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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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soo

Hi I am a new amputee

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As usual, Neal explained the roll of the foot better than I could of.. He's so good at that!!!!

Reguardless.. he is right, and like he said, call your CP, tweaks are normal.... and often in the beginning.. but they do lessen as the leg changes and gets more stable, which, is a while off yet....

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Thanks for all of the advice, you guys. I will contact my CP. Everyone seems to love him. I've only heard extremely good things about him from PT therapists, doctors and amputees in the waiting room. I must have a good guy. He's very enthusiastic and pro active.

I realize that this isn't going to be easy. I am assured that it will get easier. I am just surprised at the discomfort. No matter what, I will hang in there and communicate. I'm going to put the leg back on in an hour or so. I'll load up on socks to see if that makes a difference.

One of my problems is that on the bottom of my shin, the bone is a little swollen still. When I sink down, I get too much contact right in the front at end of the shin bone when I step forward and bear weight on my heel.

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You've already gotten some really good advice from Neal and Higgy, Mike. Let me just add that I received my first leg on a Thursday...and by the following Monday I was calling to make an appointment for a fit adjustment! Your stump is going to go a little crazy in these first months...like Higgy, it's taken me well over four years to reach the point where I have a decent length of time in a socket before my stump changes to the point that I need to be recast.

There is a lot of stuff they can do to adjust your fit, and even a small adjustment can make a tremendous difference. You're not likely to know all the "terminology," but you are the expert on how the leg FEELS. Describe the feeling openly and clearly...you don't have to try and diagnose the exact problems in the fit. That's for your CPO to do. If they try and adjustment and it's not working for you, tell them so. Your input is the best information they have going for them!

This is the time that's going to take a lot of patience, but it will pay off in the long run.

Hang in there!

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Mike, me again. I just read your comment about the pressure on the shin. Getting you up higher in the socket may fix that, but if it does not, ask them if they can grind out a little "pocket" in the socket for the end of the bone. That's been a regular issue for me, and once they started making an actual place for the bone to go, it's made a tremendous difference. It doesn't have to be a big space...just a tiny amount of free space for the bone end.

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Hi Sue and Mike! I wanted to address Sue for a minute since she started this thread stating she was a below knee bilateral...since I am too, I just thought I would let you know I along with some others are here to help you if you have questions.

Having both legs involved can be tough and quite different than if you only have one leg involved, but you have your knees and that is huge. We have a wonderful group of people. You have a wonderful attitude, let us know how you are doing and feel free to ask any questions that we may be able to help with...welcome to both Sue and also Mike!

Flip

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Thanks Flip. I didn't mean to take over Sue's thread. I'm new to forum and I am very open to any protocol or edicate issues.

I'm finding a wealth of info and support here. I'm thankful to have come across this forum.

Cheryl, I find that more socks bring me higher in the socket but take up space for that shin bone. I was told that the socket could be ground for space. The funny thing is that when he made the clear test socket, it had space built into it. He made one adjustment to it and broke it. He then molded a new one on the spot and it ended up not having the clearance that the original one did. It was not as tight either. He liked it though. I even expressed those concerns at that time. He felt it was a go and ordered the carbon fiber one. That's the one I'm wearing now...a duplicate of the test socket I had concerns about.

Having said all of that, I'm going to give it an honest go. I'll give it a couple more days and then contact my CP.

Seems the more I wear it, the better it feels. Still taking it off frequently and checking my skin. I have to admit - after nineteen weeks of wheel chair and hopping, I'm digging standing on two legs. I can see things from an adult height again!

Thank you all,

Mike

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Mike,

All of the advice given in this thread is spot on! I am only 8mo post amp and on my 3rd different socket, my first one lasted only about 6 weeks. I ended up switching CPO's because my first one would not listen to what I was telling her about the socket. That relationship HAS to be open and honest for you to get the best out of your equipment. I didnt even see I was being ignored by her until one day my PT lady said that things werent suppose to be this difficult! I switched and it was the best choice I could have made for the health of my limb. If your CPO is worth you being his/her patient they will not mind you coming back in to atleast look at your leg! They have no idea how it is feeling if you dont tell them! Again I am still faily early on in the process as well, but I can already see that I have learned alot and am glad that I asked the questions when I had them. Just as a reference about CPO visits I just got my third socket last tuesday and today was my third visit since then to have my guy adjust the new socket, fortunately my guy leaves me in the test socket for 7-10 days to ensure it fits perfectly before making the carbon fiber one. Even though I wear the test socket that long there is always some more adjustments that will be needed with the carbon one too. Laws of physics I guess? Stay positive and give your self the breaks you will need early on and things will get better for you. Good Luck!

