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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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new vacuum legs - input needed

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Hi all! hope everyone is fine...have been busy, like everyone else. Tomorrow I'm going to visit our favorite people, the leg guy. To fill you in, I am a bilateral below knee. I use the pin system right now and am walking alright, but long distances still can bother my shins and cause pain. My surgery was a year and a half ago. Time for new sockets or new legs. I have long stumps which can cause some problems with shins and my leg guy wants me to try the new Vacuum system by Willowwood. He went to Ohio and went through the training since he had never done this before. I have a couple of questions. I understand that they can be charged up every night, but usually only need it every couple of days. I am concerned about the amount of bulk of the liners under my clothes. Maybe it's just a woman thing, but as I understand it, the liners will come up to the middle of my thighs, where now they come up just past my knee. I have problems now with my pants catching on the top of the socket or liner above my knee when I walk (and my pants are not tight) and it looks ridiculous I think. I have no idea how much these new legs cost yet...the pin system for 2 legs was $20,000...so how much are these going to be! I have good insurance, but...still. I believe he is going with Willowwood instead of Otto Boch because he said Willowwood is lighter to walk around with. He is pushing this vacuum system since he believes it will be lighter for me. I have sometimes felt kind of disconnected from my ankle to my foot with the pin system, does the vacuum system help with that? Also...I have read some concerns about the liners and bending your knees...I don't want that either. Sorry to ask so many questions...just don't know what to do...I know that new sockets are the most important thing to have...I will ask the leg guy all of this stuff tomorrow...but I swear that sometimes you all have more answers than he does. Thank you for any input you might be able to provide...have a good one.

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I have a vacuum system, not Ohio Willowwood, so I can't comment on theirs specifically. I LOVE my system. I'm a very short bk and I do feel more connected. I didn't hate the pin system because it was all I knew, but I always felt there was something better for me. The vacuum system was it. It feels lighter, it's more comfortable. I won't say I'll never go back to the pin but I hope I never HAVE to.

Good luck. Hope you have great results.

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I forgot....I have no charger. I use a hand pump to vacuum out the air and I have no problem bending my knee. Hope this helps.

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I forgot....I have no charger. I use a hand pump to vacuum out the air and I have no problem bending my knee. Hope this helps.

hi mmarie - thank you for your input. are the liners pretty thick under your pants? I don't want to go out and buy new clothes necessarily. For instance with jeans. I put the liner with pin on along with the sock, put the jeans on, then put the legs on and pull the jeans down over them. with the vacuum system, isn't that alot to put your slacks/jeans over? just seems like alot of "stuff". As I said, right now I'm not happy because my pants/jeans seem to be catching in the top of the socket/liner..maybe that doesn't happen when the liner goes up higher. I'm sure I will understand better when I talk to him in person. So much to learn...thank you

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'Flip' I also have the same system MMarie has & also like it. I haven't had trouble bending my knee since he changed me to a more lightweight fexable sleeve. It sounds to me maybe your current liners, etc. might be cut too short making them catch on your clothes.

It does make my leg feel more a part of ME. I do hope the suction system will help you. :wink: ann

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Flip - first I put on my custom silicone liner. then I add some sock, put on the leg, pull up the sleeve and vacuum. To me, all that combined is not as thick as the gel liner and socks I used to wear. I can't say it really shows under my pants. By the way, my liner is about high/mid-thigh length and my sleeve is longer than that. I prefer mine longer. My limb is so short I think it makes me feel more stable.

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I use the same system as Marcia. The sleeve takes some getting used to, but I must say that I felt naked when I used a different system that didn't require it. I wear slacks and have no particular problem with the sleeve.

