Independence in the Infinite Socket™ TT

In May 2016, Sol Bernal was in a devastating car accident. As her doctors tried to prepare her father for the possibility that she would not survive, he remained undeterred in his belief that she would pull through. Eventually, her father was faced with an incomprehensible decision, either agree to the amputation of his daughter’s leg below the knee or risk her experiencing a stroke. He chose to allow the surgeons to amputate. Sol survived both the accident and the amputation but would spend the next four months recovering in the hospital.

After her initial recovery, Sol was fitted with a standard carbon fiber rigid suction socket. As her weight continued to fluctuate, she struggled to obtain a comfortable fit within her prosthesis. She quickly became frustrated as her activities became increasingly dependent upon whether her socket would be comfortable on a given day. She felt as if her recovery was being impacted by her socket discomfort.

Sol’s surgeon introduced her to the Infinite Socket™ during a postoperative visit. Eager to move beyond the limitations caused by volume fluctuations, she met with the prosthetic team at 121 Care San Francisco. After learning about the adjustable Infinite Socket™, she knew she found the solution she was seeking.

Soon after she was fit with an Infinite Socket™ TT,  she noticed a difference in comfort. “This socket has changed my life. I go to physical therapy and I am now spending time on a treadmill, learning to properly shift my weight, and climbing stairs.”

Sol continues to work through physical therapy to regain her strength and to master her prosthesis. She plans on going back to work as a pharmacy technician and is eager to return to school to pursue a degree in social work. In the coming months, she plans to resume living independently and driving. Ultimately, she wants to give back to the limb loss/ limb difference community.

Although she still recovering and adjusting to her new normal, Sol is becoming increasingly independent thanks to the adjustable Infinite Socket™ TT.  “Words cannot describe the tremendous gratitude I have for Dr. Laura Pak and the amazing team at 121 Care for introducing me to LIM Innovations®. My life is so much better now!”

Amy’s Life In Motion

28 years ago Amy’s life was set on a different track when she received the diagnosis of Osteosarcoma. Initially, the physicians were able to save her leg from the ravages of the disease, but she was in constant pain. After a 16 year battle against pain, Amy opted to have her leg amputated above the knee on February 20, 2006. Speaking of the decision to amputate, Amy says, “I have never regretted my amputation. More so now that I have a LIM Innovations® Infinite Socket™.”

Amy was initially fitted with a conventional hard shell socket. She remembers it fitting “okay” in the beginning, but as her limb volume began to shrink and fluctuate, she struggled to get an optimal fit. Many times she was not able to use her prosthesis at all because the socket was so uncomfortable. Frustrated but undeterred, Amy continued to search for other options.

When Amy saw a Facebook Ad featuring the Infinite Socket™. She requested more information and, through that email, set her life on a path towards comfort. “I could not be happier. With the Infinite Socket™, I don’t have the fitting problems I had with the conventional socket. LIM has given me my mobility back.”

“Now when I’m asked about my leg I immediately tell them about my Infinite Socket™. Sometimes I’m asked what LIM stands for and I tell them that I think it means Life In Motion. LIM Innovations® put my life back in motion! Now when I have fluctuation issues from day to day or when working out, I can adjust accordingly, easily and discreetly. My Infinite Socket™ has truly been a blessing.”

With Amy’s living her life in motion, she is setting new goals. She is eager to compete in a mud run and all-terrain challenges; activities that she never dreamed possible when she was struggling with a conventional socket. She is grateful that her Infinite Socket™ allows her to be an active and involved Grandma to her beloved Grandchildren, and she is looking forward to continuing to volunteer with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Oklahoma.

“If I could give one piece of advice, I would encourage anyone to give it a try (Infinite Socket™). Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll never go back to the conventional socket. My above-knee Infinite Socket™ has set my life in motion, and I no longer feel held back by my prosthesis.”

From Physical Therapist To Patient

In the summer of 2009, Dr. Scott Love donated his time and expertise to help injured servicemen and women returning from the military conflicts. A trained physical therapist, he was eager to help the injured regain their strength and mobility after sustaining injuries in battle. Working in San Antonio, Texas, he quickly put his skills to use by helping young amputee soldiers.  Little did he know that these interactions would impact the rest of his life.

Dr. Love contracted an Acinetobacter bacteria from a soldier who had served in Iraq. The Acinetobacter bacteria, a quick moving flesh-eating bacteria, quickly landed Dr. Love in a coma in the hospital. He woke up 10 days later to the grim news that the bacteria had settled in the metal from his knee replacement.

After fifteen (15) surgeries to salvage the limb, an above-knee amputation became his best option. Upon discharge from the hospital, he was provided with the name of a prosthetist, and he began the process of being fitted for and learning to master a prosthesis.  He was provided with a hard shell socket and a low energy foot, neither of which suited his body and lifestyle.

Dr. Love remembers falling 4-5 times per day due to the ill-fitting and uncomfortable socket. Eventually, he abandoned his prosthesis altogether and fell into a depression. Frustrated with his lack of mobility and out of a desire to escape the world, he medicated himself to sleep throughout the day.

His depression spiraled for a year until he was thrown a lifeline by his previous college advisor who offered him an online teaching position at St. Augustine College. During a visit to his new employer, he was introduced to a new Prosthetist who believed that a better and more appropriate device could be built. Dr. Love was fitted with a subischial vacuum socket with Genium knee and a high energy return foot. He says,  “I Instantly started walking without pain. Instantly started walking semi-normally. I broke down and cried.”

Caption: Ininite Socket™ TF

With his mobility restored, Dr. Love eventually accepted a full-time faculty position at St. Augustine College. He moved to Florida and his life was progressing but he still continued to struggle with socket fit. He did not know that other options existed until he was shown a photo of the LIM Innovations® Infinite Socket™ TF.  Immediately he knew that the Infinite TF would address many of his frustrations.

“I finally got a LIM and it totally rearranged my whole life.  I saved an hour and a half to two hours a day donning and doffing because my other socket was so difficult to wrangle. I get up in the morning. I shower, I put on my LIM leg and keep it on until 9, 10, 11, 12 at night. Before I had to take my leg off from work when I came home from work because it was uncomfortable.”

“The LIM lets me keep up with my active lifestyle. The LIM socket is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I tell every new amputee to get a LIM. They would never want to go anywhere else.”

 

Merlin’s Vader Leg

In 2003, Merlin received news that shook his world. “You have cancer.” Hearing those three little words changed his life forever. The cancer began in his right foot and traveled to his back. With his body attacked by the disease, he was forced to make life and death decisions. “I had my leg removed below my right knee, then almost all my bones were replaced in my back with a titanium circular construct.”

The recovery was difficult. With his world turned upside down by the diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent amputation, he felt hopeless. “I knew pain and despair so shocking that I cried out many times for God to let me die. But when you are alone in the hospital again, looking for a missing itching limb, God introduced me to Mr. Ung from Lim Innovations®.” He credits this interaction as a turning point in his recovery. “A new meaning replaced the old despair and fear. Once again I could reach tomorrow one step at a time.”

Upon release from the hospital, Merlin received prosthetic care from a local facility. He found the standard socket uncomfortable and difficult to manage. “I was in pain with every step I took.” The rigid socket forced his sensitive limb to conform to an unyielding mold, causing both discomfort and frustration. “The terrible squeezing on my leg from the multiple socks I had to wear in order to keep the leg in place” added further obstacles to his recovery.

After struggling with a conventional socket, Merlin received an adjustable Infinite Socket™ TT by LIM Innovations®. The Infinite Socket™ has transformed Merlin’s amputee experience. “My leg that I was given by LIM is beautiful. NO LONGER AM I IN PAIN WHEN I WALK. I have air bladders that I can adjust at a moments notice.”

Merlin is enjoying life unLIMited with his adjustable Infinite Socket™ TT. In addition to the comfort that comes from being able to adjust his socket for volume fluctuations, he is thrilled with the look of his new socket. “It looks so cool that I call it my Darth Vader Leg. I know that every child who needs a replacement would love a “VADER” leg.”

“I want to thank the entire team for all their Kindness, for returning to me tenderness, compassion, and dignity.”

Worth – Researching A Better Solution

Four years ago, Worth suffered a devastating ski accident. Although the doctors were initially able to save his leg, he faced an arduous rehabilitation process that included multiple surgeries. After an ankle fusion left him with constant pain, and desperate to return to an active lifestyle, Worth began to investigate a below knee amputation.  Eventually he underwent a delayed amputation in November of 2016 and immediately knew that he made the correct decision. “As soon as I had the amputation surgery I had no more pain.”

 

 

A self-described curious person, Worth fully investigated all prosthetic options before undergoing his amputation. After an initial fitting with a conventional socket, Worth was disappointed with the outcome. “The socket felt antiquated and outdated. The fit I needed to reach my quality of life was not being met by a traditional socket. Rather than being married to a prosthetist, I decided to investigate and see what else was available.”

 

Worth’s research led him to the Infinite adjustable sockets by LIM Innovations. After watching the videos, he felt like he found an answer to his issues and he reached out to investigate adjustable socket technology.  “LIM Innovations seemed to answer the questions I was having about fit and long term comfort. This is a life changing experience for me. For the number of days I have left, the quality of my life is going to be determined by the quality of the fit of my leg.”

 

An active person, Worth needed a socket that was up to the challenges of his busy lifestyle. As a new amputee his residual limb is changing quickly, a situation which traditionally requires numerous visits to the prosthetist office for adjustments. With the Infinite TT socket Worth can adjust the socket to fit his changing limb, freeing up his schedule and allowing him to resume an active lifestyle.  “When my prosthesis feels too tight I can just loosen the boa closure. If I need it tighter I can pump up the air bladder or tighten the straps. My socket responds to my needs rather than trying to work with socks and pads to be comfortable. It really is remarkable.”

 

From the first encounter with the LIM Innovations team, Worth knew he was part of something special. “Walking in the door I just knew something cool was happening here. This was something cutting edge that I wanted to be a part of because it was going to change lives.” After he was fit with an Infinite TT socket, he began to experience prosthetic comfort on a new level.  “I encourage all amputees to stop settling for old technology. Keep asking questions and learning about what is out there. You never really know if something will work for you, or how big of a difference it will make in your quality of life, until you give it a try. Don’t let anybody stop you from pushing the boundaries because you are the one wearing the device.”

A Mother’s Mission To Find Comfort

Infinite TF user and woman walking on boardwalk

Childhood should be spent climbing trees, playing hide and seek, exploring the neighborhood and building new friendships. For Andrew, this carefree world came to a crashing halt when he was diagnosed with a vascular malformation in his right leg at the age of seven. 

Instead of youth sports and hanging out with friends, Andrew was shuffling between specialists and in and out of the operating room in a quest to treat his condition. Four years after diagnosis and after thoughtful research, he opted for an amputation.  The family was confident that the removal of Andrew’s impaired and painful biological limb would allow him to return to an active life.

He healed from the amputation and was quickly fit with a conventional socket. Mary, his mom, was optimistic that her son’s struggles were in the past. Utilizing his new prosthesis, she was excited about her son’s future.

