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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
docmego

to do surgery on my leg that could lead to aka

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I was in a moped acciden in Oct. 2007. I severed the artery in my right leg and had severe soft tissue damage. I had a compound fracture to my tibia/fibula. I have had 6 surgeries on my leg. I have a plate holding the tibia/fibula together, because the leg did not heal yet. I have poor blood flow to the leg and I am missing my patellar tendon. I can have surgery to try and help fix these problems. I do not have good range of motion in my leg. I walk with a cane. I cannot run. I can go up and down stairs, but I have to hold on to railing and go one step at a time. My leg does not give me that much pain. There is a 10% chance the surgery will not work and it could lead to a aka. I have a 2 year old son and would like to have a least 1 more child. I was a very active person and I always dreamed about playing sports with my kids. I do not know if I should go for the surgery in case it leads to amputation, but on the other hand I do not want to walk with a cane and have limited motion in my leg for the next 50 years. I am 31 years old. I also cannot ride a bike.

Does anyyone have any opinions?????

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Hey docmego, this is going to be a decision you you have to make for yourself. Talk to your doctor, know all your options. Talk to your family, talk to other amputees. I lost my left leg, although it is bk, due to an accident. Kind of the same story, femur broken in 2 places, crush injury to the lower leg broken in many places, knee and ankle were are messed up, lost bloodflow to lower leg for about 3 hours. They took a vein from my right leg and got the blood flowing again. They sliced my left foot open so it would not explode from the swelling. They fixed up my leg the best they could and I wore an external fixator for 3 months. The tibia and fibia were secured by 7 screws and a plate where they attach to the knee. After about 6 months of trying to save it, I decided to have it amputated. I don't think I would have ever been able to walk on it again. The tibia and fibia did not heal and they think the ankle bone had died from the lack of blood. I ended up with a total of 15 surgeries, number 14 was my amputation. Looking back, if I was able to make a decision on my course of treatment, I would have had them amputate right away. My wife was making decisions at that time and she told them to do every thing they could to save it, nobody wants to lose a body part if they can help it.

So, do what you feel is right for you. Being an amputee is not easy by any means, but I'm up walking with a cane and in the future I know I'll be able to walk without one. But is has been a long hard battle and will continue to be. I don't think I will ever be back to doing everything I could do before, but there are many people on this site that can, I'm sure they will put there 2 cents worth in.

Joe

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It is a tough decision to make. I had my leg amputated a month after my accident. I am a very active person and didn't like the option of 12-15 months of surgeries. I was afraid of infection as well as income. I'm self-employed and if I'm not there, there is no income.

I've known many amps who waited til they had no other choice. By that time, their bodies had been through so much that they were weak in general. The threat of infection as well as the toll that anesthesia takes on the body sometimes makes the body so weak that it is unable to heal properly. You need to find out from your surgeon what he thinks your outcome will be. Will you be in pain the rest of your life?

There are many AK amps who lead a very full, active life following amputation. Look for an amputee support group in your area where you can talk with amputees one-on-one. You could also talk with a prosthetist. He/she might be able to connect you with someone who has been through what you are now going through.

Good luck on your decision.

Neal

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I'm afraid you'll have to decide this for yourself. It's really tough, but no one can do it for you, unfortunately.

Personally, if it was only a 10% chance of an AK, then I'd go for it, as the odds are pretty good. I've had to make much harder decisions where the odds were stacked against successful surgery and I came out the other end OK...with successful surgery.

It's all about what you can live with and what you can't. If you can't live the way you are now and the doctors are promising an improvement that you want to go for, then go for it. Having said that, I'm a glass half full person: I'm a BK/AK, I walk with a stick, I can't run, I have never been able to ride a bike and I have to go up and down stairs one at a time, but I have two gorgeous kids (who accepted their mum for who she was) and I have achieved a great deal so far.

Draw out a list and write down the pros and cons of your decision...then look at the list and decide.

Good luck!

Lizzie :smile:

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10% is pretty good odds but still a tough decision. I guess it comes down to what you want to do with the rest of your life.

Welcome to the Forum :biggrin:

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This is a tough one and like the other have stated I'm afraid you'll have to decide this for yourself. no one can do it for you,. 10% is pretty good odds but still a tough decision. I guess it comes down to what you want to do with the rest of your life.

