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Any Above Knee Leg Amputees Out There?
Since I use my legs for going bowhunting and there's more people here than the CF I thought I would post here. Four weeks ago a staph infection erupted in my right knee, again! No reason for it or smoking gun. The last time this happened they had to remove the prosthetic to get rid of the infection. This is the 9 th surgery in three years. I currently have a PICC line in and give myself ZiVs twice a day. They end the 16th and the Dr said today to monitor it for any recurrence of the infection. The Dr said last time this happened again I would loose the leg above the knee. Removing the prosthesis in a revision destroys a lot of bone. Living without a knee for six weeks is very painful and a pain to live with. We don't know if the infection just laid dormant in my knee and then pops up whenever its inconvenient or what. I'm at a loss to know how to deal with this. On one hand I'm sick of surgeries and just wonder if I'm postponing the inevitable. On the other nothing replaces a real leg. The Dr says having an amputation above the knee is totally different than below and a lot more difficult to deal with. So I'm asking if anyone has had to live with having this done. I'm almost to the point if the infection is still there is to have it removed and get on with life. This screwed up a late season elk hunt last month and that didn't go over well with me. One other thing the Dr brought up was he didn't want me kneeling down on that knee. I've posted before about dislocating it while hunting and having to pull it back in before. That just led to more surgeries. Any thoughts out there?
My dad had his hip replaced and it would constantly get reinfected. It was so bad the old incision would open up. He was a diabetic too though. I assumed the staff had taken up residence inside the joint and would flare up. It never did get better. Eventually he did from other comorbidities. If i were you, i wouldn't worry about hunting right now and hope like hell it heals and the issue is resolved. You may want to visit veteran forums looking for input there.
I hope you heal and put this in your past.
Holy cow, you're in my prayers friend. You've had a rough road and I hope you get healed.
DL, We have talked before about this. I am a below knee amputee. I, like you just got tired of pain, infections, incisions not healing, doctors and dealing with insurance etc, etc. ad nauseum. At the time of amputation it seems like the world as you know has come to an end. as time passes you realize that there are a lot of people way worse off than you. then you tighten up your belt, pick yourself up and get on with your life. The prosthesis today are great, and with a lot of hard, painful work and a good prosthetist, life gradually returns to normal. My goal was to be in a tree stand before fall, and with alot of work I made it. Soon you will be back in the woods, a little slower and a lot more careful but thanking God for every day you can hunt. For me, every day is a bonus. Have the surgery, get it over with and grab the world by the ass and hang on. You will be glad you had it done in the long run. If it is your left leg we could swap shoes, mine is the right leg. See you on the tundra, we can race. Rory
Really bummed to hear about your predicament DL.
There's no way to empathize with someone in your shoes. I mean, I once clipped my toenail too close once and it took a long time to heal...
In all seriousness though, from what I've heard, the difference doesn't even compare.
I wish you the best, whatever you decide.
You'd be wise to get opinions from people that have actually had it done. I'm sure there's a website out there somewhere with a community of amputees where you could get some input. Make sure you talk with active people because the housewife that just has to go to the grocery store isn't going to give you what you need to hear.
Here's Obamacares prosthetic option.
Prayers to you DL.....attitude is everything and I think you'll be an inspiration to others.
Isn't bowhunting such a great motivator to overcome obstacles and do whatever needs to be done to stay in the game?
So sorry to hear about you guys that are/went thru this...hoping our thoughts and prayers will help.
Get the best medical advice you can get from all sources...think all over...make your own decision...move on...wishing you all the best.
Be thankful for past hunts and don't dwell on what you can't do/haven't done.
I'll say this: I have a friend who lost her leg in a motorcycle accident this past June. Below the knee. After that she battled a wicked infection for about a month before they amputated above the knee.
It took the insurance companies forever to get all the paperwork through the system and she hasn't had her prosthetic for very long BUT... her progress amazes the hell out of me. Really.. I'm floored. Completely inspired by her. I was thinking oh man above the knee, this is bad. I said to myself with what I do I'd be devastated. But I'm a changed man. She has actually made me a stronger person by witnessing what a person can accomplish. So don't think like I used to think. If you really think it is inevitable then so be it. Get it over with and move on with what you need to do. It doesn't have to mean the end of all the things you love to do. Far from it.
Had to share that with you.
Have a friend that is in the prosthetic business and with 3D Printing they can make a custom fit not the lg,md,sm that are a lot improvement. Personally, I had my patella removed back in 91 and took a yr to get use to it and phantom pain, nothing like a complete amputation; went through 7 knee ops and was sick of it. I just had to look down the road at a person that is a quad-parlegic and count my blessings. My wife is a retired VA nurse and last duty was in poly-truama unit and the rehab have come a long way from what it use to be, like she said it is all in the mind, some will over come and adapt and others will not. God Bless and Good Hunting
Fellas I appreciate the input. I go off the PICC line IVs next week. That will be the first test to see if the infection comes back the second is when I go off the oral ones. It will be a tough decision if it comes back because once it's gone there's no do overs. One of the issues I'm dealing with is a DR that wants me to not be so active and a wife that is saying the same thing. I get tired of hearing about it. If your not a hunter or are a do it yourself type of person they just don't understand us. It's like trying to change our very being or cage a wild animal. Outdoorsman aren't meant to be caged up or put on a leash. I can't stand hearing we can just pay someone to come and fix this or that. IE, a tree falls down here and she wants to pay someone to come and cut it up. I see they have prosthetics with micro processors in them. Here's what I immediately thought of from years ago. You all will get a laugh out of this.
