Jump to content
Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Sign in to follow this  
maggie

problem with my *stump* hate that word!!!

Recommended Posts

hi all, now i'm not sure if i have mentioned this before, but i am having a longstanding prblem with the muscle at the back of my knee, i am rbk,.

my prosthetist has changed legs & made adjustments for me , but the problem is still there.

the problem is that when i walk any length of time i get a pain in my muscle under the knee, it stops me from walking & i have to sit down, sometimes i only need to walk across the room & it starts up. i can keep the leg on ok all day, but its stopping me from walking any distance. when i take off my leg at night its very painful, feels like i've had really bad cramp for days, or i have puled the muscle, even in the morning its still there. i wonder if anyone else has experienced anything similar, i am 20 years in, so am not new to the legs. any ideas anyone?

thanks in advance

maggie :excl::wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, maggie... First off, if you hate the word, please don't call it a "stump." I don't happen to have a problem with that word, but a lot of folks do, and I think that anyone who does has every right to call it whatever they please. "Residual limb," "short leg," "leg" (period), "stubby," "Jim," or whatever strikes your fancy. Life's too short to apply words you hate to yourself!

Now, for the pain problem...is the pain directly below the knee, or is it down in what's left of your calf muscle? I've had pains in both locations, but it's normally in the course of making fitting adjustments to a new socket. The "directly below the knee" pain for me has ALWAYS been related to the socket fitting process, and it disappears instantly when the angle of the back of the socket is pulled out slightly...almost like a tiny, gentle "rolled edge."

The calf muscle pain is also socket-related, but it can be more persistent...and it seems to happen in three different situations. First, again, is fitting a new socket. It's not necessarily a problem with the back of the socket...I have a tender spot on the front of my stump and, if I'm feeling socket pressure there I can change the angle I'm standing at to such a degree that it then triggers pressure on the back of my stump and causes a cramp-like pain. That one is, again, relieved immediately by adjusting the front of the socket to take the pressure off that tender point.

The next two are harder to track down: If I'm dealing with a day when my stump is a little smaller than usual, I can slide down just a tiny bit further in my socket and create a pinching type of pressure that triggers cramping. Ditto if I'm a little bit swollen, in which case the "usual position" in the socket is too snug...and here come the cramps again. Usually, I can adjust both of these by adding or subtracting stump sox...but it's annoying because I'm used to "what I usually wear" and don't like having to disassemble myself several times a day.

There's a "number three" sort of cause as well, and this one sounds the most like what you're describing, to me. It's another fit issue, and I can sometimes solve it with sox or a really snug suspension sleeve. I have a very "round" stump, and if my leg gets the least bit loose, it can rotate. It does not need to rotate much to whip my muscles into cramps...I might not even notice the change in position at first. But it can kick up cramps in the time it takes me to walk down the hall, and if I don't figure it out promptly, I can find myself cramping very badly when I finally get around to taking off the leg. I started wearing a suspension sleeve a few years back, and it makes a much more stable connection for my leg. Now that my seemingly ongoing shrinkage appears to have stabilized (same socket for over a year now, and it still fits!) I'm hoping to look into some sort of suction system for my next leg. Could something like that be a possible solution for you, or are you already in a suction system?

Hope something in there gives you a hint about the cause of your own problems.................... Good luck to you in sorting it out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Maggie,

I am above knee amp but reading your post made me think.

Why do we always assume that the pain is from a fit problem? Of course you are an experienced amp so you will probably know if it is, so just ignore me. :biggrin:

I just got to thinking that just because we are amps doesn't make us immune to suffering from other joint problems, knee problems or tissue problems. Often we can spend lots of time and money trying to improve the fit when fit may not be the problem.

The way you describe the pain as being behind your knee, it could be a bursa problem, which can feel like cramp and be very painful.

Even circulation problems can cause terrible pain, just ask someone with varicose veins :blink:

I can't really help you but just wanted to share my thoughts with people. if the leg adjustments haven't helped then perhaps you need to be examined by a Dr.

Hope it is sorted soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had the same cramp in the muscle of Stumpy. Usually occurs when walking a long distance. If I can sit down, it goes away in a matter of minutes. If I have to stop and stand, it might take a little longer. No explanation and no residual effects. I tend to forget about it until it happens again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Maggie,

I am bilateral b/k and am forever getting pains here and there in joints and muscles, often they come and go for what seems no apparent reason but if they are persistent and causing problems its usually worth getting them checked out just to be sure, and not least to try and get it sorted to get rid of the pain.

I would suspect its something to do with socket fit, but as Lynne points out we perhaps shouldn't always assumme this so worth getting the prosthesis and your leg checked out. I usually find if I get crampy pains in the back of the leg, its quite often that I have too much room in the socket though I don't constantly get this still when I take the legs off, sometimes if I get up and down quickly, or occassionally walking ... but not all the time.

Recently though I had an increasing amount of pain around the knee area which did remain once the leg was off .... I'd been complaining about it to the prosthetists for ages, I was waiting for a new leg to be made anyway, but eventually the physio at the centre took a look at it and advised that my knee was in the wrong place, I was very deep but the knee in a narrower part of the prosthesis. The knee area was actually too tight when I bent the knee, it was explained that the femur needs room to spread a bit to allow knee to bend and mine was pushing against the prostheis, and the lower half of the socket was also too loose. Once I had a new prosthesis that fitted me better the pain disappeared almost overnight.

To be honest I would think I'd ask for it to be checked out again, or get advice from physio or rehab consultant, if you have one. I have found you need to be a bit pushey sometimes, this pain is obviously unusual and bothering you otherwise you wouldn't have posted ... to be honest I think amputees often put up with far more than the average non amp person, who would go to their GP and probably be instantly referred for a scan or x ray or something, whereby we tend to get told its 'because of our legs'.

Get pushey Maggie.

Ann

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, thanks all for the replies, i think i will go back to the centre see if i can get ti looked at again, like you say ann, i will *get pushy*! thanks

maggie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm jumping in a little late here but would like to add that I have exactly the same situation as Neal. When I walk a lot, particularly at an abnormal angle (hills, stairs) I usually pay for it with the kind of pain you are describing. A little rest usually does away with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×