Andrew began to forgo his prosthesis, a move that frustrated his Mom. One morning the prosthetic tension reached a boiling point, and Mary confronted her son about his aversion to the prosthesis. Finally he confided that he was struggling with the socket and couldn’t wear his prosthesis.

Mary was heartbroken when she heard her son’s discomfort confession. Before the amputation the family did their due diligence researching the surgery, the recovery and prosthetic components. Nothing prepared them for the possibility that Andrew could be disabled by the very device designed to restore mobility. “He just knew it hurt and wasn’t comfortable.  I wasn’t getting it. No one prepares you for what comes. No one prepares you what it is like trying to get a fit into a socket. We did all the research on the legs but nothing on the socket. The socket is the most important part.”

Refusing to allow her son to abandon prosthetic use, Mary doubled her research efforts making it her mission to find a solution. A friend introduced the family to LIM Innovations and suggested that they explore an adjustable socket. The exchange was life changing for Andrew.

After being fitted with an Infinite TF adjustable socket, Andrew experienced a comfortable socket for the first time in his amputee life.  “The minute he put it on and walked it was just incredible.  He immediately was different and never once has he avoided putting his leg on.”  

Mary explained the difference she has seen in her son since he started using the Infinite TF socket. “He can go to a restaurant and not have to take his leg off. He could not sit down for more than 5 minutes without complaining.  He is comfortable so he can sit and not have any discomfort.  He never complains about it. He had to take it off in class and now he keeps it on all the time.  It is the most amazing socket on the planet. I have watched what it does. It changed his life.”

Mary refused to allow her son to give up on his prosthesis. She continued to research until she discovered the fully adjustable Infinite TF socket from LIM Innovations. She offered this message to others who are experiencing issues and discomfort with their conventional socket. “Educate yourself and don’t limit yourself to thinking that this is the best it can be. You have choices.”

Cancer Free for 2 Years

In May of 2014 Irene received devastating news when she was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a pediatric bone cancer. On May 14th, Irene Blum celebrates two years cancer free, and we couldn’t be more happy for her. She has an amazing outlook on life, supports the community, and is bringing up her incredible son all at the same time. 

She immediately began a valiant battle against the disease, which began with surgery followed by one year of aggressive chemotherapy treatments. The treatments took a toll on her body but did not impact her spirit or her thirst for life.

Although the doctors initially saved her leg surgically, the effects of the chemotherapy treatments wreaked havoc on her limb. Six months into treatment her leg was ravaged by uncontrollable infection. She went into septic shock because the chemotherapy suppressed her immune system to the point of nonexistence. In order to save her life, she underwent an above knee amputation of her right leg in December of 2014.

Despite the setback, Irene was determined that the amputation and cancer were not going to get the best of her. She was fitted with a conventional socket soon after her amputation but she struggled to maintain a comfortable fit. The chemotherapy, coupled with the weight loss due to the treatment, created a perfect storm for volume fluctuation. In March of 2015, her prosthetist recommended that she try the LIM Infinite TF Socket.

The Infinite Socket liberated Irene from the socket issues that were holding her back. She no longer struggled with a prosthetic fit, allowing her to focus her energies on finishing her chemotherapy treatments without the frustrations of socket issues. “When I got into the Infinite Socket, I was spoiled. I never had to deal with socks. I never had to deal with volume issues because I had the Infinite Socket early on.”

Irene went on to finish her cancer treatment and was declared free of the disease in 2015. Her Infinite Socket allowed her to remain mobile and comfortable throughout the ordeal. She lost 50 pounds due to the treatment and underwent two additional revision surgeries, but her Infinite Socket proved up to the challenge. Despite the drastic changes to her limb, she never needed a new socket. Because her Infinite Socket adjusted to her limb changes and her body, she focused her energies on her health instead of her prosthesis.

Due to the residual impact of the chemotherapy as well as the multiple revision surgeries, Irene began to experience issues with the shape of her limb. It was recommended that she return to a conventional rigid socket at the end 2016 to reshape her remaining limb. She wore the standard socket for six months and quickly became frustrated with its limitations. “I really missed my Infinite Socket because I had to deal with socks. I had to deal with swelling and not being able to get in because of pain. I was spoiled with my Infinite Socket.”

After what she describes as six long months, Irene eagerly returned to the Infinite Socket. “I was so happy when I finally got back into the Infinite socket. I’m not even touching socks anymore. I can fit in the morning and don’t have to worry about volume.” Irene resumed her active lifestyle and no longer feels limited by her socket restrictions.

Irene is cancer-free and can focus her energies on caring for her six-year- old son and finishing school. She is delighted to again feel the freedom that comes from the adjustable socket. “I can put it on and get back to my normal life. I am going to live and be happy and do things I enjoy in life. I am not going to settle being in an uncomfortable socket. I didn’t want to be uncomfortable.”

Ben’s Recovery in Mind and Body

Hello my name is Ben Castillo, and I have been an amputee for a little over two years. I have come a long way both in my mind as well as physically. 

I was working at a place that deals with cattle hides, with my main role getting their skin ready to be processed and shipped to make different products with. On December 17th, 2014 around 3:30am I had an accident at work and had to drive myself to the ER. Things got really bad, and within 24 hours, I was diagnosed with flesh eating bacteria on my leg. The specialist was supposed to perform a micro surgery, where only a chunk of my left leg were going to be cut off, but on the table ready to be operated, things turned for the worse. My kidneys were failing, my liver was shutting down, the infection was in my blood stream, and I was dying, all while still under anesthesia. I woke up with the news of my leg being amputated; there was no preparation for it, it just happened… and it was devastating.

I had the support of my family and friends, but my church definitely helped me to get through the toughest times as the process of recovery was extremely slow. I wanted to run but instead had to learn how to walk again; it was frustrating. I was an independent man that now needed help to even get a glass of water, and with that, I quickly spiralled down a rabbit hole of frustration and depression that was hard to climb out of. Little by little I started to find small ways to become active. Max, my personal trainer, has been helping me for just over a year regaining my strength; not just my muscles but my spiritual and mental strength also. I owe him so much, I can’t put it into words.

I got my Infinite Socket a bit more than a year and half ago, and it changed the game entirely. Before with my standard socket, I had to take it off every two hours in order for me to have some relief and comfort, as it was painful to be on it for long periods of time. Two weeks after receiving my Infinite Socket, I was able to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain (theme park), and even though I was restricted to get into some rides, I had an amazing time. Weeks later I was able to go on a hike for the first time since the accident, something that with the other socket I could only dream of doing. It wasn’t a perfect hike, I was dead tired at the end of the day, but I was a happy man having accomplished something I thought was never going to be possible ever again.

Recently for my birthday I was able to go for another hike to the beach in San Francisco and it was amazing. I am so thankful the Infinite Socket was introduced to my life, because it changed the pool of dreams I thought were at some point out of reach. Now my Infinite Socket looks beat up, and dirty but every little dent or rip is a sign that I’m mobile that I’m active; that I can do things again I thought were long gone. Thanks to the Infinite Socket I am a broken man on the outside but entirely in one piece in soul and spirit.

My mother told me as soon as I came out of the anesthesia from the first surgery, “Son you are more than just a leg!” That has always been with me throughout this journey. I am more than just a leg, I am more than just an amputee, I am more than just a broken man. Amputation does not define who I am at all.

Meet Jessica, Defined By Her Actions

I am in no way, shape, or form defined by the disorder I have, the limbs I do or do not have, or what I look like. I am defined by my heart and the actions I choose every day.

As the victim of a car accident in 2008, I was left with a disorder known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Through the course of a VERY long nine years I was in and out of the hospital more times than I ever like to imagine, and have had over 20 surgeries to aid this illness. I was in a wheelchair from 2008 to 2016, and underwent three years of ketamine treatments including a 5-day intensive ketamine treatment in Cleveland. In 2015 the disorder had nearly claimed my very existence. With a continuous IV drip, many strong antibiotics and medications, by April 2016 the infections had gone to the bone (Osteomyelitis) and was successfully killing me. It was the common consensus that my leg needed to go, so on April 28, 2016 at 4pm my left leg was taken, seven inches above the knee. I was kept in the hospital for three days then sent to a rehab facility to learn to deal with the amputation.

Rehabbing the body is more about rehabbing the mind; results will not happen until you are ready to push through hell to find heaven. I was placed in an inpatient rehab facility for about three weeks following my amputation, where my care was nothing but tremendous and a great help. While I was assisted in learning how to regain strength, keep flexibility and how to walk on a prosthetic, one huge area was neglected. No-one in the facility gave support in the psychological department. Nobody was there to help with the “why?, or how come?”, or any of the other Kubler-Ross stages of death and dying every amputee goes through. No matter how positive or hopeful an amputation may be, it is TRAUMATIC on all fronts. I left the facility blind to the truth of how you begin this new life that has been inevitably thrust upon you. Your body is weak, traumatized, and  your mind blind to what you are going to have to learn to hurdle before you can begin sprinting. Life after amputation is an alien existence, with obstacles you could not even imagine. The obvious impediments pertain directly to your missing limb; what is foreign are the small things you were accustomed to, yet have to learn to do differently.
Arriving home, I could not bare to look in a mirror. The concept of not seeing a part of me made me feel somehow incomplete; like a monster in my own skin. The anger that became a regular tenant in my heart felt comfortable. I had lost all empathy and while I did not feel sorry for myself, I felt broken in many ways. It felt as if everyone saw me like a deformed beast that would infect them if they did not stop looking at my missing limbs previous residence. I saw no empathy, only utter and complete horror. I stopped wanting to thrive and exist, and began to give up on my own life. One day sitting in my recliner I stared outside and watched a pair of beautiful yellow finches dance, with tears running down my face; I felt no one would ever see me as “normal” again. I leaned forward and saw that one of the finches had no foot yet was dancing, singing and appeared to be the epitome of joy and happiness. Being shown in such a beautiful way that life can be great again, the tears slowly transformed into tears of joy and gratitude. I no longer looked at people with two legs with anger but as a goal, my thoughts shifted to watching people’s gaits, when and how their knees bent ,what positions their feet were in, and when their knee broke into the next step.

Over the next few weeks I was hell bent of mastering this new life! The socket I was given, a cup fitted at the limb was extremely uncomfortable, leaving me at times with bleeding sores and bruising up and down my residual limb. Two months later I was walking and ended up breaking my ankle. I was in a cast for nearly three months so rescinded to my wheelchair once again. As soon as the cast was removed I was fitted with my Infinite Socket by Oakland Orthopedic. Tears rolled down my face as the realization of the new ‘normal’ concept became so bright it was blinding. That day, about 45 minutes after I received the Infinite Socket, I walked half a mile unassisted. This may not seem much but please keep in mind I had been completely immobile for nearly 9 years. The muscles in my legs jumped to attention and walked like I had never stopped. I jammed out to Hamilton while walking the track at a local YMCA and before I knew it I had walked a half a mile with EASE! None of this would have been possible on my old cup fitting, it was painful and took the majority of my energy to not hurt myself further inside the cup itself.
Looking back now I am amazed at the concept of what I am achieving having only been up on a prosthetic for only 7 months. I AM A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH! Life has tried its hardest to end me so many times, and all I want is to be a person whose life can be used to help others achieve their own happiness and contentment. We are all given tasks and hurdles that seem like they will be too much or that it will be impossible to ever move past them. It is no-ones responsibility to find your joy, pride, contentment or drive, only yours.

