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Thread: Double amputation?

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  1. #1

    Double amputation?

    Hi, my wife has been a complete T 11/12 Paraplegic since 2000. Her feet & lower legs swell to twice their size constantly. We can keep the swelling down by constantly using hose and wrap.

    What she would like to do is have the legs removed below the knee, this in our opinion would take a lot of strain off her back and in her case, we think it would make her More mobile.

    Since she will not be walking she want have to worry about prosthetic legs (unless of course they come up with a cure)

    Her general prac doc doesnt want her to do it here in TN. She has a doc at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, who wants her to keep them in case theres ever a cure, which we all know is un-realistic.

    1) Other than a "cure for SCI" is there any reason she shouldnt do it?

    2) Complications? (She has a filter for clots)

    3) More or less mobility? (She can move her left hip somewhat even though shes a T11 and has a complete injurey. ie: her cord is torn in half)
    Last edited by toyz911; 07-28-2011 at 07:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    not much info(age, other health complications, ect.) to really judge, but as a t-11/12, that sounds like the most ridiculous thing I've heard of. Sounds like she needs to exercise and become more active and that should help. many have a greenfield filter, that's no big deal.
    By the way, shouldn't put your e-mail adress in here. Mod will fix it if you don't.
    Last edited by jschism; 07-28-2011 at 11:39 AM. Reason: add

  3. #3

    Double amp

    Why do you think its rediculous? Exercise is not the issue here, she wants to be more mobile and get rid of the dead weight.

  4. #4
    There's a spinal cord-injured yoga instructor named Matthew Sanford who has written a book about his experiences. Initially, he wanted to have both legs amputated so that he would not have to deal with lower extremities that wouldn't move at all, but his doctors at Mayo told him that he needed the weight of his legs for balance in his chair - the counterbalance of his legs also helps his spine to stay in a more upright position. I don't know if your wife's situation is similar to Matt's, but it sounds like something she might want to think about - especially since her doctor at Shepherd Center thinks that she ought to keep her legs.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
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    I had lost a lot of upper body strength after rotting in the hospital awaiting rehab. My legs were still huge, I worked as a truck mechanic lifting heavy wheels and components day in day out, along with lots of skate/snowboarding as well as motocross. Bed transfers and "leg management" as they called it were a bear at first. I brought up the idea of amputation and they explained to me that transfers would be even more difficult without the feet of my lifeless legs on the floor. Finally just got pissed off enough to start lifting these cocksuckers, the rest is history.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooley View Post
    I had lost a lot of upper body strength after rotting in the hospital awaiting rehab. My legs were still huge, I worked as a truck mechanic lifting heavy wheels and components day in day out, along with lots of skate/snowboarding as well as motocross. Bed transfers and "leg management" as they called it were a bear at first. I brought up the idea of amputation and they explained to me that transfers would be even more difficult without the feet of my lifeless legs on the floor. Finally just got pissed off enough to start lifting these cocksuckers, the rest is history.
    well said tooley, in many ways a person uses their legs as a "pillar" to help support themselves during transfers.

  7. #7
    I'm a T10 and my legs stopped swelling up when I started elevating
    them at night. Maybe she should try stacking pillows under them so
    they're slightly above her torso before cutting them off.

    I couldn't imagine how much more difficult things would be if I didn't
    have my legs to support me when I lean forward, transfer, pivot, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by tooley View Post
    Finally just got pissed off enough to start lifting these cocksuckers, the rest is history.
    This made me laugh because it sounds exactly like something
    I'd say.

  8. #8
    We used to kid about doing this when we raced in race chairs. We envisioned how much faster we would be w/o that 25-50 pounds to push. We were just kidding however. Leg swelling may be the result of blood pooling indicating your wife's heart is not circulating blood adequately. Try getting into shape by either pushing distances or using hand crank, stationery bike, any exercise that places demands on the heart and stregthens the muscle. First, of course consult with your doctor to be sure your wife is well enough to tackle an exercise program. Being sedentary is the enemy of anyone w sci. I have found my legs tend to swell in winter if I am not working out adequately.

  9. #9
    There sure have been times I've wanted to lop them off! But they really do help a lot with transfers and chair balance. Also balance while sitting on the floor, riding horses, etc etc.

    Lowering salt intake made my legs swell much much less. Those tight stockings can also work but they gave me pressure sores on my toes. I just use athletic socks.
    Andrew

  10. #10
    I have known at least three spinal cord injured people who had heir legs amputated at the knee for various problems. All had major balance problems when transferring and sitting. The lower legs act as ballast that help keep you upright even if you cannot control them. For me, medical necessity would be the only reason I would consider amputation. Also, they alter the center of gravity when in a wheelchair. The front has to be weighted down or the rear wheels have to be moved way back to keep from tipping backward. Without major adjustments, going up ramps is very dangerous, if not impossible.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

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