Neal

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thank you all for your input. got alot of questions answered today by my leg guy. have decided to go with the Ohio Willowwood system only because being bilateral, these are supposed to be the lightest and I think he said he was recommending a fusion foot. It seems like a good foot that will give me more spring to my step! I'm still learning all of this stuff. I'll go back Monday afternoon for the casting to begin. I know it's going to be different, learning the different way of putting these on compared to the pins, but hopefully it will work out and make me feel that the legs are more a part of me...if you know what I mean :) It will be worth it if they work like they are supposed to. There is a 30 day warranty,so if they feel terrible, I guess I can give them back...these have a little remote that you can carry with you, but supposedly once you put your legs on, the pressure inside the legs should remain the same...we'll see. Also, he was excited about how these systems are supposed to be better for the health of your legs. I'll see how the liners feel..he says since I have long limbs, that the liners will probably come up about mid thigh and that they are not as thick at the top. Don't know whether to be excited or apprehensive. Have to give this a try so that I can do as much as possible. Thank you again...anything else you can think of, please let me know.

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Hi Flip;

I've had the Otto Bock Harmony system for over seven months, and I think it's amazing! It's in a completely different league to my previous supracondylar sockets...

Even though it's heavy, it doesn't feel it when it's on, because the vacuum really integrates it so well. In fact, I think that the extra mass compared to a lightweight prosthesis makes it about an equal weight to a normal lower leg, and my thigh muscles can control it naturally too.

I've been an RBK for just over 2 years now, and I can honestly say that sometimes I genuinely forget that I'm an amp - it must be because of the vacuum that I always know exactly where my foot is in space, and that whatever activity I try, the socket won't twist and hurt me, so I can run, I run up and down stairs, and I hate having to take it off at night - it's been stunningly good for me.

As regards liners and sleeves, the polyurethane liner is quite bulky and doesn't bend as well as silicone, but I cut about 2 inches off the top, making it lower behind my thigh and higher above the front of my knee, and this really helps. My prosthetist forbids me from doing this, but I do it anyway, and it works! The liners don't get appreciably thicker until much lower than 2 inches from the top, so it doesn't cause me any problems. A shorter liner means I can wear the sleeve lower on my thigh, which is less irritating and eases knee-bending too. I also found that bending my knee was more of a problem with my first socket, but I'm now on my second Harmony socket, and they made the rear trim-line lower, so the liner doesn't bunch up as much, and I can easily use my exercise bike. With the vacuum on, everything is held securely in place, even under loads from odd angles, like walking down slopes.

The sleeve is thinner than a regular silicone one, and I generally don't have problems with it being visible through my trousers. They can be fragile, though - my sockets have sometimes had a ridge around the outside top edge, and if I've knocked the top of my socket on something like a wall, it has damaged the sleeve from the inside, but not actually punctured it. I've had one punctured sleeve, which was very frustrating, because the repair patches didn't work for more than a day, and being unable to achieve vacuum seriously degraded the fit and feel of my leg; care is needed regarding everyday activities around sleeves!

I don't have a particularly long stump, but there is only just enough space to fit the Harmony pump in, so if it's possible to get a vacuum system with long-ish stumps, that can only be a good thing.

Your choice of foot will be very important. Because I have so little space to spare, I use the low-profile Otto Bock Axtion foot; I hated it at first because it was so hard, but as I got used to the feel of the Harmony system I became more active, so I adapted into needing the more active characteristics of this foot, and now I love it; when I wear my spare leg which has a Seattle Lightfoot, I feel like I'm walking on sponges, and don't feel nearly as stable.

Best of luck with your vacuum system; keep talking to your prosthetist about any issues and discomfort, because when you get them ironed out, I think you'll be delighted with how enabling a vacuum system can be.

Best wishes

Roz. :)

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Hi Flip;

I've had the Otto Bock Harmony system for over seven months, and I think it's amazing! It's in a completely different league to my previous supracondylar sockets...

Even though it's heavy, it doesn't feel it when it's on, because the vacuum really integrates it so well. In fact, I think that the extra mass compared to a lightweight prosthesis makes it about an equal weight to a normal lower leg, and my thigh muscles can control it naturally too.

I've been an RBK for just over 2 years now, and I can honestly say that sometimes I genuinely forget that I'm an amp - it must be because of the vacuum that I always know exactly where my foot is in space, and that whatever activity I try, the socket won't twist and hurt me, so I can run, I run up and down stairs, and I hate having to take it off at night - it's been stunningly good for me.

