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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Kaz

To be or not to be covered....

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Hi all,

i've just browsed the Ossur and Freedom sites - Can you believe it .?!..never heard of these companies until today.....yikes! Well, i guess that shows that the company i'm with must be doing a good job :)

All these innovative names, e.g. Renegade , Talux, Modular III, LP Cerelus :blink: (sounds like the cockpit instruments in the Starship Enterprise) :D . But what about the cosmetics?? For me the cosmetics are EXTREMELY important. As i would feel uncomfortable without the covering. It would interest me how many of you just wear the prosthesis 'stripped off' , so to speak or are the cosmetics important for you too???

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Hi Kaz,

I've got my leg covered and for me - its looks great and I do feel more confident. Having said that I was also confident when it wasn't covered and I still wore skirts -long ones - but still wore them.

The covering has made me feel better about wearing cropped trousers or below knee skirts etc.

Earlier this week I wore a summer skirt and strappy shoes that I haven't worn since my accident - when I got into work one of the girls I work with got upset and said 'oh look at you - you wouldn't know about your leg - and I never throught i see you in those shoes again' :blink: - It was really nice to have bear legs and npt to have them covered up in the sunshine.

I suppose it comes down to practical use / confidence and choice? :P

Good question though!

Sue - Cardiff - UK

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Hi Kaz,

I'm totally with you on this one! I think the uncovered legs look really cool, but as a bilateral, I think it just wouldn't look the same having two legs like that.

I'm very interested in getting a good cosmesis too, especially 'slim' legs, as I considered my real legs to be my best features. They were long and shapely (if I do say so myself! :P ) so I have to wait for my stumps to shrink enough in order to get legs like that. My prosthetist said that my stumps should reach the perfect shape within 3 years. So only 2 more to go for me!!

When the time is right, and if I've saved enough money, I'm going to try and buy a pair from Dorset Orthopaedics (the company that makes Heather's). I'm only 25 years old and don't see why I have to live in trousers.

Yes, I too was amazed by the choice on offer at Ossur and Freedom. For those of you who don't have them already, here are the websites:

Ossur

Freedom

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Karen,

Being a guy, I would rather show my hardware at this time.

I do enjoy having my prosthetist laminate my socket with a design or covering my socket with a Sleeve Art cover.

The cut lines on my socket stick out so much when I am sitting that it is pointless to cover my entire leg. I am hopeful that my future sockets won't be that way so that covering the entire leg may be more appealing to me.

I also think that it is important that the cover doesn’t add noise to when I walk. A noisy cover can be very annoying.

Than my last concern is how well the cover will hold up. It seems that these very expensive covers may have a limited life, which presents a whole other concern regarding practicality.

Once again, this is all from a male prospective. I totally respect a female prospective of the importance of a cosmesis and thoroughly enjoy the end result. A more attractive person showing a higher level of self esteem, and that is beauteous.

Kind regards and thanks for starting a great topic,

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I am still in the first stages so my limb has not had a covering yet, i`m not sure how i feel about this. I have always worn jeans and trousers, very rarely worn skirts and only wear shorts in the summer. You will appreciate that i live in the UK, so when i say " summer" i mean when the sun actually shines and it is warm enough.

I`m not to bothered about the leg being un-covered. The only problem is that with some trousers that are made of thin or lightweight material, the trouser leg does not fall properly, nothing to hold the cut of the desighn, if you see what it mean, they seem to cave in at the bottom. I certainly won`t wear trousers just so nobody will know i have a false limb though.

I suppose that once i get to have a cover i will have a stronger opinion one way or the other.

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Thanks Sue, Afet, Johnny and Lesley for your opinions ..... it's interesting how the female's requirements differs to the male's. I've met so many guys who just don't care about the cosmetics. I wonder if age plays a role here too, hmmmm.

The cosmesis (thanks Afet :) the correct wording) is a VERY sensitive and important issue, especially for us gurls, i guess.

I don't think it's not being able to accept that i have a missing limb. It's just in order for me to live sucessfully, whether it's work or play B) (now that one i like, hehe) i need to feel like all parts are there. The cosmesis plays the part of covering the defecit which is there. It's an extremely sensitive issue for me and i believe it plays a BIG role in psychologically overcoming the loss of a limb....

