at the time.

That system has undergone some changes over the past couple of years, as I've become more active and better able to take advantage of differrent technology... and as my leg guys have become more familiar with the specific "quirks" of how my body is put together. (I have a LOT of "quirks!") Each time we make a change it's because I've reached a new level and a different "part" will serve me better.

I'm starting to research feet myself, as I may be changing my foot in the next several months. I've reached the point where I want to be better able to handle some mild hiking, and I want to get back on my bicycle. I also want more ankle action, as my current foot has a very stable but quite stiff ankle. I'm reading and checking the various manufacturer websites, and I spent most of my time in the exhibit hall at the ACA convention this year talking to vendors about feet and watching demonstrations. I have some possiblities to discuss with my CPO when "new foot time" comes... but I will NOT presume to TELL him what to give me. Rather, I'll tell him what I've learned and what I'm looking for, and he'll offer his input and suggestions (and then we'll BOTH see what my insurance will pay for!), and we'll make a decision together. I have too much respect for his training and ability to not take his views seriously.

Do your research, learn what you can... but take advantage of any guidance that comes your way. Your relationship with your prosthetist and their skill in fitting you are the two MOST important parts of life with one leg.

Hope that helps!

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I completely understand that everyone is different!! And i do also understand the importance of a good prosthetist, but they are also in the buisness to make money (as is anyone in the medical field). I've heard some really bad stories of people getting "stuck" with what was given to them.

I have a simiunique situation since this is a workmans comp case and my QME has put in my report that i have the future option to amputate BK. So all my hospital,recovery time and prosthetic will be covered no questions asked but beyond the first prosthetic i have no clue what they will cover (my lawyer is working on this part). At the time of my injury i had just changed jobs to an employer that i've been trying to get on with for over 2 years and i had only work for him for 2 weeks when the accident happend, so i hadn't been employed long enough to gain insurance.

All said and done -- after my first leg is done and complete I may have to pay for any and all visits to the prosthetist and for all parts that i may need down the road 100% out of pocket.

I will try to find the post you are refering too it sounds like just the thing i'm looking for. If someone knows where the post is (questions to ask you prosthetist) could you please post a link to it

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You will find many compassionate prosthetists out there. I've had two, including my current one, that care more about my well-being than the bottom dollar. You have to interview the prosthetist. He will be working for you. Make him/her your choice. Don't let your surgeon choose for you like mine did.

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Ok found the link to the post Cheryl was talking about --

http://www.heathermillsmccartney.com/forum...?showtopic=3257

Some very helpful questions and good advice in there. :D

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:)

Hi

Yup you should interview several prostetitis why??? Because for the rest of your life or at least until you move far from your current home you will be married to this person. Can you change in mid-waters? Of course but it is a good idea to stick with a good prostetist if possible. I adore the guy who has made 5 legs for me so far.

Now do your homework. Get on the computer and check out all of the companines sites and look around, call and ask for mail to be sent to you home concerning their products. Yup I know they will tout that their's is the best, maybe so maybe not so for YOU. All amps like different components. Different strokes for different folks.

Then write up what you thought you liked about different systems and feet. There are around 300 different feet to pick from sometimes depending on your stump length.

I would carefully take notes when I had my consultation appointment, or bring someone along who will take the notes. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions that you have no question is stupid ever especially when you are talking about getting around well and comfortable with a leg.

Then I would take the prostetist advice pretty much straight up. You have never made a leg they have hopefully made many. Yes do make sure that whoever you pick are board certified. That is a must and a member in good standing with 0&P.

Next the foot that I started out with was made by College Park and it was great. I have elevated to other feet as they have become new on the market and my experiences have increassed. I would not start with the best of the best. Why? Where do you go once you already have the best? You will need a good learning curve to get used to walking, daily living, etc. in your new leg. Start easy and build up. Oh don't where your new pros all day right off the bat. Bad idea, great way of getting sores that could get infected which could mean two possible things. You will not be able to use your leg until the wounds heal, and you could have to have a revision loosing more stump.

My 2 cetns hope they help

Paula

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1. The best product is the one that works for you.

2. You aren't stuck with anything until you take delivery and sign for it. If it doesn't fit in the shop it won't fit at home either.

3. Ask your practitioner to explain why this product is right for you. Your lifestyle, work and acxtivity level. Ask him what else is good for you.

4. If someone aproaches you with an Alpha liner just show him the paw and say ,"NO!"

HEHE :D -- Ok i have my paw ready but whats so bad about the ALPHA liner?

And if you can make that statement about the Alpha liner then why not just post what parts you have and like too? :P

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1. The best product is the one that works for you.

2. You aren't stuck with anything until you take delivery and sign for it. If it doesn't fit in the shop it won't fit at home either.

3. Ask your practitioner to explain why this product is right for you. Your lifestyle, work and acxtivity level. Ask him what else is good for you.

4. If someone aproaches you with an Alpha liner just show him the paw and say ,"NO!"

God knows about No4, bit of history there I think ;)

As for the first 3... I wasn't going to comment in this thread because I haven't got what it takes to narrow down everything that I could say into a thread like this in terms of ability or time.

However, Joe has got that skill... best post I've seen for a while, well done Joe... I'm with you.

What I would add is that it's the fit of the socket that's paramount, so try and speak to some of the prospective prosthetist's patients... I don't know how, but it's his skill to fit a comfortable socket that's most important, not what hardwear you buy.

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