As regards liners and sleeves, the polyurethane liner is quite bulky and doesn't bend as well as silicone, but I cut about 2 inches off the top, making it lower behind my thigh and higher above the front of my knee, and this really helps. My prosthetist forbids me from doing this, but I do it anyway, and it works! The liners don't get appreciably thicker until much lower than 2 inches from the top, so it doesn't cause me any problems. A shorter liner means I can wear the sleeve lower on my thigh, which is less irritating and eases knee-bending too. I also found that bending my knee was more of a problem with my first socket, but I'm now on my second Harmony socket, and they made the rear trim-line lower, so the liner doesn't bunch up as much, and I can easily use my exercise bike. With the vacuum on, everything is held securely in place, even under loads from odd angles, like walking down slopes.

The sleeve is thinner than a regular silicone one, and I generally don't have problems with it being visible through my trousers. They can be fragile, though - my sockets have sometimes had a ridge around the outside top edge, and if I've knocked the top of my socket on something like a wall, it has damaged the sleeve from the inside, but not actually punctured it. I've had one punctured sleeve, which was very frustrating, because the repair patches didn't work for more than a day, and being unable to achieve vacuum seriously degraded the fit and feel of my leg; care is needed regarding everyday activities around sleeves!

I don't have a particularly long stump, but there is only just enough space to fit the Harmony pump in, so if it's possible to get a vacuum system with long-ish stumps, that can only be a good thing.

Your choice of foot will be very important. Because I have so little space to spare, I use the low-profile Otto Bock Axtion foot; I hated it at first because it was so hard, but as I got used to the feel of the Harmony system I became more active, so I adapted into needing the more active characteristics of this foot, and now I love it; when I wear my spare leg which has a Seattle Lightfoot, I feel like I'm walking on sponges, and don't feel nearly as stable.

Best of luck with your vacuum system; keep talking to your prosthetist about any issues and discomfort, because when you get them ironed out, I think you'll be delighted with how enabling a vacuum system can be.

Best wishes

Roz. :)

Roz - sorry it's taken so long to thank you for your perspective on the vacuum legs. I went in and got cast for the new legs and took along your note to let him know what you had found that worked for you. He was very impressed! I will get them in 2 weeks....would have had them this week, but I am bogged down in meetings at work, and he is busy when I'm not. I hope I end up being as comfortable with them as everyone else seems to be. Was out running around shopping, doing errands, etc.today and my legs got really tired and sore. My shins are bothering me and I had to use the wheelchair at the mall and the grocery store. It is time for new sockets, I hope the new ones feel alot better. when I tried on the liners, I couldn't believe how tight at the bottom they were at first getting them on...once I got them up just a little bit (with the help of the leg guy ) they actually felt good on my legs. I think it's because without the pins at the bottom,that hard round circle isn't there, that bothers me sometimes. I don't know. I almost wish I had the liners with me now to practice putting the long things on,I may have to get up early for work just to practice trying to get them on! I know they will stretch out a bit.

I will let you know how the new vacuum legs and feet work - wish me luck! Again,thank you for all your advise!

flip

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Hi Flip,

I am a Left BKA and I have the Harmony E-Pulse vacuum leg system. I love it. I have had no problems. The leg feel like it is part of me again.

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Hi Flip;

You mentioned liners: my prosthetists have always demonstrated putting the Harmony liners on by turning them inside-out and sliding them upwards over themselves up my limb, but I found my hands weren't strong enough to use this method and get it right every time, I usually had quite a lot of air still trapped inside, and I was also afraid of puncturing the liners with my fingertips using this method.

So I've ended up rolling my liner up from the top down, so that it becomes a donut shape, and unrolling it upwards over my limb. This makes getting the liner on much easier, and there's usually no air left inside. I've done this with 2 liners over 7 months with no ill-effects on them at all.