Meet June, On Her Feet At 91

I was born in New Jersey before moving to Port Richie, Florida in 1975. Ever since I can remember I’ve always been a do-it-yourself kind of Woman, raised the old fashioned way, moving on my feet, and making a living. I worked in a supermarket years ago behind the deli counter, before moving into electronics, where I did everything from designing, to building, to fixing different electronic devices. I’m already 91, yet have always had the drive and determination to do everything myself, including all my own yard work. Even to this day, I get out there in my electric scooter to pull out all the weeds.

Years ago, I had a hip and knee implant, and I wasn’t able to kneel or walk with my new knee. The doctor said I was throwing down scar tissue and put me into surgery three times to resolve the issue. The third time in surgery, I picked up an infection, which lasted for five months. On Mother’s Day in 2013, just after the infection had cleared, I went out to eat with my friends and Daughter. On the way to the restaurant, my knee buckled and the replacement fell apart. As a result I had my leg amputated above the knee.

I found out about the Infinite socket through James Bond at our local Florida amputee meeting. I went to a meeting and saw Lynn De Cola, a representative of LIM Innovations. The initial reaction to seeing the Infinite Socket at this meeting, was that it looked far more padded and comfortable. I wasn’t going to get cut around the groin because the brim seemed padded all the way round.

Since wearing the Infinite Socket, the biggest change I have noticed is how comfortable it is when I drive. It just doesn’t bother me anymore, whereas with the other one, if I drove for two hours, it would cut me across the top of my limb. I call it my dummy leg, and have a bracelet around the pylon by the foot; replicating the same setup I had when I was a child in New Jersey. If I leave the house, I always wear the socket, and bring my scooter to ride the long distances as well.

The biggest thing I’ve accomplished so far was to be able to drive my car again. When I was a child, my Uncle had a fishing business and used to fall asleep behind the wheel after hours pound fishing and delivering his catch. I’ve been driving since I was 14 years old, back when you had the letter H as a gear shift. After my amputation, my independence was greatly affected by the painful experiences I had when driving in my old prosthetic socket.

Another great difference is the adjustments I can do myself. My old prosthetic was like a barrel, with adding or subtracting socks being the only form of getting a good fit. The guys at Sonlife P&O are amazing. They really care about my happiness, and sorted out the alignment so I can wear a little heel or a flat shoe when I get dressed. I also wear a cover on my hardware, as people have said it doesn’t look natural. It’s like a sock, that slides over the socket and components, and gives me the confidence to do what I want to do.

Currently, I’m taking care of my friend who helped me through my amputation. He has dementia now; the good Lord wants me to help people and so I do. I just came back from a cruise hosted by Amputee Coalition. We went to Saint Thomas, and it was beautiful. One of the amputees in my group fell off the footpath in his scooter and tipped over sideways. So my time currently is filled with helping out some of the people who need it most.

My oldest Daughter and her children live in South Dakota, and my goal for the next year is to go see them in the Spring. I’ve already picked up the map, and it’s now up to me to go and see them. Due to the mobility I now have, and the comfort I experience when driving, this dream no longer seems out of reach.

An Infinite TT Perspective

Nothing brings us more joy than hearing of the differences that the Infinite Socket® Product Line are having on people’s everyday lives. Recently, Jim Demas, a good friend to many LIM employees and below knee amputee, needed some adjustments made to his Infinite TT. While waiting for a fix, he wore his conventional socket, and experienced many changes from the fit he had become accustomed to. Below is the letter he wrote LIM explaining his perspective.

February 5, 2017

To Everyone at LIM,

There’s nothing that gives a new sense of perspective more than revisiting the past. And so I have. In preparing to come in Friday to get my Infinite TT fixed, what an eye opener I experienced in trying to wear my last traditional socket to come in rather than use a wheelchair or crutches.

On donning that traditional socket, I immediately felt the same discomfort I experienced in wearing it for 7 weeks from March-May 2016. It brought back very unpleasant memories. Was I really entering this world again where I experienced discomfort every minute of every day? Yes. So I knew I had to restrict wearing the traditional socket as much as possible to avoid a recurrence of the skin problems it caused before. In fact after only 6 hours of wear and under 500 steps, I was already getting significant skin redness and soreness. Just walking the 2.5 blocks to your office after parking hurt substantially.

I have been reminded of how on May 20, 2016 my life changed dramatically with the Infinite TT. Never has there been any discomfort with it… no matter how many hours I’ve worn it or how many steps I have taken! My TT has been worn as much as 19 hours a day and I’ve walked over 12500 steps and over 6 miles… with absolutely no skin redness, irritation, or soreness. None!

It’s illuminating to realize how much I have gotten used to the capabilities of the Infinite TT. I’ve taken for granted the comfort of it as being normal, as well as the ability to make adjustments with the BOA mechanism over the course of the day so I always have perfect adjustment no matter what volume fluctuations occur. It’s great to be free of the antiquated imprecise technology of socks.

Revisiting the past… yes, it has truly given me a new sense of perspective. I appreciate my Infinite TT socket even more now… and I didn’t think that was possible. The comfort, function, and improved quality of life it affords me is unparalleled. I strongly feel that any clinician who strives to maximize patient comfort and function owes it to his patients to work with the TT. It’s a simple equation for an amputee… the higher the level of comfort, the higher level of function that is possible.

I am so fortunate to work with all of you at LIM and with the Infinite TT. I felt compelled to relate my retro experience with the traditional socket and how it vividly reminded me of how exceptional a socket the Infinite TT is. Your tagline says “Function With Purpose.” Indeed! Thank You. You’re giving me my life back!

Sincerely, 

Jim Demas

 

From the Patient Chair to the Clinician Stool

LIM Clinician Steve Hoover’s journey began a long time ago, right before Christmas. His parents received the best present a parent can get; and also the worst. They were blessed with the birth of their first son, but things didn’t go as planned. Steve is their 3rd child, only son, and he came with a surprise.

I was born with Pseudarthrosis, a rare birth defect that results in bone fractures and usually amputation. Most cases are not diagnosed until walking age, when the break occurs. In my case I had broken my leg in 3 places before I was even born. My diagnosis came within hours of my birth. My parents were not prepared. Now that I’m one myself, I’m not sure any parent could be.

Medical science tried to fix me for a bit, before the inevitable became reality; a below knee amputation a month before my 4th birthday. It was a tough day for my parents, but probably one of the best for me. Not that surgery was enjoyable for a 3 year old! But it began a journey that I am still on. I was wearing tennis shoes for the first time a couple months later, and if you have met me, you know I still wear them most of the time. My therapy lasted about 5 minutes, the day I received my first prosthesis. That’s because about 20 feet down the hallway, I dropped my crutches and ran! I have since experienced similar things in my practice. Kids are resilient, and adapt very quickly. It wasn’t long before I was running in Gym class, on the football and baseball fields, and wrenching on cars, preferably fast ones.

The transition from the patient chair to the clinician stool was an easy one for me. I always wanted to do this! I watched my prosthetists over the years, and they took me into their labs to watch them mold art, mechanics, and craftsmanship into machines that change people’s lives. It was fascinating, and a natural fit for me. My love for mechanics and race cars blended perfectly into prosthetics. Although when I’m not in a prosthetic facility, I can often be found at the drag strip, usually in the driver’s seat.

I started in wooden sockets, hand carved, with metal joints and leather corsets for below knee amputees. Things have certainly changed over the years as this journey has continued. I am now an above knee amputee, having the revision done shortly before passing my board exams for prosthetics. As a clinician I was always eager to try new things; on myself as well as my patients. I learned over the years that “new” doesn’t always mean better. When I saw the Infinite Socket for the first time, I have to admit I was skeptical. It looked high tech, and the concepts were not foreign to me, but I just wasn’t sure this new company could pull off the art, mechanics, and craftsmanship I had grown up with, and I liked to think continued in my practice. Luckily I had a friend already working at LIM, who convinced me to try it, and more importantly, convinced me to become part of the team. I’ve been wearing my Infinite TF ever since. It has been and continues to be the most comfortable TF socket I have worn. And I like to think I made a few good ones for myself. Traveling most weeks means car and airplane seats, different clinics, weather and environments, etc. weekly. I know from previous experiences that my traditional socket was not up to these tasks. The ability to adjust the fit “on the fly” has been huge, allowing me comfort and stability no matter where I am, or what’s going on outside. Believe me, I flew into North Dakota recently and got off the plane straight into a 15” snow storm! I just adjust as necessary, and don’t get pain or sores like I used to. It has been a great experience for me, and one that I truly enjoy sharing with others!

I have a saying when people ask me what I do for a living; “I have the best job in the world, I get to watch people walk again for the first time.” Being with LIM has allowed me to experience this in many places, meeting some great people, and most importantly sharing this great technology with new friends. Friends who I get to see walk for the first, second, or thousandth time again; usually with smiles on their faces. It’s been an incredible journey, that I’m still on, and hope to be for some time. And it’s still the best job in the world!

 

 

Merry Christmas from the LIM Ambassadors

2016 is coming to a close, and throughout the year, you may have interacted with LIM’s Ambassadors. With Christmas being celebrated across the World this Saturday, we handed over the blog to our LIMLegends to share their words of wisdom with the entire amputee community. Here’s what they had to say:


Tammy Myers words of wisdom:

“You can still accomplish anything you want with a little creativity! Everyone travels at a different pace! Surround yourself with others like you. Knowledge is power! amputeecoalition.org. Your story could help someone else. Be proud of who you are!”

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Pamela Selinski words of wisdom:

“I recently have had the opportunity to speak with several new amputees and their first question is how long does it take.  I’ve been telling them patience is not only a virtue it is a necessity when you have limb loss. Pearls of Wisdom = Be Patient”

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Carlos Gonzalez words of wisdom:

“I am humbled by The grace of God, I have become an advocate for others who don’t have the courage. Allow me to be your voice by being a example of hope and faith. Walk on!”

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Doug Van Pool words of wisdom:

“Don’t let amputation define you. We are so much more than that. Advocate, educate, elucidate. Lead others that share your fate. Be that shining light, like the morning star, always steady, always bright. And Never, Never quit!”

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Deborah Smith words of wisdom:

“I’m fortunate to be part of the LIM team in the Midwest, and was fit with our TT socket in May.  As an amputee one of the most rewarding aspects of my role with LiM is working with others with limb loss. When I became an amputee 1½ years ago I quickly realized I’d joined an incredible community of people. I’m grateful to hear their stories, learn from them, and help with journeys towards increased comfort and mobility.

Just as we prepare and plan step by step for holiday celebrations, our incremental efforts each day toward our goals as prosthetic wearers can culminate in wonderful accomplishments and celebration. There are so many organizations out there to help us be as active as we can dream, whatever our physical challenge may be. Thank you dare2tri.org, juddgoldmansailing.org, adaptivegolf.org!

Merry Christmas, Happy Celebrations, and New Year to all!”

