Physio session and socket update

Yesterday was the first physio session for ages where I have managed to get my prosthetic leg on. I was pretty excited as it felt good to get back and start work on walking with the prosthesis again. As I am using the compression sock while wearing the leg my physio sent me a second one as they need to be washed regularly. I have socks made by Ottobock which is a German company, I asked my physio how high up the stump the sock should sit. I asked because the new sock was considerably shorter than usual. It is actually better as there is not surplus sock laying anywhere but the only small disadvantage is that the edge of the socket is directly on the skin. It turns out the other socks were made in Germany but the new one was made in Italy and I have to say I think they are much better. It is also a tougher nylon which doesn’t stretch so much and compresses the stump far better.

I expected to find the session hard as I have been in the wheelchair so long and I wasn’t disappointed. The leg went on well and I started off on the exercise bike but in no time my knee started to hurt along with my hip. I battled on with my 10 minute warm up, which I have to say, took considerably longer as I had to keep stopping. I then had a 10 metre test up the corridor, walking with one stick and then no sticks which went pretty well with not much difference between the two walking styles. I then went on a gait trainer which was a first for me, I thought it was just a treadmill in the corner but it is much more than that. I had a little wire hooked to my shorts pocket and as I have never been on a treadmill before, not even when I had two legs, it was set to a slowish pace. I was told not to worry about things too much and just walk but I found I was scuffing the foot a little, again this will be because I haven’t walked in such a long time. The thing is bloody amazing it tells you all sorts of things on the print out like, average walking speed over time, total exercise time, total distance and steps taken, average step length: RT vs. LT, step length variability: RT vs. LT, time on each foot: RT vs. LT. Considering the length of time I have walked on a prosthetic leg some of my results were quite good. The areas that I was weakest in are mainly a result of a lack in confidence walking with the leg on i.e. stride length and speed. I was really impressed with the gait trainer and it is a great way to improve your walking pattern and see how things are progressing.

After that I went on to do a little course which included walking over sticks and matching your feet to cones at set distanced to increase my stride. It was at this point that I just couldn’t continue wearing the leg and had to take it off. My physio looked to see the redness and make sure that it wasn’t caused by the prosthesis rubbing on the seam of the sock but it wasn’t. What it was however, was very red and extremely sore. We think that as before I am now going too far into the socket, this may well be the case as the other day I tried to get the prosthesis on with a thin sock and managed it. I tested this further still to see if I could get it on with a thick sock, I managed that too. The socks feel better and not so sore on the skin than the compression sock but there is a disadvantage. I found that when I went to take a step as I lifted the leg up it slides down a little and makes the leg feel heavy again. With the compression sock the vacuum is so strong that the leg does not slip or move at all. I went round to Clinic 9 and made an appointment to see Lynne which is in just under 2 week’s time.

I was sore and bruised this morning in various places but mainly the groin. I haven’t been able to wear the prosthesis today but I am hoping that after a couple of days I can wear it for short periods a few times a day, to get some practice walking and try an toughen the skin up a bit. I am a bit disappointed but I am slowly making progress and I know that we will get it right in the end. I don’t think we are too far off getting it sorted as we have been here before, Lynne managed to fix it before and I am ultra-confident she will do it again.

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