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Prosthetic "Discomfort"

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I think I got asked the pain scale every 30 minutes when in the hospital. :glare:

Im curious what level of discomfort people live with when walking on their prosthetic. Personally it varies over the day. The first couple steps always seem to be pretty painful in the morning and then it settles in and I can hobble around without thinking about it, although there is always a little discomfort (maybe a 1 or 2). I'm curious if that bit of discomfort ever goes away for some or if its just a fact life when bearing weight on something thats not meant to bear it.

Granted, I'm still pretty new at this but I thought it would make for enlightening conversation.

~eric

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The poll didn't come up :(

The pain scale I was referring to referred to the poll I tried to post 1~10. (standard hospital question it seems)

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Eric,

There are a lot of variables when it comes to pain, at least for me.. I have days where there is no pain at all walking.. However, it tooka while to get there.. It seemed like the first year or so, there was lots of pain. For me, some of it seemed to be affiliated with my shrinking as well. They had reattached my foot and then amputated it 4 days later. So, I had a pin site from the re-attachment that had to be dealt with as well as a huge amount of swelling.. My stump has shrunk almost 10 inches since my amputation.. So, that brings the swellling into play.. When I would have drastic shrinking going on, it would be tender, sometimes sore. ( Sorta,the way it gets now, it seems.) I can have long runs, where there is no pain, or minimal pain or soreness, and then others, where I have it. And this is 5 years out...It's sore, when I have not paid attention to it, and needed to make adjustments. It got sore last night, after trying to kick out at the dog to disrupt/stop her from chasing a young kitten. My socket was sorta loose, and now, the scar line is sore over the tibia..Big time. And I missed the dog... :blink: Mind you, I didn't really want to connect, I just wanted to stop her from chasing that small kitten in the barn.. Anyway, the other variable to that, would be peoples pain tolerance.. I have a high tolerance to pain. The most, I have ever taken for pain after being dismissed from the hosptial is darvocet.

If I had to put a number on it, I have days where it's 0 and then some days, where it is 5 and the occassional day where it might be 7-9 if I have a major sore going on..

Higgy

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I have to agree with Tammie. I have great days, not-so-great days, bad days, worse days and terrible days. Thankfully, most days are in the 3 and under catagory on the pain scale.

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over the past month I've been pulling a 9 and 10 at various points in the day. But under normal circumstances a bad day is a 3 or 4.

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Eric, there are so many variables, especially during the "early days."

My first year, my "discomfort" level ran from about a three to a nine, at any given moment... I was somewhere in that range all the time. (However, since I'd been living at a nonstop 10 for two years, that was a definite improvement!)

Now, most days are 0 - 1 pain-wise, but there are still occasional "days" in there that can go as high as a seven or so. (I have to really WORK at getting to that point, though.) The day that all of my leather pads let go at once, and I plummeted HARD to the very bottom of my socket, was at least a 12!

Early on, you should be looking for a steady improvement with each adjustment and/or new socket... also for more good hours out of the day than bad. As long as that keeps getting better, you'll wind up in a good place!

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I think I got asked the pain scale every 30 minutes when in the hospital. :glare:

Im curious what level of discomfort people live with when walking on their prosthetic. Personally it varies over the day. The first couple steps always seem to be pretty painful in the morning and then it settles in and I can hobble around without thinking about it, although there is always a little discomfort (maybe a 1 or 2). I'm curious if that bit of discomfort ever goes away for some or if its just a fact life when bearing weight on something thats not meant to bear it.

Granted, I'm still pretty new at this but I thought it would make for enlightening conversation.

~eric

IT SHOULD NOT HURT AT ALL, ZERO,ZILCH,NADA. IF IT DOES IT NEEDS TO BE ADJUSTED!!!!

If your prosthetist knows what he or she is doing it won't hurt. If they can't fix it - transfer to someone else if you can

I just read some of the other replies and I guess I still disagree. When I first got my leg I figured it would always hurt. When I made the comment to my prosthetist that it wasn't "too bad" he informed me that "it is not supposed to hurt at all." I can forget that I have my leg on. If I feel it I know I need an adjustment.