Yes Johnny, the downside is that the life span of these covers isn't too long. As i'm really active, it only lasts max 6 months. I keep on suggesting a different more elastic material ..sort of like Barbie's ..i mean, there is so much to be learnt from this doll :D :D I mentioned in an earlier post that i used to have a Barbie that tanned in the sun (!!!) and automatically changed haircolour .. MJ !! :D (and this was in the late 70s .... :o )

Thanks again!

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I don't really have much choice. For me, as a welder, covers are a fire hazard. I know this because I've set my leg on fire. It was scary at the time but funny looking back. You'd be suprised at the number of people who don't even notice. I've been asked "What's wrong with your knee?" "Nothing" "Then how come you are wearing a knee brace?" "Because it's holding on my leg."

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Hey Kaz, I'm with you on this one, "Beam Me Up Scottie" I'm clueless as well. :blink:

The cosmetic cover is VERY important to me also. I'm sure to some people this may be one of those, mind over matter things, but it just makes me feel more comfortable with myself, which I guess is what it really comes down to. It's not that I couldn't go with the other, but was given a choice and this was my mine. It's still not as perfect as I'd like, but then, neither am I... :P :lol:

Sheila LBK

Maine USA

Keep Smiling :)

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this is something that for me , i have yet to have to deal with since i did not have a leg made after mine was lost . I am however of ther feeling as all the gurls that looks are hugely important to me . Sheesh , they were by far my best features and while i know it can probobly never be duplicated to look like my real one , it sure would be nice to have something that looks very close to being real looking .

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I am uncovered and I love it!!! I get stares but it's ok..

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Hi Kaz!

My leg has been uncovered for a year now - I can't wait to get it covered again (once I get a leg that fits). I'm not uncomfotable with it uncovered and ALLLLLLLLLL the stares - it's just I feel better dressed for those dress up occasions. I wear shorts at all the time even in winter while I'm at home of course - I'm not that tough :D . My prothatic leg is part of me and who I now am - covered or uncovered it doesn't change the facts huh! Wendy

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I was just thinking about this the other day. Right now I am uncovered and all is fine. I work in a school and it is easier to show the kids being uncovered. I am tired of people not looking me in the eye, but I'm not sure that would change if I had a covered one. My plan is to have a covered one in the future that I can wear for special events or maybe just for work when I feel the need.

What really does bother me is finding pants that don't stick or bind with my prosthesis. I would really like to have a smooth line on my leg but I haven't been able to find any that do that yet. It is more professional looking with pants that don't bind up at the knee when I walk.

Caroln

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Hi

I chose a uncovered leg. I do understand why someone would want I covered leg for the looks. The good thing about a uncovered leg is if you need a adjustment done to your leg it can be done easy without the cover. I like the bionic look. I have had some kids very interested in my leg and I am OK with that :P . I hope that you chose the right thing for yourself. You can always have a cover put on latter on.

Good luck

Clint

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Hi,

Another perspective:

Although I am a male I do have a cosmetic cover, but this is a bit unusual. I was involved in designing it with my prosthetist. My cosmetic cover serves two purposes, it protects the modular components of the leg from the elements of nature and at the same time provides a decent look (but not skin like).

My cover is made of the same laminate material as my socket, but is thinner, in order not to add too much weight for my leg. It is nearly of the same colour as my own skin but is shiny as plastic is. My prosthetist took a cast of my sound leg and made a mirror image of it to transfer to other side, so the shape of my prosthetic leg is very natural. He connected the plastic laminate cover between the foot and the socket and waterproofed the edges. I can do all kinds of sports with my leg including seasports.

I agree that those cosmetic covers are unreasonably expensive, more so when such materials would not last very long in hard usage.

I also agree that it may be good to have the leg uncovered for the sake of adjustments, but in my case we adjusted my leg very well in the first place and I know that my prosthetist does not make many mistakes. I trust his skill, which he has proven to me many times. Maybe I would not have tried this kind of experiment with other prosthetists.

I am very happy with my leg, which I can shamelessly use with shorts on in any public place and I can use in all of my outdoor (sometimes reckless) activities.

Kind regards,

Jukka

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Hi Karen,

I can understand you very well. For me the cosmetic cover is very important, too. I've an individual silicone cosmesis - putted over the foam cosmesis of the limb like a glove. Looks very natural and for adjustments it can be pulled of the prothesis like a sock. I was told it is not to be replaced before two years of use (is this a correct english sentence? :wacko:). I'm wearing it while doing sports etc. The only thing I don't do with this cosmesis is walking bare foot.

