Osseointegration Implant Technology has changed all that and has finally opened up a whole new world for me. Thus enabling me to finally embrace my disability as a part of who I am, to the extent that I desire a future in the field.
This website is the first step in achieving that new life and I hope you will join me on my journey living as an Amputee with an Osseointegrated Implant.
After meeting with Australia’s first ILP patient and seeing first hand the benefits, Mitch was sold. He would have booked in for the surgery the very next day if he had of been able to.
Since then he hasn’t looked back. Gone are the issues he had with overheating and perspiring and taking the leg on and off is so much easier. Not that he wants to take it off now, he will put it on of a morning and not take it off until he goes to bed that night.
With this procedure she has been awarded a new physical lease on life and while this journey is far from over, there is much work to be done, the future looks glittering and shiny with possibility and holds so much potential. Miranda plans to make the most of her new physical capabilities and to use it to open up doors of activities previously shut to her.
She has already ticked off her first goal and completed her first 5km fun run/walk and while crossing that finishing line was an incredible feeling, just walking without pain was the true reward.
Gone are the days of constant sweating, pinching and pulling. He can sit in a chair comfortably without something digging into his groin and if he feels like going for a walk for pleasure he can and now walks 1.5km a day. That was something he would never have done before, unless his life depended on it.
He advocates amputees coming to their own decision as to whether the surgery is right for them but for Brendon it is the perfect fit.
In 1985 I was involved in an auto accident that changed my life forever. I was seventeen years old and fell asleep behind the wheel of my car. It was around 1 am and I was traveling east on Interstate 10 in Southern California where I grew up. I recall being extremely tired, so I exited the freeway and pulled into a parking lot to get some rest. After a short time I felt revived, so I decided to get back on the road and continue driving. The only thing I recall is pulling out of that parking lot and that’s when my memory goes blank. I might have traveled a total of six miles before my car ended up under a semi truck on the Interstate. After the collision I was trapped in a burning car, crushed under the weight of the semi truck I ran into. I have absolutely no memory of the accident or what ultimately led to the collision. Only pieces of information gleaned from accident scene photos and the police report. The following is what I experienced afterwards.
Emergency Crews were able to extract me from the vehicle and I was transported to Loma Linda University Hospital where I ended up spending the next ten weeks. My legs were burnt, pelvis broken, collapsed lungs, a ruptured spleen and I had numerous internal injuries. They even had to split me open on my upper left torso from back to chest and left leg from hip to knee in order to remove a blood clot near my heart and to relieve the pressure caused by so much swelling in my leg. When I finally regained consciousness I saw wires, tubes and machines everywhere! A respirator was doing my breathing, a feeding tube was in my nose, a colostomy bag was hanging off my side, drainage tubes were piercing through my ribs directly into my lungs, long screws were buried deep in my hips, my legs were hoisted in the air by pulleys attached to steel pins in my heels and my body had swelled to such a size, that it completely confused me. I was a mess and recall trying to signal hospital staff with my fingers the numbers 135 over and over again. I thought how could I be so big, this skinny kid only only weighs 135 lbs? My own mother didn’t even recognize me. She said that if it were not for remnants of a small goatee on my severely swollen face, she would not have known it was her son. Doctors later told me I was dead on arrival and had been revived several times while en-route. Emergency Room personnel administered blood and by the time I was stabilized, my body had gone through a total of 100 units! All draining straight through the injuries I sustained to my lower legs. I was later assigned a room in the intensive care unit. Mornings meant doctors would come in and peel away layers of dead burnt skin from my legs; then pack them in fresh pig skin until the next morning. While falling in and out of consciousness, I recall medical staff adorned in surgical attire doing this. After about a week of these procedures it was discovered that my right leg had developed a Gangrene infection in the knee, so I was immediately taken in for an amputation. Funny thing is my right leg had actually sustained less trauma than my left. I vaguely remember being wheeled down a corridor while someone manually pumped some sort of breathing apparatus. It wasn’t until I regained consciousness did I learn they had amputated my leg. My remaining leg was burnt so bad that a large amount of skin and muscle had been removed. As a result approximately eleven inches of shin bone was left completely exposed and a large amount of the muscle that lifts the foot was now gone forever. Sometime later large areas of skin were harvested from my thigh and sides for skin graph materiel in order to cover the exposed area. I was so banged up that even lifting my head was impossible for quite some time.