BUT there is still a good life to be had as a aka it’s not the end of the world.

I am an aka (post 4 years) I can:-

Walk for miles and miles without a cane.

I can run (just relearning now but looking good)

I go up and down the stairs holding onto the railing (no difference there)

I can ride a bike, I should add that I also fall off the bloody thing as well (I need to work on the technique a bit).

I have no pain at all.

I do most things I use to just a bit slower or differently

I also work full time and am a lot older than you at 49.

What ever route you decide to take I wish you well.

One last thing have you thought about visiting your local limb centre and talking face to face with some aka”s and see how they get on ……………………………..Mick

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This is a tough one and like the other have stated I'm afraid you'll have to decide this for yourself. no one can do it for you,. 10% is pretty good odds but still a tough decision. I guess it comes down to what you want to do with the rest of your life.

BUT there is still a good life to be had as a aka it’s not the end of the world.

I am an aka (post 4 years) I can:-

Walk for miles and miles without a cane.

I can run (just relearning now but looking good)

I go up and down the stairs holding onto the railing (no difference there)

I can ride a bike, I should add that I also fall off the bloody thing as well (I need to work on the technique a bit).

I have no pain at all.

I do most things I use to just a bit slower or differently

I also work full time and am a lot older than you at 49.

What ever route you decide to take I wish you well.

One last thing have you thought about visiting your local limb centre and talking face to face with some aka”s and see how they get on ……………………………..Mick

Thanks Mick for your response. i am going to visit a rehab near me in January and attend their Jan. amputee support group. I have a couple more questions for you if you don't mind? how long after your amputation did you walk comfortably without a cane? How many artificial legs do you have? With your everyday leg if you had too could you run a little bit with it ex. if I was walking and my son got away from me could I run after him to get him? How many hours a day do you wear your prothesis? I really appreciate all the insight you have given me so far. Over the next month or so I will be making my decision. I have to visit a couple more doctors and go to the rehab. Oh, one more question. How far above your knee was it amputated? Thanks

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Hey docmego, this is going to be a decision you you have to make for yourself. Talk to your doctor, know all your options. Talk to your family, talk to other amputees. I lost my left leg, although it is bk, due to an accident. Kind of the same story, femur broken in 2 places, crush injury to the lower leg broken in many places, knee and ankle were are messed up, lost bloodflow to lower leg for about 3 hours. They took a vein from my right leg and got the blood flowing again. They sliced my left foot open so it would not explode from the swelling. They fixed up my leg the best they could and I wore an external fixator for 3 months. The tibia and fibia were secured by 7 screws and a plate where they attach to the knee. After about 6 months of trying to save it, I decided to have it amputated. I don't think I would have ever been able to walk on it again. The tibia and fibia did not heal and they think the ankle bone had died from the lack of blood. I ended up with a total of 15 surgeries, number 14 was my amputation. Looking back, if I was able to make a decision on my course of treatment, I would have had them amputate right away. My wife was making decisions at that time and she told them to do every thing they could to save it, nobody wants to lose a body part if they can help it.

So, do what you feel is right for you. Being an amputee is not easy by any means, but I'm up walking with a cane and in the future I know I'll be able to walk without one. But is has been a long hard battle and will continue to be. I don't think I will ever be back to doing everything I could do before, but there are many people on this site that can, I'm sure they will put there 2 cents worth in.

Joe

Thanks Joe for your response. How long ago was your accident? I am not in alot of pain now, but I have a limp. When I sit for too long when I get up it takes me about 15 steps to walk ok, I still mean with a limp, but not a severe one. I am going to a amputee support meeting in Jan. and hopefully talk to some aka. Thanks for all your advice

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I'm afraid you'll have to decide this for yourself. It's really tough, but no one can do it for you, unfortunately.

Personally, if it was only a 10% chance of an AK, then I'd go for it, as the odds are pretty good. I've had to make much harder decisions where the odds were stacked against successful surgery and I came out the other end OK...with successful surgery.

