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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Mary Farquhar

Calling all Ertl Amputee's

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I know there are several (or more) people here who have had Ertls. Don't worry, they'll pop up :smile:

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Hi Mary! I had the ERTL procedure done in Oklahoma about 2 years ago. It went very well and I am very glad that I had it done. I live in ND so it was quite a trip, but well worth it. Before having this done, I had quite a few surgeries and nothing seemed to work. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Carol

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I had a "modified" Ertl procedure done by my ortho here in utah. It is basically the same thing, but my doc put a screw through the tibia, bone bridge, and fibula. I was up and participating on the PC Ski team in a matter of weeks. However, I did have a problem with that stupid screw. My body hates metal btw. The screw came loose (hahaha) and I had surgery to take it out last year.

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Hi everyone. I am a new user and have been a BRKA for 9 years. I have never heard of Ertl and am very curious as to what difference it makes when living life as a amputee? I have no major problems as a amputee, no further surgery since my amputation etc, just the usual complications with a ill fitting artificial limb. Also what exactly is revision surgery?? I am a total novice it seems since becoming a member. I am learning more since joining this site than i have ever learnt at Withington DSC, Grt Manchester UK!

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Hi KLF,

Being above knee amp, I don't know anything about ERTL but can answer your question about waht revision is.

Basically when someone says they have had a revion it means they have undergone more surgery on their amputated side to try to improve things, could be pain wise or prosthetically.

Hope that helps.

If you do a search through old theads you may find a lot of posts on the ERTL proceedure, just click the search button, top right of the screen.

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Hi Lynne,

Thanks for info on 'revision surgery', have a clearer idea what it entails now. Luckily for me, i aint too bad in pain department, (suffer none at all if i'm not wearing my limb) my limb i'm using at the moment seems a good fit if i wear two pairs of thin socks over my liner. Will do as you suggested about searching through old posts on ERTL.

Thanks again

Karen

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Hi KLF.

When they are talking about an Ertl proceedure, Dr. Ertl (who invented this proceedure) builds a "bone bridge" a bone graft, across the bottom of stump on bk's. It covers both the fibula and tibia. It is to make the bottom of the stump harder and more resilient. A better "base" if you will for bearing weight. There are other's here who have had the proceedure..Karen, from Florida, CatH from Wisconsin, Caroln from ND, and stubby from Utah, although, as he said, his ortho done the proceedure and added to it.

An aquaintance of mine, who works for Ossur had it done as well. He never had any regrets either... Actually, I haven't heard of anyone who has had them. I'm sure that someone who is on here and has had them will be more than happy to explain better than the attempt that I have made. I had checked into it at one time, but didn't have the opportunity at the time to follow through with it, when my father took very ill.

Hope the explanation helped..

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0Hi Higgy (great user name),

Thanks for info on ERTL, i looked it up yesterday and i'm amazed at what they can do now to make our lives that litttle bit easier. As i am looked after by our good old NHS service here in the UK, its a subject that does'nt come up very often (if at all!) when attending DSC (disablement services centre). We get the basic prosthesis required to enable us to live our day to day lives. Unless you are a sporty person and need special requirements when you are fitted for a limb. I met a AK lady who wears through her false limb every few months as she goes horse riding and keeps breaking her false knee-cap! Me, i have one spare leg BK, which i never wear as it just does'nt feel as good and as comfy as the one i'm wearing now. Gawd help me when this one is on its last leg (excuse the pun!)i will struggle to get used to wearing the other one whilst my next 'spare' is being made! I call my wearable limb my comfy slipper after trying my spare one for afew hours!! Sorry for babbling on, i have never been a member of a website forum before.

Thanks again, i will have to win the lotto before i go down our private sector route when having a leg designed or asking for ERTL procedure, i would never get it done on NHS. Plus, once you have a limb done privately, if you have any problems with it and you need it adjusting or whatever, you cannot ask for help via the NHS again as they did'nt build it so its not their problem!

Just poppin out now to do my shopping + buy my weekly lottory ticket, WISH ME LUCK!

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I discovered only recently that my surgeon from University Medical Center in Tucson did the "Ertl" procedure on me. She had told me she would be performing a surgical procedure that was for patients who intended to be active in their prosthesis but she did not mention the name.

She indeed did the "Ertl" and I am glad for that. I am still only about 9 weeks post surgery so its probably too early for me to appreciat it to its fullest.

I think its important to realize that you do not have to travel to have this done. If your surgeon is familiar and trained in its application it can be done. It need not be done by the Ertls directly.

Dr Ertl is the namesake for the procedure but they do not restrict its usage by other surgeons.

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I should probably add something in here...there are some folks for whom the Ertl procedure is NOT recommended. I'm one of those. Of course, at the time I had my amp surgery, I'd never even heard of the Ertl...but if I had, I would have been interested in investigating it. However, it's not recommended for those of us who are diabetic...especially if we've had an episode of Charcot foot. I assume that's because Charcot bone growth is very erratic and brittle and could seriously jeopardize the bone bridge.

I've been quite happy with my traditional amputation, though, even though I can't bear weight on my stump.

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What a nice surprise it must have been to know the Ertl was performed on you. I hope all is going well, since it's only been 9 weeks post-op? I wish you the best!

Mary

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Had mine done in October. mine was the AK ERTL version. muscle attachment, bone milled and femur rounded and filled, nuromas removed and buried in the bone and bone spurs removed. Ortho did several with Ertl including Cat's from Wisconsin.

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I have seen some information indicating that Ertl amputees should not be using the shrinker sock during the post operative phase. Can anyone out there substantiate that?

I was put in a sock the day after my surgery and have always been in one when not in the prosthetic.

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