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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Halleycomet

Leg attachment Q's from newbie

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I received my very first arti leg two weeks ago today. Some adjustments were needed and Dave the Leg Guy was happy to help. He gave me a new sleeve- now as far as I know I am calling this by the right name--- the sleeve IS the tube shaped rubber/poly fabric bonded item that goes OVER the hard part of the leg, and then rolls UP and OVER the thigh? While I am wearing the "liner" (Alpha) INSIDE the leg, directly on my skin, with a short knitted sock between the liner and the socket. Phew! Well anyway he gave me a new Otto Bock product- a "SpaceAge" looking silvery metallic sleeve with a finished edge at the top, and a built in space for the knee. Now, with the first sleeve I had for the first week- a very plain vanilla beige sleeve-- it stretched out and was falling down in wrinkles already. I tried the new Otto Bock and it felt snugger and helped with the "security" feeling of holding the leg actually ON my leg. However! I wore it for several hours during which I walked for awhile, and also sat in the car for quite a while, when I got home I noticed that the area at the top of my thigh was feeling rubbed. I took everything off and discovered that at the back top edge of the thigh I had water blisters!!!!! I have very fair and fragile skin so I was NOT amused. I covered them with Tegaderm and took it easy. Called the Leg Guy the next AM and he is going to order me a new size, as I liked the way it felt but definatly do NOT want to repeat the blister episode! Meanwhile I am using one of the plain sleeves. Soooo--- my question is- is this a common occurance? I suspect that the skin got "pinched" between the liner, the sleeve and the top edge of the arti leg. I am wondering also how this is going to feel as we get into warmer weather. I really do NOT want to spend every minute worrying about skin issues as I wander around on a motorcycle or just everyday life. I am looking for info on the different ways of attachment- suction, pin, etc. Now, do I understand this right--- if you have a PIN you DO or DO NOT need a seperate sleve in addition to the pin? Or is the pin---this goes thru the liner?--sufficient to hold the leg on with out it feeling like it is coming off? How does the vaccuum system work--- are there plastic liners/sleeves involved with this also? Are there other systems I have left out or don't even know about? I have also been using the CErtain Dry but it does not seem to be doing much. Not too bad of a problem now but I know as summer goes on in muggy New York it will become an issue. Any help greatly appreciated! Hints tips etc! Thanks Halleycomet

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Well, Halleycomet...... I can't answer all your questions, but I can answer a few... First off.. the water blisters....

Yes, I've had them... 2 things help me deal with them. 1- Benadryl with Aloe..... along with the water blisters, for me, comes itching..or.. I have used A&D ointment (not the creamy kind, the one that looks like it's made from Vaseline.. its made from petroleum jelly) on them, which actually seems to work best. A thin coating and it helps immensely..Usually in a few hours, my blisters are gone.

As for the Certain-Dri... it will help, believe it or not..With the weather getting warmer here finally, in the Midwest, I am having a few days again, where the leg is perspiring again a little. In a couple more weeks, it will be better.. where it's only doing it in extreme heat. Hang in there..It seems like the body will adapt somewhat as some of the perspiration will reduce a bit. Not all, but some.

As for some of the other questions.. I wear a pin/suction system. I don't wear a sleeve. I do have slip once in a while, but for me, it's fluid reduction over the course of the day, most of the time. It actually feels like there is a lot less restriction without all those sleeves.

As for the vacuum system, someone else will have to give you a more detailed explanation of that.

Hope some of those answers helped.....

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Halleycomet,

I can answer some of your questions.. I also wear the same exact otto bock sleeve.

I too have the exact same blister, except mine are on the side of my leg. I wear a sock which I call a liner sock. It is worn on the inside of the alpha liner, and it absorbs moisture.. I find it very helpful rather than the certain dry, ( my opinion).. I too wear the alpha liner. I hope this kinda helps you too.. Feel free to ask more questions, and maybe we all can help, LOL..

SAMUEL

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Another take on the situation..............

I wear both a pin-lock liner and a suspension sleeve (and, yes, stump sox in between). For my first year and a half, I did not wear the sleeve; my leg "slipped" occasionally but only threatened to come off once. However, adding the sleeve about a year ago GREATLY enhanced the fit and "secure" feeling of the leg. I still have to adjust for volume changes during the day, particularly if I'm active, but it's no longer such an urgent matter.

Since you're still new to this, you're going to find yourself going through lots of adjustments and changes as they discover what works best for you and your skin. You're also likely to have a lot of volume changes in your stump... I know that I went through a new socket every three months at first! Your first summer, you're likely to find yourself with a sweaty leg and some slippage... for a lot of folks, the body adjusts and the wetness diminishes with time. Until then, an anti-perspirant or an under-liner sock can help control things.

Right now, the key is to keep yourself balanced between patience and making sure you're getting the best service possible. Keep working with your leg guy until you're not having to deal with either blisters or slippage! (And yes, tegaderm patches can be a good thing!)

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Hi Halleycomet--what a great screen name,

I am an amputee of only 18 months and I too am beginning to learn the lingo. I wear the suction system and I really like it. It feels very secure--our amp group was allowing student PTs to practice "wrapping a stump" and the students didn't believe the system was that secure. So, I asked them to pull on my leg as hard as they could--no one came even close to pulling it. :D

When I perspire a lot the leg does get slippy, but I just take the leg and dry it off. I have also found that anitpersperant works well. My leg lady told me to be sure to get spray or liquid, not the paste. I don't think they make the spray any more, but the roll on worked well even in Viet Nam last summer.

I don't know how long you had to be off your leg before the amputation, but I was off for three years and I was raring to go and I had to learn even more patience. It took about a year to get something that really worked and was comfortable--not that I was in pain the whole year. It is great when you get to that point. This group is a great help and "normalizer"

Peace. Beth Marie

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