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LauraG

Prosthesis or Crutches?

  

51 members have voted

  1. 1. Prosthesis or Crutches?

    • Prosthesis
      40
    • Crutches
      6


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I use full lenght crutches around the yard when I'm doing work that requires I sit on the ground like gardening or cutting fire wood. I can't count the number of pants I've worn the knee out on while kneeling down with my leg on. In the garden I'll do some weeding the scoot along the row on my butt and toss the crutchs further down the row until I'm ready to get up. In the woods I'll fell the trees with my leg on then do the bucking (cutting into useable lenghts) with my leg off while sitting on the ground. It's a lot safer for me this way.

My current leg is really heavy and inefficient so if I know I'll be walking a mile, more or less, I'll use the crutches. My new leg which I'll have next week may change all that. The reason I like the full lenght crutches is because I can still carry a lot of things by just clamping the tops under my arms keeping my hands free. I used to hop in my younger days but now I realize I've got to protect that precious other knee joint!

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I personally, use what i want to use to allow me to do what I want to do do. Altho. must point out that I am not a new amputee, and after many years of wearing limbs, know my limitations and as a bilateral don't see it as a choice between a prosthesis or crutches.

Most of the time I wear the prosthesis, however, occasionaly for whatever reason, I will use crutches as well as the prosthesis, doing that might keep me more mobile for a few days when i have a problem with the limb or stump, or similarly I may decide to use a stick or sometimes I use a wheelchair, with or without the prosthesis.

I think its all about getting on with your life and doing what you want to do. When I started out on this journey, the idea was very much that you walked and got out of the wheelchair as soon as you could, which I did really, and for many years didn't have a wheelchair, but most of us know we get times we can't wear the limb or we might have "overdone" the walking on a particular day, so there were quite often days or weeks where I just had to rest up and missed out on lots, which is ok for a couple of days but being a mum it began to cause problems for more than that.

I came to a point when I really had to rethink my stratagies,having had a long period of not getting a limb I could wear, began to feel my life was falling apart, have got to say that the healthcare professionals I came across were very unhelpful, with very little knowledge of the daily life of a bilateral amputee, with some suggesting that "I shouldn't be doing certain things" that had been part and package of my life for many years, not to mention lack of knowledge about an appropriate wheelchair.

I did find my new approach difficult at first, as the "walking" bit had been quite ingrained in me, I think too my family found it equally difficult, but i have learn't using what I need when I need to, actually keeps me more mobile. It works for me, but then everyone has to find their own way.

Wise move on using the crutches instead of hopping on the other knee. We only have one to relay on so treat it gingerly. I do a lot of things on my butt to lol. I also use my chair for cetain things and cruthces for other stuff. When I am without my leg its awfull. It can interfere wth my life big time when without especually in the winter. NO snow removal when the leg is off so that leaves me housebound and it will stay there till I am up and mobile. Can't get any help with that grrrrrrrr. Some able bodied people are not very nice when it comes to work. That is my view on usuage of the parts we learn to use.

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OK, I'm the odd-ball. I use prostheses (DBKA) AND fore-arm crutches. So it's not an either-or issue for me. My residual stumps are very short, 3 to 4 inches each. While I can stand and walk short distances, I need the sticks for balance.

For long distances, I need the wheelchair.

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Guest bearlover

I almost never use my crutches. I wear my leg most of the time, and when I take it off I knee walk :unsure: .Only in the privacy of my own home. If Iam away from home I use my crutches when I take my leg off.which os only to get to the bedroom. ;)

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I don't have crutches, partly because of burn scars on my left side. I use my new leg and get into the shower via wheelchair. I'm an LBK so my leg is still a bit awkward when sitting down for long periods so in the car I just "pop" it off. I use a gel liner with a pin. This feels really secure.

I have used a walker and a cane, when appropriate.

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Guest bearlover
I don't have crutches, partly because of burn scars on my left side. I use my new leg and get into the shower via wheelchair. I'm an LBK so my leg is still a bit awkward when sitting down for long periods so in the car I just "pop" it off. I use a gel liner with a pin. This feels really secure.

I have used a walker and a cane, when appropriate.

I love the pin system..I have tried many other types..But feel most secure with the lock in pin system.. I am a LKB too!

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I keep a pair of crutches in the closet in case I get a sore on my knee or have to be off my leg for whatever reason, but if I remember right, the last time that I used them was in July of 1999 when my knee got sore building a retaining wall, and I was off for about a week to 10 days. I have both, the underarm, and the forearm, but for some reason feel more secure with the underarm.

With the SuprCondulyr Suspension, putting my leg on and taking it off is as easy as stepping in and out of a pair of slippers, so when I have to get up in the middle of the night, I just slip it on, and then slip it back off when I get back to the bed. And yes, it is totally secure enough for me to climb ladders and walk around on the roof.

I rarely take it off, and leave it off for any length of time, until it is time to go to bed. I do walk around the house in the evening without my shoes however. I like to feel the carpeting on my good foot, and sometimes swear that I can feel it through my prosthetic one as well.