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Jim Demas words of wisdom:
“At the Holidays, it’s always a time to reflect on things for which to be thankful.  As a recent amputee in April 2015, it has been important for me as an active person to get my life back.  Since May 2016, as one of the first beta testers of the Infinite TT and now wearing the final version, I’ve experienced spectacular improvement over using traditional sockets.  It has truly been a remarkable 7 months with the Infinite TT.
So in this season of gift giving, my wish is for anyone in need of a below the knee socket to give yourself the best gift ever… greatly increased mobility and freedom with supreme comfort.  There’s no better feeling than getting your life back!  I’m so thankful for the Infinite TT and all the wonderful people at LIM who have made it happen.”

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Tess Deddo words of wisdom:
“I remember hearing that the road from amputation to running is a long, slow process. But me – I wanted to run before I walked, but they kept saying “first you walk, then you run.” And it was a long, slow process; a day at a time, but once I was walking and comfortable in my prosthesis, I found I could do things I couldn’t do with my biological foot. Others’ perception of “disabled” is interesting: before my amputation no one could see how painful it was for me to walk; I felt disabled then.  Since my amputation, I would say most people see me (or anyone with a prosthesis) as disabled, when I feel, now more than ever, very “able.”  I think anyone who knows me does not see me as disabled, since I can physically do more now than I had ever done before. Happy me.”
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Thanksgiving with LIMLegend Jeff Kern

I was nine years old when I lost my leg to bone cancer. When living your life as a kid looking to explore, it’s difficult learning how to grow up in a world not made for amputees. Walking around school, having my leg come off in social settings, while playing sports like hockey, baseball, lacrosse; it was just a part of life in high school. Over time I learned how to become comfortable with myself, but it was a long road to get to that stage. If people had a problem with me playing, it was something they just had to get over. This Thanksgiving, I get to look back at those times and see how far I’ve come.


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Me at the age of 9 shortly after I was diagnosed with bone cancer.


Since then, I’ve been through college, worked full time jobs, but my life hit a big stopping point around a year ago. All the chemo I had when I was younger had caused irreversible damage. My phantom pain to this day is worse than it has ever been. Learning how to live with it has been extremely hard, and at times it’s been unbearable. At times, the pain has been so intense that I felt sick to my stomach. I wasn’t able to work, and things I normally did, such as shooting at the rifle range was put on hold due to the crippling phantom limb pain. I take medication for nerve damage so I can use crutches, but these completely detract you from reality. Nobody wants to live their life like that.


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Target shooting is my favorite hobby, and this rifle I’m holding in the picture is very special to me because it is from World War II. It’s an M1 Garand rifle, and my father and I restored it together. I’m really excited to be getting back out on the range.


During my time as an amputee I’ve had a lot of different sockets made for me. They were making sockets with belts when I first was fit. After wearing it for about 20 minutes you were ready to take it off. Since then, I migrated to suction for many years, before moving to liners, which is where I’m at today. The traditional socket was too rigid and became difficult to wear. It was recommended that I pursue other avenues of mobility. I went from becoming a very individual amputee to becoming reliant. I lost a lot of independence, and tasks a lot of people take for granted such as going for a shower, going to work became a chore. When you can’t muster the strength to even get out of bed in the morning it really affects your outlook on life. My life was this way for three to four months, when I could not wear a prosthesis.

Christian Been at De La Torre O&P in Pittsburgh always took really good care for me. It’s important for every amputee to have a good working relationship with their practitioner; someone who can share their life experiences on a personal basis. I would tell any new amputee that a practitioner is asking for a lot of blind trust in allowing them to have the patient’s best interests in mind. You have more of a chance getting struck with lightning than meeting a practitioner that suits the bill, and you need to learn to trust one person with life decisions in a second. You can’t try before you buy, and if you get the impression that they are not hearing you, find somebody else. Christian is like my best friend. This is where it all starts. When I discovered the Infinite Socket, I talked to him about the features and he had the answers.

I learned about the Infinite Socket from an article online about the advancements in prosthetics. I looked at pictures of the many people in it and my initial thought was “what on the earth is this. I’ve never seen anything like this in my 30 years of being an amputee.” You wore a bucket and that was all i knew. It looked like it would fall apart in a matter of steps, but I youtubed it and found people utilizing the tensioning system. I was just amazed, the more I read, the more I was intrigued. I spoke to my prosthetist about how the socket conforms to you. Christian had heard many good things about it, and after long discussions about the medical necessity I was excited to proceed.

It took about two months to get fit with the socket because we coordinated with another amputee to be fit around the same time. From the moment we opened the box, you can tell it was thoughtfully made for comfort. It took some time to get the adjustments made, as I was having a problem with the ischial seat, but I knew it was something special. My first impression was that it felt bizarre. I didn’t have the high lateral wall, and it didn’t feel like the material went up into my groin. Initially walking with it has been comfortably slow going, however, I still marvel at how easy it is to put on and how quickly I can seat in, adjust, and walk. It’s truly a life changer. The bottom of the socket is far more comfortable than my other one, feeling almost as though I’m wearing a slipper. It’s a wonderful product, that I could tell from the moment I put it on, was unique. If you are a new amputee, and you’d never worn a traditional socket you would find this pleasant for sure. It gives your limb the opportunity to breathe.

I know that it will take awhile to get accustomed to, as I’ve known and conformed to the traditional socket for over 30 years. There is an adjustment period where you will feel pleasantly strange. It’s a very forgiving period, where sitting down in a car is a lot more comfortable than with a traditional socket. I can tell you for sure that I’m not giving the socket back. When it breaks I’m going to get another one! That’s a testament to how much I love the feeling of the Infinite Socket.

I’m 40 years old now, and the first thing I’m proud of is that I don’t really think about the small challenges that amputees face every day anymore. Foremost, I’m immensely proud that I beat the odds at such a young age to celebrate my 40th birthday. The doctors gave me a 50% chance of survival, but as an amputee I’m proud of the independence that sockets give you. I now have that get up and go spirit again. I don’t need to think about being an amputee going throughout my day, and the fact I can live my life again is a major accomplishment.


As far as things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, I would like to mention that I’m very thankful for my girlfriend for her unwavering support through what has been a very difficult year for me. She’s been my rock. I’m also thankful that due to the Infinite Socket, I’m now able to be out of bed a bit more and moving around, working towards gaining my independence back. It’s just difficult to describe how much your life can take a turn for the worse when you lose that independence as an amputee. While I’m not where I want to be yet, I feel that I’m making progress, and it’s a wonderful feeling. I couldn’t be where I am now without my Infinite Socket.


I’m hopeful that I can regain my health and the ability to live my life, completing the goals that I set out to do before i was diagnosed with neuropathy. I want to finish my criminology degree, and refuse to let the pain stop me. I want to get back on the road of more independence without the pain I feel every day.


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My CPO, Christian Been, myself and LIM CPO Dana Rock after being fit with the Infinite Socket.

Honoring Those Who Served in the Forces

I’m Eileen Miller, born in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania to a wonderful mother Gloria and father Robert Sr. I was raised with Family at the forefront of my mind since I lost my mother at a very young age of 13. I have three sisters: Marilyn, Sandy, Judy and four brothers Robert Jr, Andy, Chris, and James. We range in ages from 40-54, and I am the second youngest. From being a truck driver I managed to juggle travelling cross country to 47 out of 48 states with spending quality family time; honoring my families past-time.


I joined the CA National Guard at the age of 35 on September 12, 2007 and was stationed in Sacramento, CA then deployed with a unit from Madera, CA. I went to basic training at Fort Jackson, SC in October 2007 and at Fort Bliss, Texas. I joined the military as an 88m a Motor Transport Operator. I signed up to be deployed in August 2008 to Iraq. We started training to leave in July 2008 and left for Kuwait in August. There we trained more and then headed over to Iraq in October 2008. While in Iraq I was a driver of a MRAP and we did convoy escort. We were stationed at COB Speicher right outside of Tikrit Iraq. I learned a lot of wonderful things over there. I learned how to rely on other people for my safety and to have their backs at the same time. I met so many people in the unit I was deployed with. I still have those friendships today. We are still watching over each other.

It was the evening of October 28th 2009, an I was on my to Fort Bragg from Sacramento I hit a snow storm and I was involved in a 19-vehicle pile up outside of Wyoming. A truck jack-knifed on a bridge whilst I was in my truck, and people were in need of assistance. As a former EMT, I felt the urge to get out to help. I went to a tractor trailer behind my pickup to try and notify the other trucks that there was an accident in front of them. When all of a sudden a truck came rushing towards me I tried to jump in the semis front seat but didn’t make it. I was hit by the front wheel of the truck where my left leg was amputated on scene. I passed out for a while after that. I was put in my pickup while people waited for emergency services to get to the accident scene. A wonderful gentlemen by the name of John Binford found me and directed the paramedics to help me. He stayed with me while we waited for other ambulances came to help the injured. I was transported to Cheyenne Regional Hospital where some amazing people helped take care of me. My accident was one of 279 accidents that day from the freak snowstorm that shut down 5 states. To this day he is my guardian angel. We exchange Christmas presents and stay in contact regularly. Without his help, I don’t know if I’d be here to this day. He spent 13 days in hospital with me by my bedside. I also stay in contact with the nurses that helped save my life that day through Facebook and I go out to visit everyone every few years. My daughter Alyssa and brother Andy had the pleasure of meeting everyone about 2 years ago.


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I was moved to the Cheyenne WY VA for another 7 days to finish my recovery and wait to have my stitches removed before I was able to fly home and be with my family. I was sent to my first prosthetic appointment at the beginning of December when I was moved back to the Pennsylvania VA to be nearer my family. From there, the rehab was fast, I was up and mobile in 3 days on a walker after my accident. This was incredible progress for me as I was terrified I’d never be able to walk again. I was put straight into a hard plastic socket the I wore for about 6 months, but the sores my socket generated on my residual limb forced me to give up walking for three years. The reality struck that my mobility may never be the same again, prompting my journey through severe depression that lasted for over 3 years and still to this day I battle each and every day but trying to get better.

Depression is a horrible place, but one amputees and Veterans experience regularly. Fortunately for me, my family guided me out of depression and once my granddaughter Zoe was born in March 2015 I realized something had to be done. I went to see my prosthetist, Mark Hinton at Allegheny Orthotics and Prosthetics where he made my second socket in December 2014. I’d gained a lot of weight due to my lack of movement and the medication I was taking for the phantom pains and health issues associated with being an amputee which was affecting my confidence.

My nephew Justin pointed out that I needed to start talking to people to get back in the swing of things. We went out for drinks (of course non alcoholic for me) where I met an amazing man named Mark. He only lived 15 miles away from me and only worked less than 2 miles from where I lived. He drove past my house 5 days a week. It was like fate that I met him when I did. Now my partner of over 2 years Mark Zuraski has never been bothered by my leg and when I approached him at the bar he was so friendly. Nervous about the thoughts of what he would say regarding my prosthesis, Upon explaining I had a prosthetic, he showed the attitude I’d been longing for, and said “yea so” over the last 2 years we have done so many things together and me being an amputee has never gotten in the way of that.


