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Mary Farquhar

Help...need advice!!!

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Hey All!

I put up a new topic but I guess no one wants to give any advice? I have to make a decision on having a revision, so the next step is symes or bk amputation. Not sure which way to go.....I am gearing more towards a bk. I will be seeing the vascular Dr who will be doing the revision...not sure what questions to ask? Can someone please give me some advice?!

Thanks!!

Mary

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Hi, Mary

I know some symes amputees who are very active (although they are limited to certain lower profile foot styles). I think you have to figure out how active you want to be, ie., run marathons or a jog around the neighborhood. BK's can be fit with high activity equipment, but I believe Symes amps can bear weight on the end of their limb(?). I hope you hear from others who have made a similar choice. I know it's not an easy one. Hugs!!!!!

Karen

Hey All!

I put up a new topic but I guess no one wants to give any advice? I have to make a decision on having a revision, so the next step is symes or bk amputation. Not sure which way to go.....I am gearing more towards a bk. I will be seeing the vascular Dr who will be doing the revision...not sure what questions to ask? Can someone please give me some advice?!

Thanks!!

Mary

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Hi, Mary

I know some symes amputees who are very active (although they are limited to certain lower profile foot styles). I think you have to figure out how active you want to be, ie., run marathons or a jog around the neighborhood. BK's can be fit with high activity equipment, but I believe Symes amps can bear weight on the end of their limb(?). I hope you hear from others who have made a similar choice. I know it's not an easy one. Hugs!!!!!

Karen

Hey All!

I put up a new topic but I guess no one wants to give any advice? I have to make a decision on having a revision, so the next step is symes or bk amputation. Not sure which way to go.....I am gearing more towards a bk. I will be seeing the vascular Dr who will be doing the revision...not sure what questions to ask? Can someone please give me some advice?!

Thanks!!

Mary

Hi Karen,

I do want to be active....as in the past I was able to work 8 hours with kids, work out at the gym, I could walk the shopping mall...lol, I had a normal life as being a partial right foot amputee. ( chopart ) But now that there is nothing that can be done to fix the soft tissue, I am facing to have a revision...I am so scared and not sure I can go through with it!

I either live with the pain I have, which means can't walk too far, can't really work out, have to get a desk job which I don't mind or get a revision that could make me have a normal life again...and actually go back to work, maybe even back to working with kids? This is a very hard decision?!! I'm trying to think of questions to ask the Dr....I am completely drawing a blank! LOL...oh I will be seeing my prosthetist as well. He might be able tohelp me too?!

Thanks for the input!!

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Hi Mary - I have no words of wisdom, wish I did. Your prosthetist would probably be the best one to answer your question about which way to go. Good luck, whatever you decide. Keep us posted!

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Hi, Mary

You should be able to do all the things you mention with either a Symes or BK amputation. If I were you I'd ask both the surgeon and your prosthetist which method they would recommend for you and why, and what the pros and cons are. It would also be helpful if they could put you in contact with some active Symes and BK patients to get their feedback. Educate yourself as best you can. Knowledge is power, and will help you make this difficult decision.

xo Karen

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"mary",

I know there are some symes amputees on this forum...they will be chiming in any moment now. They are not evading you just busy { I would think }

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Hi!!

I am already a right foot amputee. I will be seeing my prosthetist, and will be seeing the surgeon in October. I will definately be asking questions.

I have heard of some symes not being as active. Having pain when putting pressure on the stump inside their prosthesis....oohhh hate that word!! It would be great if I could hear from some symes amputees?!!

Thanks everyone who has replied!!!

Mary

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Hi!!

I am already a right foot amputee. I will be seeing my prosthetist, and will be seeing the surgeon in October. I will definately be asking questions.

I have heard of some symes not being as active. Having pain when putting pressure on the stump inside their prosthesis....oohhh hate that word!! It would be great if I could hear from some symes amputees?!!

Thanks everyone who has replied!!!

Mary

Hi Mary

Know we have spoken before.

I am a bilateral b/k and consider myself fairly active, have been a bilateral b/k for nearly 40 yrs now, and for the first 20 yrs was extremely active, one of my stumps is grafted so has always been problematic and has caused probs in latter years, had that one revised last year and it is doing quite well now. To be honest if I just had my right b/k side that is not skin grafted, don't think I would have had many problems at all, I have had no real problems in 40 years with that stump. These days my problems come more from my joints than from my stumps, but I am told that goes with the territory of being an active bilateral for many years.

I am not sure how it is for people with your current amputation level, but know you have been having problems and wouldn't imagine being a b/k is going to be any worse than what you have been experiencing recently. For b/ks mainly its down to socket comfort and a good fit, if the skin on your stump is fine and you don't have additional problems with your hips or knees, other leg etc. I wouldn't think you should have too many problems. But, as I say its really all down to the fit of the socket that you get. Normally there shouldn't be any real pain when your stump is inside the prosthesis, although the first few months when you are getting used to it, could be a bit uncomfortable, but you take it slowly and build up the walking gradually, and you should be ok.

Good luck when you see your surgeon, if you can see a prosthetist also it might be helpful. Get advice for the optimum length of stump, if you have the choice, if you have it left too long it may be difficult to fit some of components necessary for certain types of prosthesis in, and you probably wouldn't, out of choice, want it very short either, so if you have the choice, make sure its right.

Ann

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Hi Ann,

Nice to hear from you. Yes, I have been very active for the last 18 years with having a partial right foot amputation.

