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Amputation / Prosthetic Message Board
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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Location: LaCrosse, WI, United States
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mary832 HB User
Pre-op consult

I am new here, found this while googling amputation.

In 1986 when I was 4 yo I was hit by a lawn mower. It resulted in an open femur fracture of my left upper leg. The damage was all done to my lateral upper thigh. That healed pretty well but left me with nerve damage to my left foot. I was basically left with severe foot drop and had to wear a brace on that ankle.

In 1996 I had an ankle fusion with the hopes of getting me out of the brace and increasing function. That didn't go well...I ended up with severe chronic osteomyelitis of the ankle that necessitated 5 years of IV antibiotics, over 40 surgeries that included bone grafts, muscle grafts, debreidment with implanted antibiotic beads, and external fixation (once to stabilize and once to lengthen).

Finally in 2001 the infection cleared up and they got the ankle to fuse. I never was able to get out of the brace but was able to go on to live an essentially normal life. I graduated from college and work as an RN in the emergency department. I have lived an active life and enjoyed running and hiking.

In April I was running down the stairs and slipped and fell and hit my left foot on the wall. Nothing that I wasn't able to get up from and kind of shake it off. So stupid...I got cellulitis and that seemed to "wake up" all those nerves and have been in constant pain since. I thought I had osteomyelitis again. I didn't. A round of oral antibiotics cleared up the cellulitis.

Anyway. After seeing family medicine, internal medicine, podiatry, ortho and lastly a foot and ankle specialist the determination is I have degenerative arthritis in the remaining joints of my left foot and osteoporosis of that foot. There isn't enough "good" bone left in that foot to assume fusion of those remaining joints will be successful. I already wear a custom brace but the pain has gotten so that the pressure of shoes on my foot is nearly unbearable. So I have no good options.

After discussing quality of life and best long term solution we decided BKA was really the only option I have. After living with this for 25 years I am mentally ready. When I was a teenager I thought the worst case scenario was amputation. I was wrong. The worst case scenario is chronic pain that diminishes my quality of life. As an RN my livelihood depends on my ability to walk, stand, and lift. I cannot and do not want to depend on pain medication.

I have my pre-op appt with ortho on Wednesday but don't really know what to expect or what I should be asking. The surgeon is the best one we have (one of the perks of being an RN is knowing which ones are good). But other than that I'm treading new waters here. Should I be meeting the prothetestist (sp?) that will be fitting me for my prosthetic? I know recovery is individualized but what can I expect in terms of timeline? How long is reasonable to expect that I will be up and full functioning back at work full time? I am 31 and in good shape, not overweight. My boss and family are supportive. Suggestions would be welcome.

 
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:08 AM   #2
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MadamCaptain76 HB User
Re: Pre-op consult

I know someone who is in a similar situation to you and a similar age. She was in an accident about 3 and a half years ago, when she was hit by a car while she was riding her motorized scooter. Her left leg was broken in several places and there was a chance she would need an amputation. However, after lots of surgeries, her leg was saved, although she was in chronic pain. She had to wear a leg brace too, like one of those space boots people wear sometimes when they break a leg. She was also 4 months pregnant at the time of the accident (somehow, she didn't lose the baby) and she had the baby while in rehab hospital. Her son was born healthy. Now, she has recently found out that she WILL need an amputation. Her surgeon can't do anything else for her. She has had so many surgeries already and its pointless for her to have anymore. She said that she is ready for an amputation but its still upsetting for her. She told me that rehab after a leg amputation is around 3 months. She is having a BKA too.

Sorry that I can't offer any other advice.

 
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:09 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5
MadamCaptain76 HB User
Re: Pre-op consult

I know someone who is in a similar situation to you and a similar age. She was in an accident about 3 and a half years ago, when she was hit by a car while she was riding her motorized scooter. Her left leg was broken in several places and there was a chance she would need an amputation. However, after lots of surgeries, her leg was saved, although she was in chronic pain. She had to wear a leg brace too, like one of those space boots people wear sometimes when they break a leg. She was also 4 months pregnant at the time of the accident (somehow, she didn't lose the baby) and she had the baby while in rehab hospital. Her son was born healthy. Now, she has recently found out that she WILL need an amputation. Her surgeon can't do anything else for her. She has had so many surgeries already and its pointless for her to have anymore. She said that she is ready for an amputation but its still upsetting for her. She told me that rehab after a leg amputation is around 3 months. She is having a BKA too.

Sorry that I can't offer any other advice.

 
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