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Guest bearlover

My leg only comes off at night..My husband has a hard time with it..He wants me to me comfpotable and says "take that thing off" I say NO it is my indepence!! I usuall take it off right befoe bed..

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It's very rare that I go without my leg, actually, it's been a long time since I've used crutches, they just sit collecting dust. I do remove it at bedtime, I too usually crawl if I need to get up in the night. I think crutches are a real P.I.T.A.! :)

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Hi

I was told that I wasn't allowed to use crutches so I was in my wheelchair for 9 months until I got my leg. I now mainly wear the leg if I am going out. I find the prosthesis painful when I am sat down, so when I'm at home I don't wear it alot and just use the wheelchair. They told me that if I used crutches I could get a contracture in my knee (whatever that is?).

Lisa

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Hi

I was told that I wasn't allowed to use crutches so I was in my wheelchair for 9 months until I got my leg. I now mainly wear the leg if I am going out. I find the prosthesis painful when I am sat down, so when I'm at home I don't wear it alot and just use the wheelchair. They told me that if I used crutches I could get a contracture in my knee (whatever that is?).

Lisa

Told by whom Lisa?? I had to prove that I could manipulate with my crutches, and get up from the floor using only my crutches, before they would let me out of the hospital. Unless you have a shrinker on while you are on crutches or even in a wheel chair, your stump will swell, and this makes the leg not fit well.

OneBlueLeg made a point on another thread - if I may paraphrase - that the proper fit of the leg is more important than the price or the structure of different legs themselves (generally speaking).

Hanging your stump down - even in a wheel chair - will make all of the difference. When I have to take my leg off for any length of time, and hang my stump down, I always put the shrinker on. (Hanging it down is the key words here. Lying in bed, I never wear the shrinker, and my stump in fine in the morning.

Each of our situations are different, so I am definitely not questioning what you were told, but I do find it unusual - under normal circumstances. I am not a doctor or a prosthetist however - so what do I know?

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Jim, the same people at the same amputee centre that Lisa uses told me the same, no crutches. I had to learn to walk with sticks (canes). Apparently it is bad for your posture and it takes longer to get someone walking unaided if they have used crutches.

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Guest bearlover

I have a knee walker that I use now..Only when the leg is off at night time. I keep it on roght before bed time. I do have crutches but don't like them and a bit tired of them I have used them since age 2. Ocassionally I will knee walk use my knees to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It is just off our bed room an notfar at all.

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Hi

I had to have a stump board on my wheelchair at all times to keep my leg straight. I was always asking for crutches because it would have been easier to get around the house.

I have seen Sparky on his knee pads and trust me it is amazing! I've even touched his stump, but the less we say about that the better! :blush:

Lisa

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Hi

I had to have a stump board on my wheelchair at all times to keep my leg straight. I was always asking for crutches because it would have been easier to get around the house.

I have seen Sparky on his knee pads and trust me it is amazing! I've even touched his stump, but the less we say about that the better! :blush:

Lisa

:o I thought we were going to keep that secret. I might let you touch the other one next Tuesday ;)

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Thanks Mark. I can understand a philosophy of not wanted to be dependent upon a "crutch", (speaking figuratively) I thought that Lisa was talking about walking without her prosthesis however. Without a cast or a prosthesis, this causes the stump to swell as it is hanging down, which would make her "leg" not fit well, as she mentioned. I used my crutches from the "git go" as soon as I came home - before actually, in the hospital. I went back to work (overseeing my crews) and was all around town, even driving, until I got my leg, and learned to walk on it, (on my own, without any therapy.)

If it is giving her problems as she is sitting, then I would think that a visit to her prosthetist would be in order.

The beauty of this forum is that we have heard so many different "rules, do's and don'ts", from doctors and prosthetists, literally around the world. Everyone has their own way of doing things. That's what is meant by my slogan of sharing our: "experiences, strength and hope". We have a cornucopia.

I have just learned about a "Knee thing" that K uses. I tried imagining something like this before. I would like to know more about what she uses. My leg just slips on and off like a slipper, so I have no trouble using it in the middle of the night, when I have to get up. But for those that don't have it this easy, her "thingy" might just be the answer.

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Jim, that is their rule. I was present when an AKA was told the same, that is when I asked why. I agree, if the prosthetic is giving Lisa pain when she sits down it needs to be investigated. As Lisa has pointed out, we are given stump board(s) to fit on our wheelchairs to rest our stumps on if we are not wearing our arty leg(s). The only problem for me with using the boards, it gets very uncomfortable after a short space of time. I elected not to use them or the wheelchair that often (only when I visited to Amp centre), I used to stand upright on my knees and walk. However they have got me this time, Thursday I have an operation that will have me wearing splints to keep the knees straight for a unspecified period. :blush:

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I have just learned about a "Knee thing" that K uses. I tried imagining something like this before. I would like to know more about what she uses. My leg just slips on and off like a slipper, so I have no trouble using it in the middle of the night, when I have to get up. But for those that don't have it this easy, her "thingy" might just be the answer.