Also, something that surprised me was that even though with a Harmony there are no daily worries about volume fluctuations, my stump has continued shrinking, hence my now needing a third socket after 7 months; however, I had revision surgery 15 months ago, so my stump is probably still settling down from that. I had read that you can't use regular socks to cope with size problems if you have a Harmony, but I've found that adding a cotton sock or two does fix the problem between sockets.

I usually keep my limb on for at least 15 hours a day, and have even managed 22 hours before tiredness, not the leg, stopped me - it's an amazing system!

Very best of luck with your new legs - I look forward to hearing how things go!

Roz. :smile:

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Hi Flip;

You mentioned liners: my prosthetists have always demonstrated putting the Harmony liners on by turning them inside-out and sliding them upwards over themselves up my limb, but I found my hands weren't strong enough to use this method and get it right every time, I usually had quite a lot of air still trapped inside, and I was also afraid of puncturing the liners with my fingertips using this method.

So I've ended up rolling my liner up from the top down, so that it becomes a donut shape, and unrolling it upwards over my limb. This makes getting the liner on much easier, and there's usually no air left inside. I've done this with 2 liners over 7 months with no ill-effects on them at all.

Also, something that surprised me was that even though with a Harmony there are no daily worries about volume fluctuations, my stump has continued shrinking, hence my now needing a third socket after 7 months; however, I had revision surgery 15 months ago, so my stump is probably still settling down from that. I had read that you can't use regular socks to cope with size problems if you have a Harmony, but I've found that adding a cotton sock or two does fix the problem between sockets.

I usually keep my limb on for at least 15 hours a day, and have even managed 22 hours before tiredness, not the leg, stopped me - it's an amazing system!

Very best of luck with your new legs - I look forward to hearing how things go!

Roz. :smile:

Trekkie and Roz - thank you for the advise! Got a call from the leg guy today, that he needs me to come in tomorrow afternoon because he needs some more measurements. I thought he told me that the vacuum system would stop the atrophy of the limbs, not positive though. My legs have not shrunk all that much yet, so we will see. All of these visits to the leg guy can wear you out! I am still on my very first pair of sockets, and it has been a year and a half since my surgery, so it is time for new ones. All this running around is finally getting to me and I know I should not be in pain. I'm excited, and I just hope these work for me. Being bilateral, may make a difference, i don't know. I will let everyone know. I think I can't wait :smile: Roz, I will try your way of putting on the liners, maybe that will help! For everyone not in the States - tomorrow is election day here...going to be a HUGE turnout of people voting here in the United States, have to get to sleep to get up early and vote before work! Everyone, have a great day ....

thanks - Flip

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Hi Flip;

You mentioned liners: my prosthetists have always demonstrated putting the Harmony liners on by turning them inside-out and sliding them upwards over themselves up my limb, but I found my hands weren't strong enough to use this method and get it right every time, I usually had quite a lot of air still trapped inside, and I was also afraid of puncturing the liners with my fingertips using this method.

So I've ended up rolling my liner up from the top down, so that it becomes a donut shape, and unrolling it upwards over my limb. This makes getting the liner on much easier, and there's usually no air left inside. I've done this with 2 liners over 7 months with no ill-effects on them at all.

Also, something that surprised me was that even though with a Harmony there are no daily worries about volume fluctuations, my stump has continued shrinking, hence my now needing a third socket after 7 months; however, I had revision surgery 15 months ago, so my stump is probably still settling down from that. I had read that you can't use regular socks to cope with size problems if you have a Harmony, but I've found that adding a cotton sock or two does fix the problem between sockets.

I usually keep my limb on for at least 15 hours a day, and have even managed 22 hours before tiredness, not the leg, stopped me - it's an amazing system!

Very best of luck with your new legs - I look forward to hearing how things go!

Roz. :smile:

I turn my liner insideout also. My legman has me put some hand lotion inside ( the side that is the outside of the liner) and rub it together. the outside of the liner slides easier over it self as you don it. then just wipe off the lotion with a towel. this works for me great. I wear what looks like a nylon sock between my liner and my socket.

