Karen has been a patient had an amputation since she was 17 years old following a bout with cancer. She was initially a below knee amputee and had worked with Ken Furto CPO (Preciously of Indiana Orthopedics, joined OPS in 2006) for most of her life, but in 2006 she had a revision surgery and is now an above knee amputee. Karen had developed a close relationship with Ken, but her physician recommended she go to a new practitioner closer to her home. Karen came to OPS in in the spring of 2012 frustrated and unhappy with her current prosthesis.
Karen was using a C-leg micrprocessor knee with her prosthesis, but said she never received any training and was unhappy with the way it functioned. She thought that it was broken because she was so uncomfortable with it. During the next several weeks we did everything we could to optimize the fit of Karen’s current prosthetic socket and to train her how to use the C-leg microprocessor knee. This knee should have been huge asset to Karen’s rehabilitation, but it was a hinderance because of no training. We worked with Karen for several hours each week to teach her how to walk with an above knee prosthesis.
On our first appointment Karen was laboriously trudging along as she walked down our hallway, but over the weeks she learned how to properly position her body, utilize the prosthetic knee and foot advantages, and transform her walking pattern to a point where it is difficult to notice she has a prosthesis. At the beginning of our journey with Karen she mentioned to us that she had goals of participating in Relay for Life events and walking along the track with other cancer survirors, family, and friends. In her first event about she was able to walk 4 laps (1 mile) over the whole evening event. She was dissapointed, but determined to achive more the next time. Just recently (July 14) she participated in another Relay for life event and was able to walk 12 laps (3 miles) in just over 3 hours. She additionally raised over 600$ for the cause.
Since Karen has started working with us at OPS she said she feels more confident, energetic, that she is walking more natural, has less back pain, and like she is spending quality time with friends who care about her. Since our initial visits with Karen we have normalized her walking style with her current microprocessor prosthetic knee and given her a new socket. She said that with the new socket she feels as if she is walking on air and is not even wearing a prosthesis. With her change to her new socket Karen’s steps per day increased over 25% to an average 4200, her miles per day increased 20% to an average 1.75 mi, and her amount of time walking at an increased pace increased by 15% to about 2.5 out 4 walking hours per day
Toi has been an amputee for over 5 years. She has a below knee amputation on one side and a partial foot amputation on the other side.Toi was previously a patient of ours when she received her initial amputation, but her phsyician recommended that she go to another O and P company. In the prosthesis that they made for her, she was very uncomfortable and felt that it had been holding her back.
Upon further investigation of her prosthetic system, we realized that they had not taken the time to fully analyze Toi’s activity potential and motivation to be active. After our analysis of Toi’s activity and activy goals with her prosthesis, we recommended Toi use a prosthetic foot that is more suited a person that wants to remain as active as possible in her life despite their amputation. This foot choice was a huge change from the prosthetic foot that Toi’s previous prosthetists gave to Toi, which is designed for a more sednetary / homebound person. Additionally, Toi’s partial foot amputation had never been addressed. This is a major concern as Toi did not have the ability to push off with her toes during walking, which can severely diminish anyone’s ability to be active. We addressed this issue by fitting Toi for a dynamic response carbon Ankle Foot Orthosis. The biomechanics of this device enable Toi to now have a push off on her partial foot amputation side to help her have a more normal walking style.
After Toi switched to a prosthetic foot that has dynamic energy return characterists to diminish the effort necessary to walk with a prosthesis and a hydraulic ankle unit that allows foot to conform to almost any surface without making the amputee feel unstable. Following the switch to this prosthetic foot Toi was able to increase her steps taken per day by on average ~30%, increase her time of walking at a lower speed to walking at a more moderate speed by ~40%, and increase her miles walked per day about about ~30%. Additionally, Toi feels the most confident she has ever felt when walking with a prosthesis. She also feels that she walks in a more normal style so that not everyone knows she has a prosthesis. She plans to begin taking long walks in parks and around her neighborhood with her boyfriend and continue to increase her activity level.