About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Friday, August 06, 2010


I enjoy these "Ossur trips" for a multitude of reasons. Although I miss my boys, I welcome the opportunity to stretch my professional wings. I occasionally need to be reminded that I am more than a caretaker, and that my opinion is valuable. For a few days I am afforded the ability to relax and indulge without guilt. Of course, the extra income is welcome.

I suppose the main reason I enjoy these seminars is because I learn volumes of information pertinent to being an amputee. I don't know all of the muscles that are being discussed, and much of the jargon goes over my head. However, I am able to glean some tidbits that I am excited to share.

Did you know that there is a 10-25% increase in energy expenditures for amputees completing everyday activities? No wonder I'm so tired by the end of the day. My body is working harder just walking around the house and taking care of Robby. The amputees' muscles must compensate for the lost limb, causing them to work harder and longer.

I never went through formal physical therapy after my amputation. My lack of formal gait training is perhaps my biggest amputee-related regret. I've tried requesting therapy only to be told that it is too late. Apparently my insurance adjuster doesn't see the value since I am fully ambulatory.

I learned that 41% of all below knee amputees, and 63% of all above knee amputees will develop arthritis in their sound side knee within their lifetime. This is significantly higher than the 22% of the general public who will be affected. The single factor to reduce the probability that arthritis will develop is gait training. Normalizing the way that the amputee walks by teaching the individual to put equal weight on the amputated side is the only way to reduce the chances of being afflicted.

All people who have been amputees for at least two years have experienced reductions in bone density. Wow. The fact that 100% of all amputees lose density after two years just astounds me! 80% of all amputees had at least a 28% reduction in their bone density. Just for comparison, a 28% loss brings a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Just another reason to take your calcium supplement or to drink your milk.

Not all of the information I learned was disheartening. I learned that the Knights of Columbus has just pledged to provide 600 Haitian children (that is the estimated number of amputee children now in Haiti) with three prosthetics each for the next two years. Because of their generosity and through the compassion of the prosthetists and physical therapists volunteering their time and talents, no Haitian amputee child will be left without the tools necessary to walk or to play.

My head is spinning with all of the information that I tried to absorb yesterday. Today I'll be participating in more classes. I can hardly wait to discover and share more.


  1. thanks for all the info! One thing I've been wondering is can an above the knee use your propel? (hope I spelled it write :0)

  2. Tina,
    They are working on combining the Proprio and the Rheo knee, but it is still in testing phases. That would be the "ultimate" bionic leg, and is the ultimate goal. Probably another year or two (or three because they move slow...)... but definitely on the horizon!

  3. that would be perfect, my guy is no were near mature enough to take care of anything bionic yet, but it sounds like the perfect option for him in a couple of years :0) I mentioned it to the prosthesis maker this past visit--but we had a student who was super focused on paper work and making sure he missed nothing, I think we were a test for him because a 12yr old who is adhd and pre-teen, makes for an intense visit for a newcomer lol. In the end, our guy who he's had since 1yr old came in and was able to get him focused and figure out his toe-ing in issue in seconds (felt bad for the new guy who had spend 20min and still couldn't get it--but I'm sure he learned a lot in those 20 lol) Being my son's amputation is from amnio banding syndrome, his stump is not shaped in an easy to work with shape, which also makes lining up the foot an interesting issue for someone new :0) I wish I could have gone with you to see the future of prosthetic's, it would be so cool to see my son's future--although I think I we would have to skip that dinner lol.

  4. Tina, I am an AKA and the c-leg is a far better leg than the Rheo (functioinality and weight). And Otto Bock (who makes the c-leg) is currently testing the C-leg X2 I think it's called??? Anyway, it is supposed t have much more power and features that allow better weight shifting and it might even allow for walking upstairs foot over foot, although that could be in a later version not this next one. Otto Bock doesn't do anything unless its quiet and works great, I've heard rumor that they are working on an ankle for s AKA to use with the c-leg but that they just aren't quite there yet. I am 31 and I have faith that my future will be filled with awesome technical advances for me, so I believe your son will get to see lots of improvements. Kind of neat actually. - Sarah G