Jim

There are several vendors on-line. See below:

http://www.themedicalsupplydepot.com/index...D=1362&HS=1

http://www.scooterville.net/WalkersWheeled.html

Those are fairly expensive. Costco has a full sized wheeled walker for about $100. I'm going to look into theirs since I have another F--_ing infection in my stump. I wasn't paying attention about the time my wife died and BANG!!!

These knee walkers should also be good for post-amp ambulation. I need to strengthen my right leg for when I can once again use the other leg.

I'll let everyone know about the Costco one, as soon as I try it. :wub: :P :blush:

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I have just learned about a "Knee thing" that K uses. I tried imagining something like this before. I would like to know more about what she uses. My leg just slips on and off like a slipper, so I have no trouble using it in the middle of the night, when I have to get up. But for those that don't have it this easy, her "thingy" might just be the answer.

Jim

There are several vendors on-line. See below:

http://www.themedicalsupplydepot.com/index...D=1362&HS=1

http://www.scooterville.net/WalkersWheeled.html

Those are fairly expensive. Costco has a full sized wheeled walker for about $100. I'm going to look into theirs since I have another F--_ing infection in my stump. I wasn't paying attention about the time my wife died and BANG!!!

These knee walkers should also be good for post-amp ambulation. I need to strengthen my right leg for when I can once again use the other leg.

I'll let everyone know about the Costco one, as soon as I try it. :wub: :P :blush:

Jim Gil, you would need to talk to Judyh about knee things, the one she showed me was very good and didn't take up much room.

Gil, sorry to hear about your F--_ing infection (even my doctor recognises that term) in your stump.

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Did Lisa say she'd been told that she'd get a 'knee contracture if she uses crutches'? The only way she could get knee contractures would be if she kept her knee bent either all or most of the time. Why would crutches have anything to do with that?

You need to get that socket fitting properly, Lisa. Ally had a fancy socket made last year sometime (I think the thread must still be around :blush: ) and the weight bearing is in a different place to normal sockets, so it doesn't dig in when she sits down.

If you use them sensibly and have good physio advice, I honestly can't see a problem with using crutches, as long as it keeps you mobile. You can easily buy your own if you need a pair at home, Lisa.

Anyway, some of us take the decision not to wear a prosthesis (I don't have that luxury). As long as you're mobile and comfortable, if that's what's easiest for you, then that's fine by me.

Lizzie :)

PS Good luck for your surgery, Sparky! :)

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Hi Everyone

It's not the socket thats the problem. I love my leg and no-one is taking it! Lol. The only problems I experience is that the leg throbs when I sit down. I think it's because the area that I experience the most phantom pain isn't being stimulated as it is when I'm walking. I also have skin grafts upto my thigh, so the silicon sock I have to wear sweats and the skin sometimes sweats so much the skin comes off.

Lisa

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Hi Everyone

It's not the socket thats the problem. I love my leg and no-one is taking it! Lol. The only problems I experience is that the leg throbs when I sit down. I think it's because the area that I experience the most phantom pain isn't being stimulated as it is when I'm walking. I also have skin grafts upto my thigh, so the silicon sock I have to wear sweats and the skin sometimes sweats so much the skin comes off.

Lisa

It shouldn't throb, Lisa. :(

Just a couple of questions :) : When you say the skin comes off, is that because it blisters? And, is there any way that you can release your prosthesis from you, when you sit down? I always loosen my BK, because it prolongs the life of the liner & it's more comfortable.

If, you don't mind me saying so, as you have additional needs (i.e. you have skin grafts) your centre seems to be very dogmatic in their treatment approach. They should be more flexible and encourage you to be mobile & comfortable.

Lizzie :)

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Hi

I cannot fault any of the treatment I have received at hospital they have been fantastic. The throbbing is my phantom limb pain. Basically the only time I'm not in pain is when I eventually fall to sleep. Sometimes it gets so bad that I have to lightly smack the stump. The Doctors actually want me to come off the medication but they have no chance until they can come up with an alternative. I have tried a tens machine but it made no difference. I have only had my prosthesis since November and I suppose I am still getting used to it. I'm in a catch 22 really because the more I wear the leg the more the skin sweats and it comes off (only on knee cap) and if I don't wear leg it's taking me longer to get used to wearing it and walking with it. I will find out in June whether I have to have another skin graft as the skin has never really healed properly. Hopefully if I have to have another graft it will minimise the skin breaking down in the future.

Thanks

Lisa

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Lizzie, skin grafts have a mind of their own. They are not garanteed to take, your body can reject them at any time and depending on the level of injury you can absorb nasty bugs straight through the skin.

Because of the level of injury I had my legs do not sweat so, I do not have the problem Lisa and others have. However, if I do not dry my stumps properly and they are still damp when I put my silicone liners on - skin grafts get soggy and will come off, have to be very careful when taking liner off, I tend to roll in off the stump.

The silicone liner is the best thing to wear over skin grafts according to various experts I have talked to.

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Hi Sparky

I can remember when I first had to wear the silicon liner, it hurt so much I couldn't stand it. I would try and pull it off as fast as possible not realising that my skin could come off with it. It still throbs when I wear it now but i was in agony.

Lisa

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