Hope this helps.

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Hi Flip;

You mentioned liners: my prosthetists have always demonstrated putting the Harmony liners on by turning them inside-out and sliding them upwards over themselves up my limb, but I found my hands weren't strong enough to use this method and get it right every time, I usually had quite a lot of air still trapped inside, and I was also afraid of puncturing the liners with my fingertips using this method.

So I've ended up rolling my liner up from the top down, so that it becomes a donut shape, and unrolling it upwards over my limb. This makes getting the liner on much easier, and there's usually no air left inside. I've done this with 2 liners over 7 months with no ill-effects on them at all.

Also, something that surprised me was that even though with a Harmony there are no daily worries about volume fluctuations, my stump has continued shrinking, hence my now needing a third socket after 7 months; however, I had revision surgery 15 months ago, so my stump is probably still settling down from that. I had read that you can't use regular socks to cope with size problems if you have a Harmony, but I've found that adding a cotton sock or two does fix the problem between sockets.

I usually keep my limb on for at least 15 hours a day, and have even managed 22 hours before tiredness, not the leg, stopped me - it's an amazing system!

Very best of luck with your new legs - I look forward to hearing how things go!

Roz. :smile:

I turn my liner insideout also. My legman has me put some hand lotion inside ( the side that is the outside of the liner) and rub it together. the outside of the liner slides easier over it self as you don it. then just wipe off the lotion with a towel. this works for me great. I wear what looks like a nylon sock between my liner and my socket.

Hope this helps.

Hi everyone! hope you all had Happy Holidays! Well - still going back and forth to the leg guys on the new Ohio WillowWood vacuum legs. He cut my right one too low in the back, so had to re-cast me. Also, have had some problems when I wear the legs for a long period of time, there is quite a ridge (almost what you would call a welt) on my legs where the liners are against my legs under the sleeves. No marks from the sleeves,just the liners. I don't know if that is because Ohio WillowWood suggested he cut the liners down so that there is a good 4 inches between the top of the liner and the top of the sleeve. They did this, so I would not have to fold back the top of the liner and cause a bulk under the sleeve.

I am also still having problems bending my knees, they are tight with the type of sleeve WillowWood uses. Am wondering if they can find a lighter sleeve for me. This may be more of a problem for me since I am bilateral and not just dealing with one prosthetic. What do you think? Standing up, it does feel more comfortable on my shins than the pin system, but am worried about the marks it is leaving on my thigh where the liner is under the sleeve. Last time I wore them, the welts went away in a day,but the red mark stayed there for a couple of days. Now...since this whole amputation thing began because I had an unknown small vascular system in my ankles, that worries me...but the leg guy doesn't seem worried. Also...if I keep this current set of sleeves, it really restricts me..bending down, harder to go up and down stairs, etc. What do all of you think? Did you go through this or am I experiencing more problems because I'm bilateral,or what? I'm getting down...my old sockets are hurting and I want these new ones to work....I want to hang in there with them, but need something that won't hurt me or restrict me. Sorry to go on and on. Am seeing the leg guy AGAIN this Tuesday, so could use some input. Thank you everyone!!! No one knows better than all of you...:)

Have a good one...Flip

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I'm not in a vacuum system Flip, and I'm not a bilateral either, but one thing I will tell you is, don't be afraid to tell your leg guy just how you feel. You have valid concerns, especially with the vascular problems. Make sure that he answers your questions. They may not always be the answers that you want to hear, but at least you would have an answer. You have to do what is best for you. My prosthetist had suggested a vacuum system for me, but with a farm, I just don't see how it would work that well. Mostly, I would probably be puncturing them. And I need for my knee to bend at least to a 45 degree angle so that I can step up on a tractor. I would ask if the vacuum system doesn't work, if those sockets could be converted to a pin socket. I would think, with a little modification that they would work. Just my two cents worth as a single bk...

Maybe some of the bilateral's will have some input for you.....