JudyH

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Eric, there are so many variables, especially during the "early days."

My first year, my "discomfort" level ran from about a three to a nine, at any given moment... I was somewhere in that range all the time. (However, since I'd been living at a nonstop 10 for two years, that was a definite improvement!)

Now, most days are 0 - 1 pain-wise, but there are still occasional "days" in there that can go as high as a seven or so. (I have to really WORK at getting to that point, though.) The day that all of my leather pads let go at once, and I plummeted HARD to the very bottom of my socket, was at least a 12!

Early on, you should be looking for a steady improvement with each adjustment and/or new socket... also for more good hours out of the day than bad. As long as that keeps getting better, you'll wind up in a good place!

'cherylm' what do you mean by leather pads? in the socket? I have never heard of them. :huh:

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Like most of the others I am variable - sometimes 0-1, sometimes 3-4, sometimes 7-8. I would say most of the times it is bad it is for a reason i.e. I have been seriously overdoing it. At the moment it is painful most of the time but I have lost weight and changed shape and am really due for a new socket but as I don;t know if I have stabilised yet or if I am going to change some more I am holding out for a while. It also doesn't help that my new TKD pattern (to go from red tag to red belt) involves several 180 degree turns some of which have all the weight on my prosthesis whilst turning and also a jump into a low x stance; since both of these are fairly impossible I am doing a lot of extra practice of these bits which is causing some of the pain. I did say it was often my own fault.

If you are still changing shape and learning what you can and can't do then some discomfort is reasonable but you should be working with your prosthetist to keep this at a minimum and once you settle down you should be fine unless you do anything to cause it.

Sue

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I have great days, not-so-great days, bad days, worse days and terrible days. Thankfully, most days are in the 3 and under catagory on the pain scale.

With 2 1/2 years expierience, I would have to agree with Neal. His post is very accurate for me.

I also agree with Sue's statement in saying most of the pain is my own fault. Heck....... the amputation itself was because of my own doing so why stop there.

Good thing I have a high tolerance for pain huh? I dont know if I could get better fitting leg since I only have 3 inches of limb below the knee. I have read somewhere that at least 6 inches is wanted for a proper fit.

I am happy with what I got since I am able to be pain free on MOST days. I think to be pain free on ALL days, depends on (among other things) what you got left to work with. I have very little and its not pretty.

Its great to know some of us are able to be completly pain free. It would be a real bummer to know everyone of us suffered pain. You know what I mean? ;)

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'cherylm' what do you mean by leather pads? in the socket? I have never heard of them. huh.gif

Ann, it's nothing all that exciting... when I'm going through a shrinking spell, but I'm not yet small enough to justify a new socket under my insurance plan, my leg guys glue strategic bits of leather inside my socket in the places where I need to offsest shrinkage. These leather pads keep a decent fit without having to wear too many layers of stump sox.

One hot day, when I had been exceptionally busy and on my feet a LOT, something loosened the glue on the largest leather bit. That pulled all the OTHER leather bits loose from the socket, and I suddenly dropped down to the very bottom of the socket, banging the end of my tibia something fierce.

It was one of the worst pains I've ever felt in my life, in part because it was so sudden and unexpected! As soon as I could hobble to my CPO's office and have the leather replaced, I was fine.

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I aggree with the no pain if done right I know when I got my second socket for my left leg I was walking and having as much fun as my left hip would allow me with no pain but for a few seconds it took me to get where my additional socks where so that I could adjust the fit but now getting a good fit with the deformity of my left leg it is getting harder to get a pain free fit but atleast I am starting the process of walking again good luck with the fitting of your socket and try half socks I know they help

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You guys have pretty much answered the question I have had in my mind since I have started walking these past couple weeks. My symptoms seem to pretty much mirror those you guys have written about so I figure I can expect to have issues when I really push it with running or hiking long distances, and Ill probably have at least a little bit of discomfort in daily ambulation. Its good to know what to expect, under normal circumstances.

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