It looks as if I may lose my leg !!!!

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by exblackrat, Jun 2, 2012.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi chaps, I am in need of your advice. I as involved in an RTA in 1992 and my right lower leg and knee was pulverised. The surgical team were contemplating amputating it above the knee but they decided on a rebuild using donor bone and what felt like half of my pelvis .

    I hobbled around for about 10 years then arthritis struck and I had to have a knee replacement. This only lasted a couple of years before it became loose so another one was fitted, which is still in situ.

    This knee replacement has now become insecure yet again and I have been referred to go and see the orthopods. My GP who is very up to speed on the subject reckons that I will be given the following options

    1) they will do nothing, give me a wheelchair/ crutches , a shit load of painkillers and told to get on with my life

    2) that they will straighten my leg, I don't fancy that,walking around like Herr Flick is not an option

    3) amputation above the knee and the fitting of an artificial limb.

    I am 57 now, very fit for my age and I am wondering if there are any fellow Arrsers
    who have had a limb amputated and could give me any advice in day to day living with an artificial limb. Thanks in anticipation
  2. Sorry to hear your news. Have you contacted BLESMA? Easily the best source of advice you could find on this anywhere.

    Good luck and maybe see you on their ski trip next year!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Like Like x 2
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    ******* shedloads on here some should be along shortly but most had little choice or awareness of what was happening so you are in a fairly unusaul position (not one I envy). Good luck.
    Oh should you decide to go down the pain management routine, my ex Coy Clerk did that and is still in bits 20 years later and had a stroke as well!
  4. Bad luck exblackrat. As gearspotter said Blesma are your best friends here. They can provide all the information on your options, give advice on special equipment you may need, get discounts on variouse bits and pieces and they might even be able to put you in touch with someone who will go halfs on a pair of shoes with you.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. That's a bit careless.

    I can understand you losing your keys and purse, but your leg?

    Where did you see it last?

    Sorry - I have garden rage. Hope everything goes OK. Dingerr and K13 will no doubt be along shortly to give you advice.
  6. Worked with a fella who had a false leg. I didnt even know for a few weeks. It was quite heavy work but he just gets on with it. That was a below the knee though.
  7. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    we've had this family conversation over the past few years when a cousin had his leg chewed up in a non vehicle accident. while he ended up keeping the leg it was stitched and switched about so much he reckons it would have been better to have it removed. a lot of injured troops are opting for amputation because they feel they can get back in the game quicker without having the issues of a ruined lower leg for the rest of their lives. probably a harder choice for the loved ones to come to turn with.

    when they have the option of amputate how they want then they can do a pretty good job of it and embed a peg in the stump so you dont need as much reliance on a cup which causes the most irritation. knee replacements are something we dont seem to be very good at over here with a high failure rate, mind you your athritis wont help.

    They are tinkering around the edges of athritis according to the news and it may be they come up with a way of slowing down the degeneration in the next few years by switching off the attack command so a newer knee might work. her mother had hers done 2 years ago now and its still not right (as they put a mans joint in instead of a womans, her being a heffer) but I guess you are familiar with the process.

    if you keep your own leg then you will ultimately have better movement and control but probably more pain so you cant really win, without it then potentially you will be more mobile for longer and be back in action quicker but both options will end up with you and at least a walking stick.

    her ex boss had a freaky football accident involving a wall which basically traumatically amputated his foot mid calf removing 3 inches of bone from the tib and fib, he wanted to have it removed but the medics opted to tinker with it so you might not even get the choice as doctors are funny like that.
  8. fu2

    fu2 LE

    difficult decision. I work in a geriatric hospital/rehab and we get amputees (mostly smokers) now and again. Above knee amputations are dificult because you have to learn to walk with a mechanical knee joint but with good physio a resonable gait is possible. My opinion: get it done now while you are fit enough to endure the op and the hard physio afterwards. Good luck.
  9. Can't offer much advice re. surgery or medical side etc. But, I used to coach a lad who raced in the 400 metres, he had a bike accident which meant he ended up opting for his right leg to removed below the knee. Off the track and wearing jeans you couldn't even tell it was a false leg; his movement was brilliant and his day to day life is unaffected!

    All the best with whatever decision you make; and sorry to hear you're in a position to have to make it.
  10. Sorry to hear about your predicament. I don't envy your choice. Advised by friend from the medical fraternity, who concurs with fu2. Your surgeon will weigh up your age and condition against chances of recovery without complications. Having it of (leg that is) is a serious assault on your body and immune system. The younger and fitter you are the better the chances all round. Long term painkillers tend to cause problems elsewhere and don't tackle the root cause. Whatever your choice happens to be I wish you all the best.
  11. I met a chap at Headley Court last year who had elective surgery to remove his leg. He had the conscious decision from the word go, however, the military wanted him to try all the physio.

    Speaking to him on the course after the surgery, he said it was the best decision he ever made, it gave better independence. He was fitted with a running blade (that was the course he was attending), he was running for the first time in years.

    I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I wish you all the best, mate.
  12. Dear All, thanks for all your kind advice. I will contact BLESMA and have a word with them, the way I look at it , is that it's another challenge in life to face. I have come through PTSD after a plod shooting incident and the London PIRA bombings in London so sod it, onwards and upwards !!!!

    Oi Snail do you need a protection officer, it looks as if I may be a little slower in the future but I would still take a bullet for you !
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Hi exblackrat,
    from my own experience , option 3 is the one to go for , youre fit, you will need to be for physio, only 57 above knee amputation will get you an exelent prosthetic and you will get accustomed to it , there is lots of help out there both physical and psycological ( yes you will need to come to terms with it no matter how strong you think you are ) but you must ask for anything you need , dont assume everyone knows what you want.

    It not good luck you need but resilliance and the will to get back to a normal life.

    When and if you get this done remember you can still wear shorts ( great shock value for some ) hear every joke about the spare shoe/slipper/sock . Still be able to drive a car,enjoy a more intimate search at the airport ;) and probably be more mobile and active than you were before.