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In January 2016 I went in to talk about new sockets. I had asked for the Martin Bionics socket, but my Clinician recommended I tried the Infinite Socket, as there was no support in the other one. It took a bit for me to be approved for the Infinite socket as it had to be coded through Medicare for the Veterans hospital to use it for their patients. When we first tried to fit it after the casting it was to tall and the plastic cup just didn’t fit my sleeve even though we casted it with it on. So we had to try something else and that’s when he suggested I come back when he had one of the LIM clinicians out to help with the fit. At first I didn’t like the Infinite Socket, it kept rotating while walking and completing simple movements. It just didn’t work for me. However much I adjusted it, it kept causing me issues. I was on the verge of giving up on the socket, but realized my other option of stuffing my leg into a barrell was just not ideal.

After LIM’s clinician came out to help with my fit, the difference is incredible. I love the fact that the socket moves with my leg rather than fighting against it. It is so much more comfortable than an ordinary plastic socket. It is also so much easier to put on then the plastic socket. You know, I’m very proud to be alive after everything I’ve been through and done,but since i’ve gotten this leg I’ve moved more than I have down in the previous six years combined. I love having my freedom back.

In the future, I want to run and dance The funny thing is that I have always hated running but I really want to do it now but I love to dance. I believe it’s due to the fact that with any other leg, I didn’t have the mobility. What this leg has allowed me to do now though for the meantime, is the ability to go out there with my 19 month old granddaughter Zoe Jean and 21 year old daughter Alyssa Paige, and be myself. I’m free!

The time I spent in the military prior to my accident has shaped my life so much. I am here to live my life to the fullest. I waste no time. My daughter and I have done so much traveling since I came home. We have gone on cruises to Alaska, the western Caribbean, and Mexico. We have taken a 10 day-15 city tour around Europe as her graduation present 2 years ago. Now we are waiting to go to the last state that I haven’t been to yet. A beautiful trip to Hawaii is on my bucket list. Hopefully In the near future when my granddaughter is a bit older and the funds are available. I want to show her the world.


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Supporting Those Who Protect

Back in 2013 I was serving on deployment to Helmand province Afghanistan. My role was force protection and I was the patrol commander deployed on a Tesseral Patrol; in order to protect the aircraft arriving and departing. Whilst on the second day of the patrol, our only tasking wasn’t until the hours of darkness so our commander back at unit radioed through and instructed us to head to a nearby village to have a chat with the village elder. As we moved off, second vehicle in formation, we drove over and initiated an IED. The IED ejected me clear of my vehicle but resulted in an immediate loss of my left leg above the knee. After being collected and mobilised back to the nearest medical unit, I was flown back to the UK where I remained in an induced coma for 2 months.


When I awoke the extent of my injuries became apparent, Right AKA, Left BKA, Fractures to my Shoulders Scapulas, Arms, Jaw, Sternum, Ribs, Spine and Pelvis. Massive shock to the system and only when I regained some function was I able to move to Headley Court the UK’s rehabilitation centre for Armed Forces.

The prosthetic centre at Headley court helped get me back on my feet sooner rather than later. However it became aware that straight away, traditional sockets would be a difficult issue regarding the left high amputation. I persevered even though I was in excruciating pain. Various rubs and frictions gains from the socket and the loose tissue upon the stump made wearing a normal socket pretty unusable. It was only towards the end of my time in rehab, I was told by my prosthetist of a new socket that may be available. The Infinite Socket, a fully adjustable more comfortable one. I immediately wanted to try it to protect my limb.


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The guys from Lim Innovations came across to the UK to measure me up and were very hopeful of a good fitting socket. I was more and more intrigued and couldn’t wait to get started. With the amount of love tissue still proving to be an issue, I still required a stick to help stabilise myself whilst mobile.

Having now left the Military and moved on with my life, the guys at LIM Innovations have been in constant contact ensuring the socket is still working correctly. Over the last 2-3 months, the socket has really started to click. I fully fit within the socket, it feels fully secure and has enabled me to come away from using the Stick and walk independently mobile. Without the need for the traditional carbon fibre socket, the comfort and adjustability of the Infinite Socket is second to none.

Adding on to the that, I have recently been offered the opportunity of Osseointegration Surgery on my left stump. Whilst I was in rehab I would have snapped their hand off, however since the socket is now working perfectly and I am more independent, I have declined the surgery to focus on working with the socket and getting on with my life.


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Mind over matter

Growing up in a family of boxers and Musicians, Adhiambo Mitchell was brought up with discipline of mind and body at the forefront of everything he did and loved. When he had finished high school, he rode with a bike gang called ‘The Kryptonites’ and had applied for the Air Force. Everything he loved and had dreamed of was falling into place, when at 3am on April 5, 2008 coming off the freeway ramp, the brakes of his 2004 Nissan Maxima locked, causing his car to flip and slam into a guardrail, continuously flipping over.


When I came to, I tried to maneuver my legs to exit the car, and that’s when I realized the extent of my injuries. Everything felt like jelly and ham, and I couldn’t call my mom because i was bleeding so much. One leg was severed during the collision, with my other leg in seriously bad condition. Long Island emergency fire department happened to be on the same road and saved my life. To this day, I’ve never had the chance to thank them.

As everything around me became a reality, my discipline came to my aid, and I quickly came to terms with the fact that I was going to be an amputee. At the hospital, they amputated my other leg above the knee.

Friends and Family started distancing themselves from me, and I began to realize that I was going to have a long journey ahead of me. I knew nothing about amputees; I saw some videos of amputees riding bikes, and it gave me a sign of hope. It let me know that if they could do it, then I can definitely could to.

Eager to be fitted with prosthetic legs, I was desperate to get back to my regular activities, and wanted to go fishing, rock-climbing and learn how to swim. It is a clip on the movie, Rocky 3, when Rocky loses to Clubber, Apollo Creed helps get Rocky’s confidence back by telling him “there is no tomorrow” meaning always do the most towards your goal  in that day because tomorrow isn’t promised.


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I kept reminding myself that “you can’t go back, you can only go forward. I’ve gotta move on with it.” At first, I didn’t get PT, I learned to walk by myself, I wanted to be self-reliant. I walked everywhere: to the car, to the park, upstairs, but my socket was causing unfathomable pain. One day a friend Pierre Lucian drove over 200 miles to come and help me walk better. That day we had gone to the mall and almost three hours in, I had looked into my sockets thinking i was emptying sweat but it was blood. I noticed the sockets were creating an open wound that could never heal properly due their abrasive nature. I never want to feel that pain ever again. See, the pain can really put you off the task at hand,. The knee needs to be strong, the socket needs to be comfortable, the foot needs to be supportive, but everyone forgets about the socket; the interface, the connection with the human body.

You need to find the right socket to walk properly, and if insurance would cover it, I would request two or three sockets at once. Everyone understands that every amputee is different, so why can’t prosthetic sockets be like a mall where you can buy different brands of the same product to ensure you know what works for yourself? Why isn’t prosthetics like that? It’s good to have variety, With my leg constantly fluctuating, no socket would work for me for long periods of time, and it got to the point where I gave up on prosthetics altogether, contemplating my wheelchair instead.

Then one day I was scrolling through Facebook and saw the Infinite Socket. I told my prosthetist Ryan Murphy, from NEOPS Manhattan, that this is what I needed to become more active like how I used to be. You need to take control of your destiny and get what you want, and Ryan supported me through that decision until I was fit.


I love how they tighten and loosen with ease. I’m walking with greater comfort than I ever believed I would following my accident. The only complaint, is that every five blocks or so, I need to take off the sockets to clean out the sweat, but the ease of doing that with the adjustable brim doesn’t make this an issue.


I wish there was a way that I could give air to my limb through a liner. Most important for me though is that, I’M ACTIVE AGAIN! I’m more independent, and I can carry on my life. I can drop my kids off at school. I have dreams with my prosthetics now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I have a walking objective, which will prove my most challenging yet. I want to walk to the top of the stairs at Fort Greene Park located in Brooklyn. There’s a lot of rocks and hills before I get to the stairs, which will test my walking stability, so that is the ultimate goal.

The other thing I want to do, is make a difference for other amputees. I started the NYU amputee support group in 2008, and go to the ACA conference every year. I also did the NYC marathon in 2009. I want to be part of a network that will encourage others to achieve great things. My determined nature has even spurred me on to take my Masters. One day I found myself surrounded by a lot of my family who have Master’s degrees. I looked around and thought to myself “if these fools can do it, so can I.” I’m taking  Biomedical Engineering, as I want to create more devices that will assist other people like me. Math is killing me at the moment; you need to keep a lot of notes, but by 2021 I’ll be used to it. I will master it, just like I’m doing walking in my prosthesis.

My mission is to make positive changes for myself, my family then all over the world. I will elevate all my skills and knowledge through learning in all aspects of my life with purpose and determination. I will ensure that the journey I’m taking will reflect to others to build and make this world a better place. To solely be the example for my kids and others to look and see a positive role model. I am guided by my own set of morals and principles that I have developed through relationships with my parents, family, friends, peers, and others I look up to and respect and admire. I will keep searching for knowledge and contemplation.


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Lindsay's Learning Curve

Living an extremely active life: running, biking, yoga,  you would never have imagined the story behind Lindsay. From struggling to concentrate in class, Lindsay set out to pursue an active life. During the challenges she faced, she realized that that her teachers may have jeopardized her learning. Upon moving comfortably in her Infinite TT’s she now wants to set out to help people in her own way. 


As a kid I loved being outdoors, in nature, and exploring. Growing up in a small rural town in Iowa I spent a lot of time outside building forts, running through the trees, making up games from objects found in nature, and riding my bike with my sister and neighborhood friends. The love of nature made sitting in a classroom difficult. I looked forward to any opportunity to be outside, running around, or biking. In 6th grade I began running cross-country after quickly realizing I didn’t have the coordination for basketball or volleyball. At my first cross-country practice I showed up and ran in basketball shoes. Even today, I remember how bad my legs hurt and how I thought I would never run again. I stuck out cross-country and of course, got a pair of running shoes. Over time, running became easier; I realized I wasn’t going to die running and before I knew it, running became a passion. I loved the sense of being outside in nature with the breeze on my face and the sun on my skin. I was a dedicated runner who would even run in the winters, in the snow. I would throw on my favorite green running tights, a pair of shorts, a turtle neck, sweatshirt, a beanie, and when icy, my track cleats. Running didn’t really require anything but myself to do and I liked that. It was simple. In addition to running I enjoyed riding my bike. From the age of 12, I had participated in RAGBRAI, a 600-mile week long bike ride that goes across Iowa annually. It was fulfilling to be outdoors running and cycling.

From a young age I knew I wanted to explore the world beyond the small town I grew up in. After graduating a semester early from high school, I moved to Des Moines, IA, where I experienced living on my own. I worked at the Olive Garden waitressing and bartending. While learning some of the responsibilities of becoming an adult the desire to be outdoors was still strong. I addition to my often long hours at work I always made time to run & cycle. As a young adult my life revolved around work and exercise, and unfortunately, I didn’t value sleep.