"If your not a hunter or are a do it yourself type of person they just don't understand us. It's like trying to change our very being or cage a wild animal. Outdoorsman aren't meant to be caged up or put on a leash."
That is a huge statement DL. The thought of it about brought tears to my eyes. Gave me a whole other perspective on what you are going through. When my friend lost her leg earlier this year I said to my wife "Imagine of that was me!" I really didn't know what I would think.... but you just put it into words. It makes me appreciate the things I've done and will hopefully be able to do in the future.
I'll be thinking of you and the prayers will surely continue.
I am amazed and inspired by those of you who have to deal with this. My hat's off to you and prayers sent up on your behalf that your lives are healthy, rewarding and blessed!
You have an amazing attitude! You will be fine whatever path you choose or are forced to take but I will send a prayer your way regardless.
I am a fairly recent AK amputee, I had lots of problems with the prosthetic foot, it caught on every thing from the kitchen counter , brake pedals, grass, brush, everything. I about gave up, but that's not my nature, so I made a "peg leg" to replace the foot. Being only 2" in diameter, is adjustable for different heights and wear, uses a replaceable rubber hammer face, and am just finishing a antler less elk hunt (already got my bull), have put at least ten miles on this thing this hunt, have had a few trips and falls but nothing like with the foot, but mostly my fault from not having my knee locked. By the Grace of GOD i got assistance from some Pro Bono patent attorneys and have a patent pending, not for the money but to help people be able to do what they enjoy without giving up as so many have. I don't know to market it or get someone making and distributing them, I have made seven of them at 5 hours of machining each, gave one to the attorneys and one to a fellow hunter/fisherman amputee, being able to walk through the hills fishing and hunting without a "foot" you can't feel snagging on everything has given me enjoyment back.
Prayers DL. I admire the hell out of your attitude sir. Wishing you the best possible outcome. Ron
This thread puts things into perspective. The choice between what we "should" do vs what we "want" to do. Maybe "need" would be a better word, as most of us "need" to be outdoors doing outdoorsy things in the deepest meaning of the word. It's mighty hard to give up what you love to do, even if you think you should.
DL, I wish you the best in whatever happens in your situation.
DL hang in there,try to stay positive,,I'm sure you'll do great! Good luck
DL stay positive and don't give up. Hope the best for you!
I started this in 2014. Peg just posted. Glad to hear your improvements are working for you. They were able to save my leg but it looks a mess. I have no muscle left where my knee cap used to be. I wear knee pads because one tiny hole from a thorn will cause another surgery to happen or another staph infection. My brother lost his leg below the knee this year from a staph infection. Just got his prosthetic on the day before Christmas. He’s excited that he won’t miss deer season this coming fall. Peg I wish you well brother. I like creative people that come up with solutions like you have instead of sitting on their butts complaining. I remember my wife making me promise her I wouldn’t walk downstairs to my shop after having my artificial knee replaced. She was upset when she found me down there. You Promised!!! I told her I didn’t walk down there. I slid down on my butt down two flights of stairs.
WOW. All I can and will do is pray for each and everyone of you suffering through this! God Bless my brothers! May the Lords healing powers cure all your sufferings and pain!
Not an amputee(am complete para at T-11) but ski and play wheelchair tennis with many BKA and AKA's.
They are unbelievable athletes and I can tell you NOTHING slows them down. Know a double AKA that skis standup with double prosthetics!
DL sounds like whatever obstacles you face will be only that obstacles that you will easily learn to climb over or go around. Good luck with your infection and Whatever happens I am sure you will rise above it.
Maine Adaptive Sports in Newry Maine I am sure can put you in touch with many amputees that can answer many of your questions.
I’ve come a long way from 2014. I take Doxycycline morning and night as a preventative. Tests done say it decreases the chance of getting an infection by 20%.. I have a 50-50 chance of a reinfection so add 20%, I’ll take it. Thanks for the concerns but don’t feel too sorry for me. Three weeks ago I shot this on a rifle hunt. Stalking with this knee just doesn’t work unless the animal was blind and deaf. 2017 ended with a bang.
You fellas dealing with this got my admiration.
That's awesome DL. Prayers sent. My close friend lost his leg in an avalanche and I have watched him become an inspiration and encouragement to all. You are doing the same. Well done sir and prayers sent. I just emailed my buddy and told him to get in touch with you. His name is Sam and he is an amazing guy, I hope you can connect.
Very inspiring thread.
Sure makes my 2 artificial knees and fused back issues seem smaller.
Good lord DL
We knew ya have had these knee issues but never knew how troubling it has been.
Prayers to ya brothaaaa
Good luck, Robb
I agree your a inspiration and have a great attitude. Prayers.
I hunt with a guy who lost both legs as a teenager. Now about 40.. He hunts on prosthesis often from ladder stands. He appreciates help on drags, but otherwise seems to do fine.
no personal experiance with this but there used to be a man on the fire dept with me that had an above the knee and he still fought fire for a few years after the healing and therapy, so i would think just about anything is possible in time if you put ur mind to it.