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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
caroln

Stump Care

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Okay ladies, I have another question for you. When I first had my surgery last August, I was shaving my stump just as if the surgery had not occurred. Then I read on this site how the majority of you, if not all, do not shave your stumps. Well, I quit shaving to make sure I didn't get any ingrown hairs or anything, but it is driving my CRAZY!!! I'm okay with having a stump and the way it looks, etc...but having it look like a guy's leg is a bit too much.

Any ideas or suggestions? Can I use NAIR or any other hair removal system? I remember there was one person who had laser treatment, and I would love to have that done, but my guess is that is very expensive. Anyway, I'd love any info. you can share with me. I'm REALLY tempted to go back to shaving instead of staring at such a hairy stump. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!

Carol

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Carol,

I caution you about shaving your stump only because of the possibility of ingrown hair that can lead to cysts. I tried shaving a few times and the pain that I caused myself in the end just wasn't worth it in the end. I wouldn't do the nair either because again the hair will grow back and that is when the ingrown hair occur. What happened to me after shaving is that when the hair would start to break the skin I would get a rash and it itched very badly and I would have a severe rash. Before my revision surgery the hair wasn't that bad but since the revision it seems to be worse but I live with it because the alternative is much worse.

Brenda

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Why not try a small patch of your leg with different things. Electolysis, that new high intensity light thing that goes for the root etc. See what works for you. If it's important to you then you should try what feels best. If it is getting you down then you should do something about it.

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When my hair gets so long, I cut it with scissors. Not to close to the skin. My leggs are still hairy but I do not look like a gorilla. I just look like a lady in winter who decides not to shave her leggs all the time because she is not wearing shorts.

Tonya

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I was very glad to read the original posting. I am just about eight weeks post surgery, healing great, love my new leg...but the hair is driving me CRAZY too! It is funny, my orthopedic doc, who did the amputation, didnt know that you are not supposed to shave the stump, suggested the nair option also. But all the amputees I have met, and my prosthetist, ALL say, leave the hair, that the growing back part is the problem....so I have NOT shaved, to not add more complications to my situation, but hate the look of my hairy stump! Just glad to hear others struggle with this too, even if I dont change anything!

Judy

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I learned the "don't shave your stump" lesson the hard way and I understand how much of a peeve a hairy stump can be. Like they're not ugly enough without the help of hair. <_<

My solution was to get the laser treatment and get it over with. It's expensive, but if it bugs you enough, and it seems it does, it's well worth it. You'll be off your leg (if you wear one) for short periods after each treatment, but it's not an otherwise inconvenient procedure. If the cost for the whole treatment is too high, you could just get it done on the stump and stick to shaving, waxing, etc... elsewhere. I'm sure they'll do it for very little money on such a reduced area.

In my mind there's only one thing worse than wearing a stump-revealing bikini to a beach and that's wearing a hairy-stump-revealing bikini to a beach. :wacko:

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I always hated my hairy stump but my husband says he doesn't mind it and you know for the most part we are the only two that see it so I don't do anything to it...... I have cost myself to much aggravation to do it again....... I SAY JUST SAY NO TO SHAVING YOUR STUMP....

Brenda

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Hi

I am a bilateral plus have skingrafting so have never bothered with shaving etc. really don't want to cause any problems. However was once told by a prosthetist that hair growth on the leg was a healthy sign and that it showed good circulation!

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Ladies, once again you have come through for me! I've decided to try and cut it down a bit and just try to ignore it. I'm not married or dating so it's not like anyone else is going to see it besides my prosthetist, and he could care less!

On a different subject I am having a pretty crappy week. We're having a hard time with fitting my prosthesis so that there's no pain. It seems like no matter what we do, after I walk just a bit the pain is there. I am going to try to get my hands on some of the padding stuff that was talked about earlier. I'm actually at the point that I'd like to just go to work in my wheelchair so at least I'm not hurting. Kind of discouraging but I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass!

Thanks again for the helpful info!!

Carol

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Hey Caroln, Im with you. I am not having a good fit right now either and it is SO tempting to just go back to crutches, at least the pain would go away.....but brenda keeps reminding me that it is WORTH it to stick to it, get one that fits well....and then WE will be running marathons with her some day....just kidding, I dont really want to run long distances, just want to WALK without pain!

I know it will get better for you, but have to reassure myself also....we'll hang in there together.

Judy

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Caroln,

You have to keep on your prosthetist and tell them that the socket doesnt' fit you and let him/her know where the pain is and to the best of your ability what kind of pain it is. You have to stay dilligant in the service you are provided it's like with anything you wouldn't keep going to a salesman that was selling you shoes or clothes to big or ill fitting well prosthetics are no different. You will have a good day today and then a bad day tomorrow I still have days like that but my husband has bad days and he has two good legs.

Judy,

I'm glad that I have helped you and I hope I can continue to do so. Yes it is worth it to keep sticking with it and not to give up and definetly don't put the leg in the closet you have so much that you want to do and you can't do it with it in the closet.

Remember one thing if the leg doesn't fit make your prosthetist to keep doing it until he/she gets it right. If he/she ever says this is as good as it gets then you need to find another prosthetist. I would never except anything given to me with unless it fit like a kid glove or a pair of the most comfortable shoes.

Brenda

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Brenda-

My prosthetist is a God send. I saw him 3 times last week and he keeps on plugging away. He even offered one day to come to my house, which is about 70 miles away from his office! We're both kind of frustrated and he blames himself whenever it doesn't work out right. He also doesn't charge me anything until we get it right.

I'm just not sure where to go from here. I now have a gel-liner/pin system. I used to have a plastic liner inside of the prosthesis, but we eliminated that. We still can't figure out what is hurting. The top of the stump is okay, there is pressure, but I need that to keep everything on and in place.

I'm thinking that I may need some padding on the bottom for protection. I'm sure that part of the problem is that I'm overweight from not moving for the past ten years, and there is extra skin below where the bone of my stump is. I've been exercising to hopefully speed things up, a recumbunt bike is about all I can do right now but it's better than nothing!

If anyone has had this problem I'd love to hear about it. I missed 3 days of work last week and will miss tomorrow morning also. Actually, I can live with that, but I can't keep living with the pain. I'll keep trying, along with my prosthesist. I would love to bring some new ideas to him as it seems we're searching for answers.

Enough for now. Take care everyone and have a good laugh, just because it feels good!

Carol

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I've been an amputee for 20 years and have always shaved my residual limb without a problem. It would drive me nuts if I didn't.

I do want to add, I have no other underlying health problems of concern so that may make a difference.

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