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Hi all! hope everyone is fine...have been busy, like everyone else. Tomorrow I'm going to visit our favorite people, the leg guy. To fill you in, I am a bilateral below knee. I use the pin system right now and am walking alright, but long distances still can bother my shins and cause pain. My surgery was a year and a half ago. Time for new sockets or new legs. I have long stumps which can cause some problems with shins and my leg guy wants me to try the new Vacuum system by Willowwood. He went to Ohio and went through the training since he had never done this before. I have a couple of questions. I understand that they can be charged up every night, but usually only need it every couple of days. I am concerned about the amount of bulk of the liners under my clothes. Maybe it's just a woman thing, but as I understand it, the liners will come up to the middle of my thighs, where now they come up just past my knee. I have problems now with my pants catching on the top of the socket or liner above my knee when I walk (and my pants are not tight) and it looks ridiculous I think. I have no idea how much these new legs cost yet...the pin system for 2 legs was $20,000...so how much are these going to be! I have good insurance, but...still. I believe he is going with Willowwood instead of Otto Boch because he said Willowwood is lighter to walk around with. He is pushing this vacuum system since he believes it will be lighter for me. I have sometimes felt kind of disconnected from my ankle to my foot with the pin system, does the vacuum system help with that? Also...I have read some concerns about the liners and bending your knees...I don't want that either. Sorry to ask so many questions...just don't know what to do...I know that new sockets are the most important thing to have...I will ask the leg guy all of this stuff tomorrow...but I swear that sometimes you all have more answers than he does. Thank you for any input you might be able to provide...have a good one.

I am in elavated vacum. Love it, no other vacum has held like this one. I charge it about every month and a half.

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I'm not in a vacuum system Flip, and I'm not a bilateral either, but one thing I will tell you is, don't be afraid to tell your leg guy just how you feel. You have valid concerns, especially with the vascular problems. Make sure that he answers your questions. They may not always be the answers that you want to hear, but at least you would have an answer. You have to do what is best for you. My prosthetist had suggested a vacuum system for me, but with a farm, I just don't see how it would work that well. Mostly, I would probably be puncturing them. And I need for my knee to bend at least to a 45 degree angle so that I can step up on a tractor. I would ask if the vacuum system doesn't work, if those sockets could be converted to a pin socket. I would think, with a little modification that they would work. Just my two cents worth as a single bk...

Maybe some of the bilateral's will have some input for you.....

Hi Higgy!! I had to cancel my appt.with the leg guy today because of a problem at work which meant I would not be able to get out of a meeting to get there, had to reschedule until next week. I had the vacuum legs on and got to the car to go to work with them on and had to turn around and go back in the house and change to my older ones. I can barely bend my knees to go up or down the stairs and the bottom of my right leg feels like it is ready to explode sometimes...not always, but at times. Plus...the vacuum goes off and on quite a bit... something is not right..sometimes they feel good and I get what people say about how they make you feel like they are a part of you, especially at the ankle...but if I can't bend my knees, what good isit? ...I will be talking to him. I did bring it up to him reminding him that it was the end of the year and I did not want to go into next year and start all over again with my deductible, he did say for me not to worry,that he could take care of that if I decided to go with another kind of leg...he better remember that when I go in next week!

When I look at the new sockets that he made for the vacuum legs...there does seem to be a place at the bottom where it looks like a pin could be put in. I don't know why he couldn't reuse the sockets and the new feet and just return the vacuum part. I think he will be disappointed as well as I will be if I don't use the new vacuum system legs. Just not sure that they are the best for me at this time...at least not until they improve a couple of things and make a thinner, durable sleeve.

Another bilateral who I correspond with occasionally who has actually climbed Mt. Everest as a bilateral amputee told me that it doesn't matter how fancy or high tech a prosthetic is....if the socket doesn't fit right, it's not worth the time or energy you spend trying to get it to fit. He's been a bilateral for about 20 years and he said that absolutely nothing is more important than getting your leg person to make the right socket. I am such a believer in that.

