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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Hoggett

How far can you walk?

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Hello everyone,

I have a question for mainly Bi lateral below knee apmputee's but any one can churp in.

I have had my left leg off for five years and my right leg four years. At first I thought I was doing well, able to walk with two sticks then eventually with non when I'm indoors. But I feel as though I should be doing more than I am. When I went to see my prothetist, I asked her what range should I be able to walk, (I know there is no right answer to this) just wanted a guide. Her answer was I am doing too much! I'm only walking about my house garden and the supermarket when I go out, surely this isn't going to be the rest of my life is it?

So folks the question is, if you don't mind me asking is how far can you walk?

Thanks for any input you can give me, I feel so frustrated, when I do try and improve my distance, one of my legs breaks down and I end up back in my wheelchair.

Thanks

Ian

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Ian, I am not bilateral, but I don't think that your ability to walk distances should be hindered. When you said that your leg breaks down, do you mean blisters and such or actual mechanical failure?

Either one in my little opinion is due to poor prosthetics. Your only limitation to walking should be your actual strength of your legs and hips that provide the walking movement.

Proper fitting legs is the first thing to be checked and adhered to, then work with a physical therapist to increase your strength.

Keep us posted.

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I am a bilateral below knee. I go all day at work without a cane or anything, but it's not like I'm in construction or anything physically tough like that. My job entails alot of meetings, etc. I do sometimes have to take a wheelchair still in large places, such as airports and even the grocery store sometimes. I am having trouble getting a new set of legs fitted. I think it may be a bit more difficult for those who still have 1 good leg to completly understand, although I think we are all in the same boat. I think unless there are physical reasons, if we have the proper fit from a leg doc who actually knows what he is doing, we can do almost anything. I know it takes more energy for a bilateral to do the same as someone else, but I don't find that the problem. I've been very lucky and never had any skin breakdowns or anything, but my right leg gets really sore if I do too much, and that's just flat out due to the fact that I don't have correct fitting prosthetics. If your legs fit right, you probably shouldn't be getting skin breakdowns unless there is a medical issue. I'm no expert at this, but I do know what you are feeling like. We HAVE TO MAKE THESE PROSTHETISTS MAKE THESE LEGS RIGHT! Don't get discouraged..you are doing great. I haven't been at this that long and I know it's tough, but just keep it up and press them to take a look at how your legs are fitting instead of them worrying about how much you are walking around. Let me know how you are,take care.

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Hi Ian

I don't think there are any hard and fast rules. Depends on so many variables, such as stump condition, age, general health, overall fitness etc. etc, most of all I think whether the sockets are a comfortable fit. Its amazing how tired you feel when you are walking in uncomfortable sockets compared with when you are comfortable. But generally you are using much more energy to walk, bilaterally, even b/k than someone with their own two legs would. If you are walking round the supermarket, you are probably not doing too bad, a weeks shop usually would take me about an hour, so if you think you are walking non stop for about hour, thats not bad.

When you say your leg breaks down, I take it you are referring to the skin breaking down, or something similar, rather than the legs mechanically breaking.

I have have been a bilateral b/k for 40 years, when I was a teenager, I would walk quite long distances, go to work all day on them and go dancing at night, but 40 years later there is no way I could do that - but not many non amps have the energy they had as teenagers. However, even in those days, I would be off the legs now and again, quite frequently got skin breakdowns on one side which is skin grafted, also a few torn muscles here and there. Nowadays, I am prob more careful, I had a revision amp on the grafted side last year, still have the graft so have to watch it a bit, I try and aim to keep wearing them every day and go at a steadier rate, than really push it and end up with problems. I juggle things quite a lot, I do work, part time, but not every day, I am walking a fair bit around the place at work and up and down stairs, so on those days I probably do very little 'extra' walking for the remainder of the day. I have other days when I do go for 'walks', other days when I clean the house, or shopping, but am careful not to do it all on the same day, I also have some time of the day nowadays, usually the evening when I use my wheelchair, energy levels are best for me in the morning.

So really, think you have to do whats best for you, if the skin keeps breaking down get the prosthesis looked at, you never know getting skin issues addressed may improve things, otherwise just do what you can do, increasing it little by little if you can.

Ann

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Hello Ian,

I can’t really give you a good answer as I still have one good leg BUT it all boils down to you, if you are happy with what you attcheve that’s fine , if you want to do more do so , only you can decided and be happy with the distances you reach.

But for what its worth I go out hiking on my days off and walk all day from say 09:30 till tea time with no problems however if I have a day at home catching up on jobs, i.e. cutting the lawns, tidying up flower beds ect ect come tea time i am really knackered and if you throw in a trip to the shops (something no self respecting man should have to suffer) :biggrin: I am totally shagged…………………………. Work that out!

Take care Mick

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My right is below knee and my left is above knee. I have alot of nerve damage to my left leg (bc it was ripped off) but i feel the same way. Everyone sais im doing great even my physical therapist but i feel like i should do more but am hindered from getting blisters on my left leg. I have to make myself put my legs on everyday lol! Challenge yourself to wear ur legs in the grocery store pushing the cart!! By the time i get to the register i can feel the sweat running down my back, it's a great workout!!

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