Mobility as an amputee is complicated. Some prefer to use a prosthetic device, some stick with a wheelchair, and others use crutches or other mobility aids. The goal is to be as comfortable, mobile, and safe as possible. It is a daunting and brave choice to take the steps needed to use a prosthetic device, or to return to using a prosthetic device after a years long break.
Abilities in Motion patients, Angie and Alicia, are both taking the leap to embrace a prosthetic device.
Alicia is a new amputee, but has been extremely limited in her mobility since her stroke over four years ago. Simultaneously, she is familiar with the challenges of life as an amputee, as her son became a below knee amputee as...
At 73, AIM patient, James is maintaining an active lifestyle as a bilateral below-knee amputee. After years of suffering due to an agonizing chronic pain condition, James elected to amputate. He found his surgeon here in Ohio, and made the jump in January of 2020.
When he first came to Abilities in Motion, James was motivated by Josh, one of our Amputee Peer Consultants. After hearing Josh’s story, James was inspired. During rehabilitation and physical therapy, James prioritized maintaining a positive outlook on his
situation. Yes, he needed to learn how to walk again using prosthetics, but he was no longer in pain! James remained focused on that simple fact.
For James, home is in Alaska. He had a vehicle with hand controls ready and waiting for his...
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...
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...
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...
When I was in New York back in May, I found myself awkwardly standing in the hotel’s lobby while digging through my purse in a poor attempt to find the room key needed to get into the restroom. I was approached by a woman who asked to get in. She explained she was not a guest, but speaking at an event in the hotel. She was polite enough. Sure, lady. I will gladly let you in, let me just find my key.
As I was making my way through the depths of my bag, (I’m well aware, I am in desperate need of purse organization. I’m telling you, it’s not going to happen due to the exorbitant amount of prosthetic socks living there). My search...
I was the overachieving teenager itching to drive the day I turned 15½. I dragged my mom to the BMV to get my temporary permit as soon as I could. Nothing will ever match the morning I got to drive myself to school for the first time. As my gateway to independence, driving quickly became a need for me. Not only could I drive myself to school and work, but being behind the wheel was borderline therapeutic.
Fast forward to being 22 in a hospital bed, facing a right leg amputation. One of my very first concerns was how the amputation would affect my ability to drive. This is a question you may be asking yourself as well:
Can I Drive as an Amputee?
For many patients,...
November 12, 2011 will forever be known as Corporal Joshua Sust’s Alive Day, or the day he cheated death.
On mounted patrol in Helmand Provence, Afghanistan, his unit encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Josh’s last memory that day was watching his helmet fly off his head, and he suffered major injuries to his left leg and arm.
After three years of constant pain in his leg, Josh elected to amputate. He was inspired by the examples led by his fellow Marines who are now enjoying active lives with below knee amputations.
Josh’s relationship with Abilities In Motion began when he was fitted for an IPOP (Removable Immediate Post Operative Cast) by Tom Walsh. This device was key to his recovery because it allowed him to keep...
Being an amputee is confusing. That is an undeniable fact. Even for the professionals, prosthetic limbs create moments of tribulation and adversity. Educating ourselves on prosthetics and limb differences can greatly aid in the confusion. Take it from me.
I’m Emily and I am a right below knee (RBK) amputee. I also use an AFO (ankle foot orthotic) on my left leg. I’ve been a patient here at Abilities in Motion for about 2 years. Now I work here! What is my job? Helping you. My goal is to explore how Abilities in Motion can be an educational resource for you as an amputee or someone with limb difference. This page on our site is dedicated to patient stories, helpful tips, and general unsolicited advice...