Let me know how you are....am taking a couple of days off...taking my daughter to catch the train to Chicago for New Years Eve so that she can party with her college friends, and then coming home and taking down all the Christmas decorations! Should keep me busy :) Have a safe and Happy New Year. I appreciate all of your insights...keep them coming, I still don;t know what I'm doing half of the time!

Flip

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Flip,

I am using the vacuum leg and mine does have a pin in the bottom of the socket...same as the old pin system did...but it is a vacuum leg. There shouldn't be any pain at all~~~none.

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Flip,

I am using the vacuum leg and mine does have a pin in the bottom of the socket...same as the old pin system did...but it is a vacuum leg. There shouldn't be any pain at all~~~none.

ann -

what kind of vacuum system is yours? so you have the vacuum plus the pin system all in one? I have pain toward the end of my leg... kind of where my shin bone is.. are you bilateral also? I know that after a year and half, I should have no pain and I still am...I am not a happy person right now...not after all the attempts at getting something to fit right. I'm starting to doubt my leg guy, but am limited unless I want to travel to Chicago or somewhere else for a fitting, and then what do you do when you need "tweaks" done? That just isnt convenient when you work. Thank you for your input...I need it right now. Happy New Year!

Flip - Lynne

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Lynne,

You could travel to Peoria if need be...... I have had trouble with shin pain before, and it was a matter of tweaking my leg until I stood straighter in it and took the pressure off the front of the shin bone at the bottom. At one point, having had a fixator on that leg from the re-attachment, my leg guy would put an "indent" sort of, (a space anyway) so that particular area wouldn't rub...

It can be straightened out.......without having to go all the way to Chicago....

Ann's leg is by Stan Patterson in Orlando Florida. It's the same socket that Marcia, Neal, Cheri, and Karen are all using....Tammy Duckweiler also went there...

Here's the link.....

www.poacfl.com

Higgy

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Hi all! hope everyone is fine...have been busy, like everyone else. Tomorrow I'm going to visit our favorite people, the leg guy. To fill you in, I am a bilateral below knee. I use the pin system right now and am walking alright, but long distances still can bother my shins and cause pain. My surgery was a year and a half ago. Time for new sockets or new legs. I have long stumps which can cause some problems with shins and my leg guy wants me to try the new Vacuum system by Willowwood. He went to Ohio and went through the training since he had never done this before. I have a couple of questions. I understand that they can be charged up every night, but usually only need it every couple of days. I am concerned about the amount of bulk of the liners under my clothes. Maybe it's just a woman thing, but as I understand it, the liners will come up to the middle of my thighs, where now they come up just past my knee. I have problems now with my pants catching on the top of the socket or liner above my knee when I walk (and my pants are not tight) and it looks ridiculous I think. I have no idea how much these new legs cost yet...the pin system for 2 legs was $20,000...so how much are these going to be! I have good insurance, but...still. I believe he is going with Willowwood instead of Otto Boch because he said Willowwood is lighter to walk around with. He is pushing this vacuum system since he believes it will be lighter for me. I have sometimes felt kind of disconnected from my ankle to my foot with the pin system, does the vacuum system help with that? Also...I have read some concerns about the liners and bending your knees...I don't want that either. Sorry to ask so many questions...just don't know what to do...I know that new sockets are the most important thing to have...I will ask the leg guy all of this stuff tomorrow...but I swear that sometimes you all have more answers than he does. Thank you for any input you might be able to provide...have a good one.

I am in elavated vacum. Love it, no other vacum has held like this one. I charge it about every month and a half.

Skully Cat - can you explain the elavated vacuum? I haven't heard of that one...thanks, flip..

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Skully Cat's vacuum system is prototype system created by her Prosthetist. I saw her system early last year when she came to visit me after my amputation. The vac unit on her system is about as big as a roll of quarters and is attached to her Perfect Stride foot about at ankle level with a small hose running up to the socket. I'm sure you can get more information from her prosthetist at -- http://www.mckinneyprosthetics.com/

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