It's all about what you can live with and what you can't. If you can't live the way you are now and the doctors are promising an improvement that you want to go for, then go for it. Having said that, I'm a glass half full person: I'm a BK/AK, I walk with a stick, I can't run, I have never been able to ride a bike and I have to go up and down stairs one at a time, but I have two gorgeous kids (who accepted their mum for who she was) and I have achieved a great deal so far.

Draw out a list and write down the pros and cons of your decision...then look at the list and decide.

Good luck!

Lizzie :smile:

Thanks Lizzie for all your advice. You have a pretty remarkable approach and you seem to have accomplished a lot through your life as an BK/AK, I'm very impressed. I will definatetly make a list of the pros and cons and go from there. I am going to a amputee support group meeting in Jan. and hopefully that will help too. Thanks

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This is a tough one and like the other have stated I'm afraid you'll have to decide this for yourself. no one can do it for you,. 10% is pretty good odds but still a tough decision. I guess it comes down to what you want to do with the rest of your life.

BUT there is still a good life to be had as a aka it’s not the end of the world.

I am an aka (post 4 years) I can:-

Walk for miles and miles without a cane.

I can run (just relearning now but looking good)

I go up and down the stairs holding onto the railing (no difference there)

I can ride a bike, I should add that I also fall off the bloody thing as well (I need to work on the technique a bit).

I have no pain at all.

I do most things I use to just a bit slower or differently

I also work full time and am a lot older than you at 49.

What ever route you decide to take I wish you well.

One last thing have you thought about visiting your local limb centre and talking face to face with some aka”s and see how they get on ……………………………..Mick

Thanks Mick for your response. i am going to visit a rehab near me in January and attend their Jan. amputee support group. I have a couple more questions for you if you don't mind? how long after your amputation did you walk comfortably without a cane? How many artificial legs do you have? With your everyday leg if you had too could you run a little bit with it ex. if I was walking and my son got away from me could I run after him to get him? How many hours a day do you wear your prothesis? I really appreciate all the insight you have given me so far. Over the next month or so I will be making my decision. I have to visit a couple more doctors and go to the rehab. Oh, one more question. How far above your knee was it amputated? Thanks

Hello Docmego,

I don’t mind how many questions you have. I will answer the best I can.

I think that from day one I was walking with two walking sticks I got rid of the first one after a couple of days , and the second one went about a week to ten days later, but every one is different. I just happened to have a good fitting socket which is the be all and end all, if the socket isn’t right you will never walk comftable.

I have 3 legs.

A water activity leg which I use when canoeing and playing with my powerbuggying (traction kite) on the beach,

A mico processor knee (smart adaptive) made by Endolite with an elite foot which I have used constantly for the last two years and done some pretty good hikes on.

And finally I now have the kx06 knee with an elite foot again made by Endolite, which is my main leg by choice now.

I wear my leg from first thing in the morning till bed time at night , when I’m on night shift (I work shifts) it can stay on for over 24 hours only coming of for showers ect. Again I must say this is because I have a very good fitting socket.

My amputation is just above the knee, which I told is a good thing because the longer the stump the more you can do. Leverage ECT (so I’m told).

Now the running question, where to start,

I have only just started due to various reasons, my speed isn’t that good neither is my style, but I have set myself a strict training session in which I hope to get a nice smooth style then pick up the speed a bit, the leg I am using is my every day kx06 it is a high activity limb but I believe to do any real serious running I would need a running blade (foot) which I wont get,

Now the big question if your son ran away could I catch him? yes I could at the moment but I wouldn’t be able to pick him whilst I was moving ,and I haven’t managed to stop very quickly without falling over yet, in fact today I managed to run round a corner for the first time without introducing my arse to the ground.

So as you can see I am by no means an expert on anything, and I should go on to say this running lark is one of the hardest but most rewarding things I done . And with time and practise I should improve, but at 49 I won’t be running in any races or doing any great distances.

One last thing there are lots of aka”s who run you have only got to Google them on the net to see, in fact I would recommend that you spend a bit of time looking and reading ,,,information & knowledge are possible the most important thing you could do with now. (But then that’s why you are here realise Mick smacking his head :blush: !)

Again I wish you well and if you have any more questions I will do my best to answer but as I have stated I’m no expert on anything there are a lot more knowledgeable people on here. All the best …………………..Mick

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