Trevor, they're still working on the assumption that the knee will heal on its own...but it's been a while since my last appointment with the knee doc, so we'll see what she says on Monday. As I understand it, if the meniscus tears near the outside edge it is likely to heal...if the tear is near the center of the meniscus, then healing is unlikely and the "best" option is to simply remove the injured portion. (Ugh!) So let's all send out some good vibes for healing!
Wow..........what a long, strange trip this is becoming! The meniscus is "more-or-less" healed: The knee is now out of the brace on the right leg, but it still gives the occasional little twinge to remind me that it's no longer 100%. Whatever...it's working and I'll take that!
The left leg is still on its post-revision adventure. I'm still depending mostly on my walker (although I've made some forays over very short distances with a cane) and there's still a knee brace helping to keep me upright. I'd really been hoping that I'd be past that by now......and we're sort of, kind of starting to talk about whether we need to look at a permanent custom knee brace attached to my prosthesis. Logically, I know this a just another piece of "gear" and that it doesn't reflect on my efforts...it's just this incredibly short stump still pulling me off-balance. But there's this other part of me that keeps rearing up and trying to convince me that I've "failed" at this recovery thing. Sorry....just feeling sorry for myself.....
On a more interesting (and hopefully more positive) note, we've been trying some new feet with built-in pumps to give us some additional build height for more offsets to improve my stability. The first offset was such a huge improvement, and this array of new screws and the resultant available adjustments seem to be improving matters even more. However, the latest foot (I can't even remember the manufacturer...I'll have to ask my leg guy) requires that I do a little sort of "bouncy dance" to get my pump started after sitting for a bit. I'm getting better at it, and once the pump is "primed," just walking keeps the pressure up and the leg on. It's a very nice foot to walk on...one of the best I've had so far...so that's a good thing!
Well, there's my "latest"....if anyone has suggestions and/or encouragement, I could use some right about now. Thanks!
Post by stonecutter on Oct 27, 2017 9:23:26 GMT -7
Weird - I didn't see the August 12 post - sorry about that. Glad to see your knee is feeling better.
That inside-your-knee pain really sucks...
The integrated brace idea sounds kind of cool - I hope it can be done right so it really achieves the goal of stability for you - to me, (from the outside looking in) it sounds promising!
The self-doubt thing is that one side of your mind that likes being mean to you. Come on.. you've got this!
The electric built in pump thing is something that's always intrigued me, but with my record of punctured suspension sleeves (bane of my existence) I've never wanted to commit to trying one. But they fascinate me!
Interested to hear what foot you're trying. I think I'm just about due for a new one myself and like to see what's out there and most importantly what they like / don't like about them.
Welllll........It's been a while, but maybe--just maybe--we're getting close to "normal" again. Not quite my "old" normal, but a reasonable sort of "new normal." Ahhhh yes, those amputee new normals...............
I've spent the months since my last update here trying to work out the installation of my (sigh...) permanent knee brace. It's been a struggle because my CPO was determined that get the brace to work without having to put me back in a pin-lock suspension. Standard operating procedure would have been to get me out of the suction suspension and just bolt the brace onto the socket. But I love my suction suspension....and so we tried variations on velcro, glues, extra-long straps bolted to the brace....none of them manged to hold the brace in place. I'd walk for a bit, the brace would let go, my knee would swing out, and I'd freeze in pain. (and I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, so that gives you some idea of how bad it felt.)
We found one glue that would hold things together for two or three days before failing, so for a while I just got into the habit of re-gluing everything every few nights while my leg guy kept looking for a permanent solution.
Almost two weeks ago, I went in to pick up new shoes and orthotics, and was greeted with "I had a dream about your brace and I think I had a brilliant idea. Okay if I try it?" I said yes......and this one appears to be working!
I now have a fiberglass "shelf" and tiny "wall" cemented onto my socket. I can slide the bottom bar of the brace into this little bracket, and it will hold all day without even shifting! It looks pretty terrible right now, but we'll work on cleaning it up...and when it's time for my next socket, we'll be able to actually build the bracket right into the socket, instead of just tacking it on at the end.
So now, I'M WALKING AGAIN! Not quite going for distance yet, but a lot more than just a few steps here and there. My suction suspension is working, my knee is straightening, and I'm starting to build up some decent endurance. I'm using a cane more and more, and I've even been walking short distances unaided. The brace is adjustable at the knee, so I'm slowly changing the angle at the knee to take even more pressure off and align everything to keep my stubbly little fibula from poking the side of my leg.
So yeah...it now takes longer to assemble myself and there's a little more weight to deal with...but I can live with this! Hooray!!!!
Post by stonecutter on Jan 24, 2018 9:08:19 GMT -7
I've had a solution to work problems come to me in a dream before. I was really impressed with my subconscious mind solving problems for my real-world. Won't explain - it was a really boring issue relating to computer networks.
Anyhow - I'm glad you are seeing some progress! Congratulations!
Trevor Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Left Below-the-Knee Amputee since June 1994
Revision surgery February 2012
Back again...and I think this will be the final update on this thread. We've spent the last few months making some final "tweaks" to the socket, as I kept breaking out in sores on the back of my knee and around the top of the brace. I've now been nearly three weeks with a COMFORTABLE, completely PAINLESS leg! All the sores have healed! It took a heck of a long time, but this leg now truly feels like the "norm" for my CPO.
For any "newbies" who check in here, my experience is why you need to feel comfortable telling your prosthetist EXACTLY what you're feeling, making sure that he/she understands you and that the work they do continues to improve matters for you. Every single step we took with this leg made "some" improvement, but when that didn't fully solve the problem I could go back to my guy, we could examine what was happening, talk over things to try...and keep that up until we finally reached a fantastic end-product!