On April 25, 2001, I was on my way to meet a friend, after finishing my work shift around 10pm. As I traveled north on the interstate I remember feeling tired and sleepy. I began opening the window to feel the cool evening air on my face. I also turned up the music louder in hopes the music would energize me. Before I knew it, I had missed my exit off the freeway. In Iowa, where the exits are several miles apart, I had to go up to the next exit (almost 10 miles out of my way) to turn around. I remember taking the next exit, coming across the freeway, and the next thing I remember, I woke up confused wondering where I was. I thought to myself, “Where am I and how did I get here?” I had fallen asleep behind the wheel of my car and never made it back onto the freeway. My car went off the side of the road into a creek bed. I was unaware of the extent of damage my body had endured, as I wasn’t in any pain. As days passed I felt my energy levels dissipating. I even noticed the dire state my legs were in. My car was out of visibility of the freeway traffic. I called out for help, but no one could hear me. Little did I know my family had reported me missing and photographs of me were on both local and national news. Five days later I was found trapped in my car that was partially submerged in water. At that point I was exhausted and cold. On the fifth day I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever be found. I was transported by helicopter to the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics – where they said they would be amputating both my legs below the knee. My family was in shock, but I had come to terms with the possibility of amputation while in the wreckage.


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It was a little over two months, post-amputation before the possibility of prosthesis arose. I remember the eagerness to run on the first day in my new legs rushing through my body. On my Dad’s birthday, July 18, 2001, came my opportunity to walk. I quickly felt exhausted trying to piece together my new task. Relearning to walk was much more strenuous & painful than I had originally thought. My plans to run on the first day in my new legs didn’t unfold how I had anticipated. To this day, it’s still interesting to me, how my residuum is soft to the touch yet as soon as you bear end weight, the pain is atrocious. On my first day in my new legs, I left with the image of how proud my parents were. I will never forget that moment. I also left knowing the only way to get better at walking was to walk; one foot in front of the other. And that I did!

Due to my high profile case, I only completed two weeks of therapy, as I was scheduled to feature on Good Morning America and the John Walsh show in New York. Traveling as a new amputee was tiring. It required diligence to rest and elevate my legs when needed, as the muscle groups I was using were previously neglected. It took a year before I was walking effortlessly; walking without thinking about it. That was when the shrinking took its toll. I ended up spending weeks wearing a 36-ply- sock. I had no idea how my legs would change as I began walking more or what to expect in the first year post-amputation. No one had told me 36-ply socks is WAY TOO MANY!

Upon being refitted with a new prosthesis, I was given the opportunity to try a pair of running blade. I was reignited with my love for running. Since becoming an amputee, I’ve had many opportunities to run, cycle, and do physical activity outdoors. One of the biggest challenges has been the need for socket changes and maintaining a well-fitting prosthesis. I dreamed of the day when I would have multiple prosthesis, to capture my wide array of fluctuation. That’s when I questioned, “Why aren’t there any adjustable sockets being made?” It shocked me that in the 21st Century, adjustable sockets were nowhere to be seen.

I was then introduced to LIM Innovations, who asked if I’d be interested in trying their below-the- knee prototype. This was an exciting opportunity for me. It was like a dream come true. I felt like the years of socket issues and residual limb pain were worth the wait.

It can take some time to get the ideal fit with the Infinite TT’s, however it’s worth it down the road when you know you have the capacity to make subtle changes. These days, my limbs require less maintenance and I don’t always fiddle with the setup. It is very reassuring knowing that I can make changes to this socket as my limb changes. The sturdiness of the socket is impressive and represents the shape of a conventional socket, but when you adjust the Infinite TT via air bladders and/or BOA, it’s like having different sockets.

Now, I’m back to consistently walking 6-10 miles a day, feeling great and not in pain, which is such a treat! For many years I took it for granted my ability to walk comfortably in addition to running and cycling. It feels great to be active again! I am excited to be able to comfortably move in and out of side-plank in my yoga classes. Completing this can be difficult and requires a well-fitting socket in order to be able to put that much pressure through the socket. The best thing is, the Infinite TT’s can cope with this pressure. It’s an exhilarating feeling to feel like I can move freely; without unnecessary limitations.

Going forward, I really want to work with more amputees in yoga practice. There is still the perception that you need to be skinny, fit and flexible, to practice yoga. I was once one of those individuals, but it’s not at all the case. After studying yoga, I have a deeper understanding of its roots and true meaning. Yoga is, can, and should be accessible to everybody no matter your shape, size, race, religion, or socio-economic status. I was re-inspired to delve deeper into learning to work with a broader population of people after the organization Accessible Yoga started last year. I want to utilize my life experiences to be a part of the change in perception of yoga. The practice is truly for everyone!

The Adventure Team Challenge

Our blog this week comes from LIMLegend Robert Spotswood, who participated in his Infinite Socket TF, and had the luxury of being able to adjust his socket to accommodate each challenge. Read his views on the challenges he faced on the course, and the comradery his team showed throughout this unique event.


It’s an extraordinary feeling when you accomplish something that seemed previously unachievable. And, it is even more satisfying to have done so based on the collaborative efforts of a team of people. Teamwork is defined as ‘the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.’ I experienced the truest manifestation of the power of teamwork during the Adventure team Challenge in Colorado hosted by World T.E.A.M. Sports. During this race teams of 5 individuals (one wheelchair participant, an amputee, and three able-bodied) participate in a three day adventure race that involves mountain biking, hiking, rafting, and climbing. Each team has to accomplish orienteering tasks along the way as a team and do so in the shortest amount of time possible. The only way to accomplish all of these challenges in the most efficient and expedient way is to value each other’s differences and physical abilities to bring out the absolute best in each other. You set-up towing systems for your para-athlete and amputee to better enable them to climb mountains on their bikes, you collaborate on decisions about what direction to take for the next checkpoint, you paddle in perfect unison to maximize speed on the water, you rely on the strength of another to carry a team member over the finish line, ultimately leveraging each other’s strengths to achieve what would otherwise be impossible alone.

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I was nervous about this event after the prologue which determined the seeding for the competition because I nearly passed out from exhaustion. This was the first day I had met my teammates and we were still getting to know each other and how to best work together. That didn’t take long! After our 16 mile paddle down the Colorado river we embarked on a 12 mile mtn. biking race where it clicked that only by working together, knowing each other’s strengths/weaknesses, designating roles and encouraging each other that we could cross the finish line together. As an amputee, I couldn’t do this alone, our para-athlete couldn’t do this alone, only by working together were we able to do what previously felt impossible.

I traveled to CO with two teams from LIM that were also competing, which I was thrilled about because I was coming on board with the company a few weeks after the race. To me this was the ultimate team building event, it was an opportunity to watch how the LIM teams worked together and how I could best work with them going forward. I had a feeling they would do well (and they did!) but I underestimated how dedicated, committed and respectful they were of each other throughout the challenges. Each member knew how to bring out the best in another. It was inspiring to witness and it strengthened my connection to them all.

I had done this race about 5 years ago when I was wearing a traditional suction socket made by Hanger. Almost immediately, I knew it was going to be a struggle to perform well because my leg literally kept falling off during the bike ride and the hiking portion due to an overall poor fit. I ended up taking my leg off and using crutches for most of the event which was very physically challenging and resulted in a poor performance by our team. They could only carry me on their shoulders for so long. This year I was wearing the Infinite Socket LIM had provided me and the differences were night and day.


My leg stayed on during the entirety of the mountain biking and hiking portions and I was able to adjust the fit of my socket throughout the event, on the go, which enabled me to perform significantly better than my previous experience.


It’s truly reinvigorating when you realize you are capable of doing great things not only through the help of others but through improved technology. I’m looking forward to helping those with disabilities come to the realization that they too can achieve what previously seemed impossible.

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A New Direction in the TT

Thirty-five years ago I survived a tragic accident that sent my life in a new direction. I was 19 and took my first motorcycle ride with my boyfriend. We were broadsided by a car and catapulted over 30 feet into a ditch.  My boyfriend was killed instantly; my head slammed into the windshield of the car which likely slowed my flight to the ditch and spared my life. I sustained many injuries, and my leg was essentially severed.


Back then prosthetics weren’t what they are today so rather than amputate my leg was salvaged. In that instant I went from dancing for 15 years, captain of my high school golf team, and running every day to disabled, disfigured, and struggling. I had numerous complications and surgeries, and a long recovery to get back to just painful walking. It was clear my future with my leg was going to be one of increasing pain, immobility, and disability. I’d had over 30 limb salvage surgeries before my amputation last year.

I have an amazing Prosthetist who built me a great new leg and taught me how to walk again. It was a lot harder than I expected. It takes a lot of concentration to walk properly after using crutches and a walker for many years. A Prosthetic can only do so much, the rest is up to us and the choices we make each day toward our recovery and physical goals. My Prosthetist also introduced me to many inspirational amputees and organizations: Dare2tri, Chicago Blade Runners, Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing. He built me a running blade that allowed me to run last year for the first time in over 34 years, which feels like a miracle.

I’m fortunate to be part of the LIM team in the Midwest, and was fit with a TT in May. It’s been incredibly exciting to be part of the development and evolution of the TT; not only in the materials used but in how we at LIM work together and respond to challenges and problems we’ve had in its development.


I have a carbon fiber foot, and the first thing that struck me when I tried my TT is a sensation similar to the dynamic energy response. It’s flexy when I walk!


I experience significant volume change throughout the day, and my TT accommodates it easily with a twist of my BOA. It’s become instinctual, so my prosthetic now feels even more a part of me; it has an intimate fit. The adjustability has also been helpful with perspiration, where rather than having to stop to dry out the perspiration from my liner so that my liner and leg don’t slip I just tighten it.  I’m able to walk much farther before stopping.

I’ve experienced a challenge recently in my residual limb and it’s proven a real testament to the importance of the adjustability of the TT. I learned 4 weeks ago I fractured the ertl bridge in my residuum where my distal tibia connects my bone bridge. I am very active, and Dr. Ertl suspects microfractures developed over past months which culminated in a fracture.  

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With my Infinite TT I completed my first 5k last Sunday, despite having a broken leg! Though I walked rather than ran it was especially meaningful as my sister Caryn walked with me. Caryn is a touchstone as she reminds me how much we need each other to move forward through challenges. Caryn was there for me when I returned to college using crutches after my accident many years ago. She made sure so many practical aspects of life were taken care of. I’d hoped to run but walked due to injury, but it’s still a reminder that I’m doing so much better today with my prosthetic leg than I would be doing with the leg I had amputated a year ago. I don’t know where I’d be now without the support and encouragement of my friends and family.

Years ago I remember my Mom asking me if I wished the accident had never happened? I remember telling my Mom that I’d rather be who I am today than who I’d have been had it not happened. As Viktor Frankl wrote, “What is to give light must endure burning”. I have had many bright lights in my life since my accident. With the leg we saved I was able to walk, and have 4 wonderful pregnancies that resulted in 4 beautiful healthy children. I now have 4 wonderful grandchildren too :). They motivate me each day to be and do the best I can. I’ve been given an opportunity to appreciate life, health, and relationships in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise. I am the luckiest unlucky person I know.

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The Leg of the Law

Angel Castro takes his job very seriously. In order to serve his community best, he needs the right equipment in order to protect and serve. In the Infinite TT, Angel can run up hills, maximise his energy return through the dynamic socket and give his all while on the beat.


“Without my dynamic Infinite TT socket it would have been impossible to do what I wanted to do, and as well as I wanted to do it, following my accident. The TT has given me my fear factor back and the force would just not be the same without me.