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I have a really sensitive spot on the outside of my stumpie, I'm a right BK, and my socket is built out around that spot. So whatever you need can be done. It is so hard in the beginning because, honestly, "you don't know what you don't know", and that is a fact. You will become more knowledgeable and know the right questions to ask. I reallly didn't know what to expect in the beginning and feel it took quite a while for me to get there. Sometimes I still go in and say, something's just not quite right. How he must hate that! But he always helps me figure it out. But the more time passes, the "smarter" you'll get and the bolder you will be when you know something's wrong. Hang in there. Just remember - it's not supposed to hurt.

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What Marcia said is true. You will learn the terminology quickly, but may still not be able to lay your hands on exactly what the problem is. You only know it isn't right.

Walking should not hurt. If it does, STOP until the issue is resolved. Especially if the pain is in the bone.

It's a little early in your walking days to explain how to cut socks, but I will anyway. You are using a simple suction system (not vacuum) with a liner and sleeve. It is normal to sink in the socket as you lose volume. The act of suction compounds that. Take a three-ply sock and cut the toe out. Just enough to get it over the end of your stump. Then cut the top out to where it's just below the kneecap. This will lift you in the socket without binding the distal end of your stump or your knee. I had more knee trouble than distal problems before I was told to do this.

Hope this helps. Keep moving on.

Neal

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Whoa, Neal, what a great idea! I'm a very detail oriented person, fine woodworking as a proffession all my life. Have a passion for hands on mechanics as well. I tweak everything I own from mt. bikes, Harley, electric guitars, cars you name it. I'm sure prosthesis will follow.

I am suprised that I didn't think of that myself. I guess I'm too green yet. As soon as your said "cut the toe...", I knew where you were going.

I will wait though. I want to talk to my CP. I was reviewing my warranty info with Hanger and I don't want to do anything to compromise the warranty. I have a 20% out of pocket investment and I'm almost maxed on the insurance cap. Can't afford more out of pocket $$$.

I think my CP will work with me just fine. He has a very good reputation. I just need to get in to him. I have some transportation issues. I drive, but I need someone to get my wheechair in and out because my shoulder is not yet healed.

Thank you mmarie and Madleggs. Your input is very appreciated. I will get there. Guidence and support like I am receiving in this forum is way beyond my expectations. With this kind of input, I can't go wrong!

Mike

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Like Cheryl and Marcia, I too had a spot that had to be sanded out. Mine came from a pin site where the foot was re-attached before the amputation.

I don't blame you for not "tweaking" yet.. You have a ways to go yet, and sometimes, minor little tweaks can have huge effects.. I'm sure your CP will help all that he can. It just takes time, patience and communication..

Being upright again is great, isn't it!!!!!!!

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Being upright is so awesome, Higgy.

I saw my CP today and addressed my issues. He felt I was sinking too far down. I have some space where my scar is and a blister developed. That sucks. He gave me a toe sock and some ideas for filling the narrow scar line. I'm on a hour on and 3 hours off schedule now. He didn't want to change anything else just yet. I see him on Friday and he will do some tweaking at that time. I do like him and so does my PT.

Very tired now. Just got home from band practice and I'm beat.

Good night.

Mike

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What instrument do you play? What band? What genre of music?

I think I can see you building your own leg some day. I personally don't mess with mine. The most I've done is adjust a little more or less toe. I don't really have a lot of spare parts. I'm in the process of gathering all the older components to donate for the Haitians.

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Wow! This thread is becoming an all-purpose "introduction" site! Keenan, welcome...we're already trying to split this thread between Mike and Sue...I think I'm going to to try and split these all up so that each of you has your very own "intro" thread. :smile:

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i'm expecting surgery and i'd like to talk with others

Hi Keenan and welcome to the forum..... All you have to do is join in......

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