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Patient Experiences

Deb

In 1989, Deb broke her leg. After nine surgeries over the course of 28 years, her leg was amputated below the knee. Immediately after getting her first prosthesis, she started driving school to learn to drive with hand controls and a left foot brake. She wanted to get back on the road as soon as possible.  After her amputation, Deb was determined to accept the new prosthetic as her own leg. She emphasized how challenging this is, but ultimately the loss of her leg was not “the end of the world”. She was excited about the prospect of walking with little to no leg pain after years of dealing with it. While learning to walk again, Deb worked with a physical therapist to aid...

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Patient Experiences

Dwayne

Abilities in Motion patient, Dwayne, spends hours a day rehearsing on stage. As a director as well as an actor, he has to be on his feet for hours at a time. This is incredibly challenging with his bilateral below knee prosthetics. Amputees use more energy to walk than able bodied individuals, meaning Dwayne’s body has to work harder to keep him active. On average, a below knee amputee will use 16-33% more energy than an able bodied individual, and an above knee amputee will use up to 65% more energy. Dwayne has to be constantly aware of how his prosthetic legs are fitting, if he needs any socks, and how well his strength is holding up. At the same time, he is building...

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Patient Experiences

I Am Not An Olympian

When I spoke with AIM patient, Fran, about her experience as an amputee, one of the first things she expressed to me was her wish to find representation online of people like her, people who are doing their best to adjust to having a prosthesis, but still cannot walk very long or very far.  She wanted to hear from a community of people who still heavily rely on their wheelchairs and walking aids. She stated, “I want advice from people who were not out running marathons before becoming an amputee”. On support group pages and online resources, it’s easy to find stories of amputees who are incredibly active on their prosthetics. These amputees are wonderful examples of how a prosthetic device can aid in...

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