Thanks to LIM I can now say I’m back with a bang, and for the bad guys well whatcha gonna do when I come for you?”

The TT Experience

With AOPA 2016 in full swing, we thought it necessary to share a few patient insights into the Infinite TT. It is important to hear first hand their own experience with the sockets. With varying anatomical and sensitive fits, the Infinite Socket product line encompasses the necessary adjustability, dynamic frame and custom fits that allow amputees to find freedom in a socket they can control. Of course, the Infinite Sockets aren’t perfect for everyone, but they are a valid option, backed by measured testing and conclusive feedback from practitioners and patients alike. But don’t just hear it from us, hear it from the #LIMLegends themselves.


Jim Demas
“This thing is nothing short of amazing. I am stunned! This is the first time since I got a prosthetic in August 2015 (BKA in April 2015) that I have been able to ride my exercise bike. And I did it with no pain! None! I know we are just starting out and this is just day 3… but if this is a reliable indicator of what is to come, you guys will, in fact, give me so much more of my life back!”

Doug Van Pool
“Just being able to reach down, and tighten the boas, rather than taking it off, fiddling with volume socks, and then re-donning the foot is well worth the price of admission! I think I’ve found the “Goldilocks” zone of comfort.”

Rudy (Daughter Lydia’s quote)
“He is walking with more confidence. I notice when he sits, he keeps his leg on, whereas before, with the old leg, he would remove it immediately when he sat down at home, in the car or sometimes in public places. He is that much more comfortable. The limping has diminished and his old gait is more evident.”

Angel Castro
“I wouldn’t call it a product nor a prosthesis because it’s given me more than just the chance to walk again. It feels very close to having my own leg back, and being able to see the look on people’s faces when they see my mobility, energy, and how strong I’m able to perform in it, the feeling is often overwhelming.”

Freedom in the Infinite TT

Tess Deddo came to LIM Innovations without looking for an alternative to her current prosthesis. Content with what she already had, Tess was originally only interested in viewing the socket that was in the early stages of allowing patients the freedom to manipulate the socket to their residuum. Little did she know that in May 2016, she would become the second person to ever become fitted with the Infinite TT.

The freedom she has experienced since being fit with the Infinite TT has been unparalleled. From riding her bike for the first time in years to walking for hours on end during term time at her school in Marin County, CA, Tess can now control the comfort of her socket.



The Infinite TT is a custom-molded, modular, and dynamic socket system. The combination of a modular frame and advanced pressure distribution system enables clinicians and patients to adjust the socket. Pressure distribution and biomechanics are designed in response to activity demands, pressure areas, and shape change.

Check out the features of the Infinite Socket TT here

The Infinite TT Setting Sail

Chris has been testing the durability of the revolutionary below-the-knee socket the Infinite TT while at sea. His feedback has been the catalyst of many Infinite TT features that has helped him set sail to places we can only dream of. Read his journey below.


I met the folks at LIM five months ago in San Francisco. A photo of me riding my bike to a sailboat race found its way to the office and they asked me to come in and chat. I had been in conventional sockets for the past 11 years and they always worked well, but I always wanted a little bit more from the fit. Since the first day I entered LIM I was made to feel like family, and since then I have been involved with testing and refining the new TT socket.

I work as a sailing instructor most of the time in the Bay Area. I put a lot of stress on my legs, so we thought I could provide some valuable feedback about how the socket handles the extreme conditions on the bay, on a bike and elsewhere. A month of testing close to home brought lots of observations and the real test was yet to come.

Over the last 4 months, I have been living aboard a sailboat, touring the east coast. My job involves bringing the boat to various sailing associations and programs to show off the history of the sport and engaging youth sailors in the wider context of sailing. I am on my feet a lot and the environment is more than a little extreme for a prosthesis. I have put over 8000 salty nautical miles on my Infinite TT and it is more than holding up; it’s performing better than any conventional socket I’ve used before.

With careful help from LIM, we’ve seen how the socket performs and reacts to stress and the result is a rigorously tested product that is comfortable, strong and durable. Between daily fluctuations in volume, changes in activity level, even crossing the threshold between land and sea, my socket holds up and has taken me places in comfort and style.

You can follow Chris’s progress on his blog

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Angel back on the Job

Angel has been testing the Infinite TT with us for six months now, enjoying the trials and tribulations of being the face of the revolutionary below-the-knee socket. His feedback has been the catalyst of many Infinite TT features that has helped him get back on the job. Read his journey below.


I’ve been a below knee amputee since April 2014. l never received any help nor information on how to continue my life as an amputee. My wife and I were totally clueless on what to do or expect from here on! We just had one another, and trying to stay away from depression and discouragement was extremely difficult for us, having to learn to walk again and face challenges that we had never imagined we would have to endure together in our lives.

But thanks to LIM, and their great team I can be myself again! There’s no words that would summarize everything in my heart and the gratitude I feel! As an amputee all I want to do is to give back and help those that find themselves in the same situation that I was in.bk-angel-web-hero

LIM continues to out-do themselves with this brand new, fascinating socket, the Infinite TT. We’ve been testing together since they took me on as a test pilot. It was the most incredible experience, trying to perfect it with LIM, and now I have the ability to walk, run and do just about anything that I set out to do! During the process, what really impressed me was their attention to what my feedback was. Every aspect of the Infinite TT is designed in response to my own personal activity demands, pressure areas, and limb shape change.

This socket is packed full of features designed to accommodate the test pilot’s needs. With the help of the dynamic socket system, I have control over pressure distribution and tension control. The shock absorbing frame offers multiple points of adjustability and is designed to flex and mimic the way I walk. The LIM Air Bladder System allows me to generate or alleviate pressure as I see necessary. The first few times the system failed, but their ability to resolve issues through trial and error never ceases to amaze me to this day. The Infinite TT is also height adjustable at the front patellar-tendon allowing me to walk in comfort, while still maintaining a proper amount of support while liberating the knee to flex.


The Infinite TT is the first custom-molded, modular, and dynamic prosthetic socket, offering adjustability at each component. The combination of advanced materials and adjustable systems empowers clinicians and users to adjust the prosthesis in response to volume and shape change of the residual limb.


At ACA my wife and I met so many incredible people with a desire to accomplish what I set out to do a year ago. I felt like I was giving other amputees the same opportunity that I got with this socket that I call ‘Life.’ I wouldn’t call it a product nor a prosthesis because it’s given me more than just the chance to walk again. I can do much more than that! Now I can share that with new amputees and inspire them to never give up! LIM has given me an incredible opportunity with this amazing leg. It feels very close to having my own leg back, and being able to see the look on people’s faces when they see my mobility, energy, and how strong I’m able to perform in it, the feeling is often overwhelming.

Driven by Data

Carol Davis was fit with a highly custom socket to address the lack of comfort and motivation that had left her without a leg for over a year. She always looks above and beyond the past, and with the help of data, her progression in recent months has been nothing far from astonishing. Read what Carol had to say.


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“I wanted to thank you guys again for constructing a wonderful adjustable and easy to put on socket. I know my residual limb was a challenging fit with a pediatric circumference, long length, and fragile skin. It’s so amazing as I had been out of a leg for over a year, and now I am up walking a couple of miles a day, working in the garden outside, and spending time with my grandkids. My favorite activity however is spending time with my husband going on walks near the beach.

Thank you also for the Fitbit™! I love being able to track my steps, active minutes, how many stairs I climb, and how much energy I am exerting per step. I think everyone could benefit from having this on their leg. The first day I put the tracker on it was pretty late in the day and I logged 250 steps; not a lot, but in the grand scheme of things to come it was a step in the right direction. The first week I took around 1,500 steps a day and that has increased from there. I now regularly have been doing over 6,000 steps a day and have approximately 40 minutes of active or sustained walking. It challenges me to keep moving and do more. Recently, I was able to do a 5K fun run/walk at our 4th of July event. In case you are interested, my Fitbit™ showed that it was over 8,000 steps and 88 minutes of constant movement! Thank you for giving me a life back!

Please keep on doing what you are doing. I hope that the data device gets added to all of your new sockets. The socket works well, providing comfort in an adjustable fashion. Understanding the data that I generate on a daily basis keeps me moving forward, setting new goals to achieve rather than just sitting around. When you see progress it is easier to stay motivated, and for that I will always be grateful.”


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“My final step count for today 🙂 love this leg 🙂 :)” – Carol Davis Facebook Post of fitbit™ step count

Keeping the Beat

A drummer who was seriously hurt in a bus crash whilst on tour with his band, is fighting his way through therapy by doing what he loves, keeping the beat.


The metalcore band The Ghost Inside was headed to another concert venue in November when life took a devastating turn. Their bus was involved in a head-on crash with a semi-truck just outside of El Paso, Texas.

Drummer Andrew Tkaczyk was sleeping before the crash and woke to find himself in wreckage. He wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to drum again after sustaining extensive injuries — 51 in all, including the loss of his right leg, which is critical to his drumming career.

“There was definitely a point where I was still telling myself, ‘Yes, you can do it and we’ll make it work,’ but there was definitely doubt in my mind, like, what if it doesn’t?” he said. “What if I can’t play drums ever again? And it’s a terrifying thought.”

Luckily, Andrew’s Doctor, Dr. Stephen Bloom had a hidden passion of playing the drums himself. So, about three weeks into it, he brought in a pair of drumsticks and put them in Andrew’s right hand.


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During rehabilitation sessions, Andrew uses a specialized prosthesis to play the drums. A creative recreational therapist helped modify Andrew’s leg prosthesis so he could press the pedal that works the bass drum.

In daily life however, he uses the Infinite Socket, and Genium X3 knee combination to walk. None of this would have been possible if LIMLegend Irene Blum hadn’t sent Andrew images on the Infinite Socket and a story about another LIMLegend, Enrique Alvarez, and his recovery story two months after Andrew’s amputation. 

“I brought it to my prosthetist Mark Bennett at Mary Free Bed Rehab, and he encouraged me to choose something that I feel comfortable with. It’s comforting to know that they were considering all these options. Everything to do with amputation was new to me, and Mark reassured me that i will have full control of my prosthetic choices.

I was already up and walking around in a check socket, using an Ottobock c-leg on therapy days. I had been using it for about six weeks and the time came for me to step up and use my own leg.

Mark got the cast mould of my leg and sent it to the folks at LIM. Within a couple of weeks I was fit with the Infinite Socket and straight off the bat was up and walking. I needed a few adjustments to correct my alignment, but following a few tweaks, I felt great. Steve Hoover the clinical specialist for LIM, provided a demonstration on how to adjust the brim whilst I was walking, which has proven to be a huge benefit.


The whole scenario for me was seriously night and day. I lost a lot of volume over the first two months. My limb was slipping out from the check socket. It was slowing me down and i wasn’t getting anywhere, then all of a sudden I had this socket that felt like a part of my body. It didn’t feel like a prosthetic. It was infinitely… (no pun intended) right off the bat, more comfortable. The ratchet strap has to be my favorite feature. I can loosen the socket by my upper thigh with just a few clicks of the ratchet.