Once released from Loma Linda I was transferred to St.Jude Medical Center in Fullerton for rehabilitation. It took about a year of hard work but eventually I regained my ability to walk. Something doctors told me probably wouldn’t happen. After being bedridden for months I advanced to the use of a wheelchair, then on to parallel bars where I stood for the first time. A walker came next, then crutches and finally a cane. Eventually I was walking unassisted, utilizing an above knee prosthetic leg on my right side and an AFO brace on my left. Pain is definitely an issue but by utilizing a wheelchair part of the time and crutches when necessary, it’s manageable most days.
In 1986 I received my first prosthetic leg and even though there have been advancements over the years, some things haven’t really changed at all. For instance, an amputee has to insert a soft tissue stump into a rigid based socket, bearing weight within its restricting form in order to attach a prosthetic device. There are several options for keeping the device in place but in the end, they all share the same basic fundamental technology and and their use really depends on an individuals needs, preference and/or comfort.
We have all seen amputees run, jump and do all kinds of various activities. It’s truly amazing what some of these people can do. If an Amputee is in good enough shape, they can actually hop around on one leg fairly easily. There are numerous pictures and videos profiling amputees engaging in various sporting activities but what you never see is what their stump looks like afterwards. Even moderate activity can tear up the skin and cause all kinds of problems. A quick Google search will reveal some pretty gruesome images. My injuries limit activities to simply being able to walk in a slow, painful, uneven gait. Due to my hip trauma, even sitting for any length of time becomes very painful. I can still do quite a bit and have, but running and jumping are just not some of them. Which is why the correct prosthetic device is so important to me. I have struggled for years utilizing current socket based technology and even though advancements in prosthetics have made mobility somewhat easier, the rigid socket based technology remains an archaic means of attaching a prosthetic device. Traditional socket based systems have actually been in use for the last five hundred years! No matter how much care you take, sores to the stump are common and various levels of infection does occur at times. Any fluctuation in weight causes the prosthetic to fit improperly, which only compounds the problem. Most prosthetists out there have no idea what it’s like to actually wear one of these things. Honestly speaking, how could they? I have had prosthetists actually say that they have done everything they can and insinuate fitting issues and problems must be with me. Simply having to bear the pain and being forced to get used to the fit, is the typical solution. To be fair, my injuries don’t make me a typical amputee. Mobility is a little more difficult with the additional injuries I sustained to my left leg and pelvis. So in the end, even if you do find a prosthetist who is an amputee, their abilities are simply limited by available technology.
The single mistake of a seventeen year old boy is what forced me into the world of the disabled. Although even after the accident, I can’t really say it changed my mind set all that much. I’ve lived a relatively normal life for our times and until recently I didn’t have any interest in amputee or disability matters unless it related to getting fitted for a new leg or issues related to easing pain associated with my mobility. For example, I wore the same wooden leg for 14 out of the 30 years of being an amputee and to date, that was the best leg I ever had. As long as it worked, I didn’t concern myself with what might be out there for amputees. Contact with the amputee community was always limited to a fellow amputee friend who I met on a job and a few prosthetists I had dealt with over the years. All really good people I might add. I worked with people for years who never knew I had lost my leg. Most simply thought I had a bad knee or something. It wasn’t an issue I talked about openly or had any real interest in focusing my life on. It’s not like I tried to hide it or anything, its just to me, my disability simply meant I dealt with pain and it was harder to get around. Being an Amputee never defined who I was.
Osseointegration Implant Technology has changed all that and has finally opened up a whole new world for me. Thus enabling me to finally embrace my disability as a part of who I am, to the extent that I desire a future in the field. This website is the first step in achieving that new life and I hope you will join me on my journey living as an Amputee with an Osseointegrated Implant.
August 3, 2016
Presentation and evaluation session
August 3-6, 2016
The Orthotics Prosthetics Canada (OPC) 2016 National Conference has been designed with the intent of providing educational content that not only reflects the direction the profession is moving towards but also offering our members the means to navigate those changes.
September 21, 2016
Join with colleagues from across the globe, and learn from the leading experts in the challenging field of deformity correction and limb reconstruction.