Other people noticing I'm wearing an artificial limb is not my problem, but I want to have a good looking one. Besides the bionic look is very esthetic! The other thing is, that people are not that struggled if they notice I'm an amputee only when they have talked to me for a while. They recognise, that the amputation doesn't determine my life - and that I'm nothing but they are. That makes things much easier in getting to know new people.

For my second prosthesis (it's made for wearing high heels) I want to have a cover, too. I'm reflecting to go to Dorset for having a cover. Can anyone tell me how much it would cost? Anyone who has experience with Dorset cosmesis?

Daniela

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Another Male Perspective:

I also enjoy showing my hardware. My first prosthetic hand was colored a very light tan inorder to match my natural arm but since then I have changed to a Carbon Fiber arm with Stainless Steel hook. Much nicer in my opinion.

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Manila,

I also intend to get a pair of legs from Dorset Orthopaedics too. I'm not too fussed about having them now (1 year post-op) but I'm fundraising and saving up for when I'm ready to. I am told that a pair from them would cost somewhere in the region of £10-11,000, so I guess you're looking at a minimum of £5,000 for one, but I'm not 100% sure. But that's if you come to England. I'm aware of a cosmesis (Heather Mills-McCartney Cosmesis) that is available to amputees in the USA, but it's only a cover that is to go over your current socket and feet. If you haven't already, look at the Dorset website here.

Lefty,

Good on you for showing your hardware!! I'm sure it looks very cool! B)

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Hi Daniela,

My leg has a pvc cover at present - and I've got a Flex Foot so I can adjust the heel heights etc.

I'm now having a Skinergy cover from RSL Steeper (check out their web site - its really good) and they are based in London (I think) This is silicone and very much like the Dorset ones - BUT available on the NHS. It can also be worn on a split toe prosthetic foot! Its also available in loads of skin tones.

Ossur have also just made available a cover specifically for the Elation Flex Feet - available in America and just (I'm informed) doing the rounds with the reps in Britain. My Proesthetist has ordered me one Skinergy and one Ossur to compare for the best look.

Hope this helps.

Sue - Cardiff - UK :wacko:

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Hi Daniela,

schön dass Du wieder da bist! Mach Dir keine gedanken wegen dein Englisch. Es ist sehr gut!

So this glove silicon covering can hold it out for 2 years?? wow! I am impressed... :o I get so frustrated with my 'super skin' covering. It looks good but lasts max. 6 months...so i will be checking out the link that you sent in the other posting. Vielen Dank!

Well, like you say ...it's how you see yourself - this is how other people will see you too. If the cosmetics look good, you feel good, the people around you feel good. ... :)

Afet...patience... :) One think at a time !

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It's Lesley

and I am in the first process also so I dont have a cosmetic covering

but as soon as I get to my prosthetist person I will tell him to get me

a cover!, because I have the metal thing and I dont like it.

But I also think for guys they like it. Us girls (women) have to have

something pretty!!!!!!!

Lesley

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I feel priety oh so priety.

Hey I like the "terminator" look. After all HE got elected govoner!!!!

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Hi Eric

definately like the terminator look.

Well that is until they make a cover that grows or looks hairy to match my other leg :)

best as ever

Steve

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I have the fleshtone arms too, with full prosthetic hands also. They come in handy, when you're trying to keep someone's attention focused, because my stainless hooks distract people at times. As for me though, I don't like them nearly as much. I prefer the hardware look, besides it's easier to grasp for me. I guess I'm the only female who prefers the "Terminator" look, huh? Lefty, do you find your hook easier to use than your other prosthetic arm? It's easier for me to be precise with my hooks, you?

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Johannah,

My hooks are much easier to use than my other prosthetic arms. I don't think i have used my prosthetic hand in years, only for a nice apperence in church bet thats all. I do however use a mioelectric Graphler (sp). Its not for heavy lifting or anything of the sort but its nice when doing electrical work.

I think i have an arm for every occasion.

I mostly wear my Carbon fiber and stainless while i'm at work.

I wear my old skin tone and stainless while I riding ATVs or working at home because i don't want to scratch up my Carbon Fiber.

I wear my mioelectric Graphler (sp) while doing electrical work or computer repair.

I wear my mioelectric hand for a nice appearance in church sometimes.

I also have a few more that i experiment with every once in a while.

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