The Dr told me that my type of amputation lasts about 20 years then problems start. I guess that's how it is with all types of amputee's??? My Dr didn't tell me that!! Glad to hear that you have been very active as a b/k.

I have no problems with my hips or knees....only thing my knee's swell sometimes as i have arthritis....called Adult on-Set Still's Disease. But I don't swell that much.

I will be seeing my prosthetist next week for info on the different prosthesis that are out there for symes and b/k's.

I appreciate your input, thanks!!

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Hello Mary,

I apologize for the delay!! :blush:

I'm not good with input on this as my 'equipment' is extremely outdated. Any issues I have may very well be because I just need a new prosthesis. Therefore, I do not want to say anything that would steer you away from a Symes amputation.

What I will say: I know some Symes can put weight on the end of their leg (meaning, walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night) without putting on their prosthesis. I am not one of those. However, my amputation was done in 1978. They (meaning the surgeons) may have done things differently back then than they do now. (?) No clue.

While at the ACA conference I heard of a Symes who runs marathons (much to my astonishment and awe)! I want to email him but can't recall his name.

The advice to talk with your prosthetist and surgeon to get a list of pros-n-cons to each procedure sounds like the best advice. In addition, if you go with the B/K, you'll want to figure out with them how high to go to maintain the best leverage yet also be able to purchase the components you want to have the life that you want.

You've got A LOT of research a head of you.

Good Luck!

Amy

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Mary,

A few more thoughts... :smile:

Amy has just confirmed what I thought I had heard, that some Symes amputees can bear weight on the end of their limb, which can be extremely helpful as you wouldn't have to rely on hopping or crutches when your prosthesis is off. That would be a huge "pro", in my opinion. Ask the surgeon whether or not he/she does that type amputation and if it's a possibility for you. It would be interesting to hear what the answer is. Also, if you decide to go BK, ask the surgeon to put you in contact with some former patients with BK amps (as many as possible) so you can see if they are happy with the surgery or have had issues with it. Any surgeon can perform an amputation, but not all do them correctly. I've met several patients who are unable to wear a prosthesis comfortably because of the way the amputation was done. Your prosthetist should also be able to put you in contact with his patients who have had BK amputations which were done well.

Hello Mary,

I apologize for the delay!! :blush:

I'm not good with input on this as my 'equipment' is extremely outdated. Any issues I have may very well be because I just need a new prosthesis. Therefore, I do not want to say anything that would steer you away from a Symes amputation.

What I will say: I know some Symes can put weight on the end of their leg (meaning, walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night) without putting on their prosthesis. I am not one of those. However, my amputation was done in 1978. They (meaning the surgeons) may have done things differently back then than they do now. (?) No clue.

While at the ACA conference I heard of a Symes who runs marathons (much to my astonishment and awe)! I want to email him but can't recall his name.

The advice to talk with your prosthetist and surgeon to get a list of pros-n-cons to each procedure sounds like the best advice. In addition, if you go with the B/K, you'll want to figure out with them how high to go to maintain the best leverage yet also be able to purchase the components you want to have the life that you want.

You've got A LOT of research a head of you.

Good Luck!

Amy

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The amputation I have now makes me be able to walk with no prosthesis as I have my heel. Wow, I didn't think I had so much research to do. It's so difficult because people may have the same amputation but doesn't mean they are able to do the same things.

This is going to be a very hard decision to make....if I can even make one?! maybe i should stay the way I am....just not sure I can tolerate the pain? I have been referred by a great orthopaedic Dr who told me this vacscular Dr is very good. PLUS I'm going to talk to him about the Ertl procedure. Which I know that there is no Dr in Canada who does this procedure. But I will ask him if he has heard of it.

For me the thought of having a symes makes me think pain, and having the prosthesis high up below my knee. I'm sure many symes are doing great out there like I see Amy, always on the go and active! lol..... just not sure if that's what I want? Where as a BK I think the leg is more real looking and could handle showing it. I have been a partial foot amputee for 18 yrs and I have never worn shorts. Just have never been comfortable to.

I do have many questions to ask the Dr and prosthetist......I see my prosthetist next week. The Dr only in October.

Is it true that no matter what amputation you have it only lasts about 20 years then problems can set in?

Thanks!

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Is it true that no matter what amputation you have it only lasts about 20 years then problems can set in?

Thanks!

Mary, I don't know the answer to that. As we age, problems tend to set in everywhere! :smile: I think here, tho, you may be getting the cart before the horse. Try to take it as it comes right now but do ask the dr/pros that question.

My attitude - this is where I am at this point - if something happens down the road I'll deal with it then. Good luck.

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Is it true that no matter what amputation you have it only lasts about 20 years then problems can set in?

Thanks!

Mary, I don't know the answer to that. As we age, problems tend to set in everywhere! :smile: I think here, tho, you may be getting the cart before the horse. Try to take it as it comes right now but do ask the dr/pros that question.

My attitude - this is where I am at this point - if something happens down the road I'll deal with it then. Good luck.

Marcia, I realized I am getting the cart before the horse..lol. But I was told by the orthopaedic that with my kind of amputation that it only lasts about 20 years then problems set in. Is it with only my kind or all kind of amputations? The Dr told me she's surprised I lasted this long. Which is 18 yrs....well problems started at 14 yrs.

Does anyone know about soft tissue? I want to know if my foot will only get worse if I don't fix it?

Thanks!

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