It was hard, because when I had first woken up I didn’t know who was OK or who was hurt or even alive or not, and it was difficult. But having such a wonderful team at Mary Free Bed and state of the art prosthetics has given me the opportunity to go on tour again. The bandmates and I have big plans. We are scattered throughout the country recovering, but we keep in touch daily online through whatsapp and encourage each other. We are planning on being ready to return to the stage for the “Van’s Warped Tour” in 2017.”

Andrew’s prosthetist Mark Bennett had this to say. “Working with Andrew and being part of his healing process here at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is extremely rewarding. From our initial visit and being present when Andrew took his first steps on a prosthesis, to watching him progress to the Infinite Socket and re-gain his independence is what it’s all about.  Steve Hoover and the LIM team have been with Andrew and I every step of the way with great information and recommendations to ensure continued prosthetic success.”


Andrew LIM 2

One Step at a Time

Graham Gill is the longest active user of the Infinite Socket. He was fit with the Infinite Socket™ over two years ago, and is LIM Innovations’ first test-user. Graham was kind enough to give us a first person account of his deeply personal story below, highlighting the impact the Infinite Socket has had on his life allowing him to become more mobile one step at a time:


“Combining the ability to have modular parts that make fittings and adjustments so much easier along with daily comfort gives me the ability to live my life away from the doctor’s office. I used to be confined to a wheelchair and spend the majority of my time on the sofa. I used to live on what I started to call a 1-for-3 schedule. In other words, I would have one good day of being active for every three days I was confined to a wheelchair or resting at home. Essentially I had two days a week to live.


20160115 LIM Graham SF net-0067Since being fit with the Infinite Socket I have the ability to get up every morning and put my leg on, as you would your shoes, and go on living my life.


I’ve been able to walk down the aisle and get married, re-sign my modeling contract and continue doing what I love. I have been left to travel around the world without any pain or discomfort. The Infinite Socket has given my life back.

The only sadness I still have is that every amputee deserves to experience what I have with the Infinite Socket. It may not be the right choice for everyone, but in my experience, it gives me optimal comfort that can be utilized as I see fit. I want to thank Garrett Hurley and Andy Pedtke, the co-founders of LIM Innovations, and the rest of the LIM Innovations team that made this socket available to those who need it most.”

 

Claudio's Recovery

Two weeks ago we learned of the recovery period of one of our #LIMLegends, Claudio Cappabianca through the eyes of his son Marco. This week we asked Claudio himself, a true renaissance man, to tell the amputee community about the struggles and victories he faced during his recovery period. Let’s hear what he has to say:


“Six months had passed since the accident. I had fought and won many setbacks that I’d faced, but it was the eve of the fitting of my ‘new’ leg, where hopefully I would be finally free to walk again! There were so many questions running through my mind: Will it work? How easy is it going to be? Did I have any regrets for having been so reckless and stupid? Will I be ridding myself of the crutches like I did with the wheelchair?

I couldn’t believe this day has finally come. From the moment I got hurt I had been waiting for this day. I thought it would have taken at most two months, not more, but I didn’t account for all the setbacks in my recovery process.

I don’t remember driving to the clinician office, but for some reason I remember standing on the balancing rails. Looking to my right side I saw Andrew, Mac and Dave, surrounded by my wife and daughter. I could see their nervous glances as my son prepared to film the first step of my new life. I assumed it was going to be a breeze to walk again on two legs. How wrong I was; it was just about impossible, with no equilibrium. I couldn’t walk, and could not stand unless holding to the parallel bars or crutches.


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It wasn’t an easy couple of weeks learning how to walk again. After multiple falls, the only thing you can do is pull yourself up again. The rehab crew worked on me both mornings and afternoons to see how much I could take. I had the best time of my life since the accident, I was so happy and eager to do as much possible. When I was ready, I walked through the rehab revolving door all by myself with no assisting device, just me and my new leg on the way to challenge myself and the world again with a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

A little over a year has passed and nothing has passed by without hard work and sacrifice, mostly physical. I did experience a few days of depression but managed to get over it thanks to my wife’s tireless support. I have been able to get back to my life as it was before the accident but with a few exceptions. I can’t run, can’t bike and can’t ski. I have tried skiing and after five days and dozens of runs and very risky situations, I had to give it up as my knee joints are asymmetric and therefore it’s impossible to kneel down, which is the prime requirement for turning. Well, we’ll have to work out a solution for next winter, I’m not done yet, at least I have another challenge to look for.

I have returned to my mountain, back to landscaping, cutting trees, splitting logs, driving my tractor and walking the lawn mower. I even managed to go by myself on the train to the Center for Medicare to help prevent them depriving disabled Americans of certain critical benefits and to assist Andrew to help persuade the administrators to approve coverage for the LIM Infinite Socket.


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How much credit is due to the LIM? I could have not been able to accomplish much if it wasn’t for the adjustability of my Infinite Socket. It’s just like wearing a ski boot with its side buckle. Bi-weekly visits with my clinician and dear friend Dave Bow who has been my pit crew all these months; making sure the Infinite Socket would perform to my capability and satisfaction was vital.


I can definitively say that I’m living an almost normal life, I’m used to my new leg, I feel normal when I wear it but not as much when I have to park it for the night.


I am very grateful to Nedim, Andrew, Geoff, Mac, Dave, Marco and GiuGiu’ with Christine and David, all the friends who visited me while at Albany Med, all the doctors and nurses, the rescue team, the medevac pilot who bravely decided to continue flying thru the rain storm instead of putting down and finally my dear and loving wife Silvana who stood by me and tirelessly putting up with this crazy bum!”

Family First – The perspective of a Son

Claudio Cappabianca has been wearing the Infinite Socket since his amputation in 2014. During the rehabilitation period following his accident Claudio’s son Marco helped him take his first steps and get to where he is today. Here is his account of his Father’s process following limb loss.


“Limb loss is a staggering event, but as shocking as the circumstances may be that led to such an incident, the family must cope trying to understand the recovery process in hopes of their loved one walking again, perhaps with no idea whatsoever where to start.

My Father Claudio, truly embodies the old school Italian renaissance man; fashionable, athletic, hard working, and intelligent. At the time of the accident he was at his home in upstate New York standing on a ladder, cutting down some trees. Out of sheer determination he somehow managed to find his way to the hospital.

With the very real prospect of amputation on the horizon, we were introduced to LIM Innovations within days of my Father’s accident, through my friend who knew Andrew Pedtke and it was clear this company had a mission to help people. Andrew, as a medical professional, understood exactly the physical aspect of the situation, and further opened up the team at LIM to aid in the mental aspect we faced. We felt cared for, important, and understood. The recovery process in my father’s case has been long for various medical reasons, but LIM Innovations has a never ending patience in an effort to see my Father, a highly active, seasoned individual (71 years old), get back to life as it was before the accident.


For the younger generation of amputees the benefits of working with LIM and the Infinite Socket must be amazing. For us, I hate to think where we would be today if left to work with a “one-size-fits-all” company and product.


Choosing a future with LIM Innovations is choosing a forward looking company and product that comes with hope, care, attention, and a return to life! Thanks to LIM, Claudio can spend time with my daughter and can advocate for those in need through his never give up fighting attitude”


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The Infinite Socket – Custom to you

Sean Boatwright from Diablo Prosthetics has been working with LIM Innovations since the start of the year. During that time he has come up to LIM’s head office twice to show potential patients the in’s and out’s of the Infinite Socket.


“I have personally visited The LIM Innovations facility on a couple of occasions. I was able to provide my patients a hands-on experience and exposure to the product and have them decide if it would be the right socket for them.

Three different environments are present within the LIM facility. On one level, enthusiastic engineers equipped with 3D printers and countless amounts of materials used for testing various interfaces. On another level, you get the feel of the “typical” start-up. Energetic marketing team on laptops and phone calls or working on the next graphic design project or social media, reaching out in any way to make sure that their patients are satisfied and thriving.

Then there is the more familiar area. A bustling lab, similar to what we are all accustomed to. Multiple technicians each immersed on their specific task in creating the end product.


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“Plaster models fill one area with hands-on modifications taking place while carbon fiber struts are cut to size, heated and shaped over a recently vacuum formed flexible plastic socket.”


Tucked away in another area are multiple brims, ready to be customized for each patient. LIM has a special mix of technology and high quality hands-on craftsmanship a practitioner like myself can appreciate.

Seeing first hand how labor intensive and actually customizable the Infinite Socket is, is an impressive accomplishment that LIM Innovations appears to have mastered.”

Adjustment Made Easy

Hi my name is Lynn De Cola. I have been an amputee for 23 years following a motorcyle accident that claimed my right leg above the knee in 1993.


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I received my first conventional socket in 1993 and it’s rigidity had always caused me issues. The funny thing is that it looks exactly like the conventional sockets offered in 2016, with its flexible inner liner and rigid frame. I became a prosthetist in 1994 when my prosthetist invited me to come see the work he did. I instantly fell in love and he hired me as an O&P assistant, which spurred me on to become ABC certified by Florida state. I learned of the Infinite Socket through O&P edge, and believed the technology could prove a valid alternative to the sockets I fit on a daily basis. I reached out to LIM Innovations and was fit with the Infinite Socket at AAOP 2016.

The first thing I instantly noticed was the shock absorption from the dynamic struts was incredible. Whilst wearing my previous socket, I felt every bump in the road reverberating up my femur. Now it feels like I’m walking on a soft sponge. As I wore the Infinite Socket and became familiar with the functionality of it, I came to notice other benefits. One big difference was that the brim does not stick to skin like a proflex type flexible liner. The soft goods feel great around my groin and rather than trap the limb, capture it along the top. This leads to the Infinite Socket being cooler. I live in Florida, which has a humid climate that affects the way I maintain suction in the socket. While sitting out in sun, my residual limb does not feel like it’s baking in socket either, which is of huge benefit.

On a daily basis, I drive to work and noticed over a period of time that I had an increased range of motion in my hip flexors when I sit. This allows me to drive long distances without the need of removing my prosthesis and redonning upon my arrival. I can use the rowing machine at the gym and even bend down to pick up things I drop by accident. Convenient and comfortable has been unheard of since 1993…


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Naturally, I slow down at the end of the day, but not from painful sockets, but rather from being tired. My activity level has increased dramatically since being fit with the Infinite Socket, and when I arrive back home, I can use the adjustment feature by loosening the ratchet to free the grip around my residual limb. Whilst keeping the socket on, I can actually feel someone’s hand on my lap, the affection of a cat and it’s little paws stomping around in between my struts.

The socket did however, take some getting used to. At first I wanted to take full advantage of the adjustment, and attempted to over tighten the velcro tensioner because I thought the brim should be as tight as possible so as not to slide off.


Of course the tensioner broke, and I was left to make do with my old socket for one day until a new one was shipped. The turn-around times at LIM’s production facility is impressive and their flexibility to cover damages to the socket is unheard of these days.


On another occasion, my brim failed. The version which I was fit with originally had foam around the top of the brim. Once that had flattened out, I was able to feel the plastic interior digging into my groin. I provided feedback and images to the clinical team, and LIM sent out a brand new model with silicon rope along the top to counteract this issue. GOLDEN!

The adjustability of the Infinite Socket is always going to provide some durability kickbacks with parts as consistently seen on anything that moves. The important thing to remember is the quality of my life has dramatically improved as a result of my adjustable modular prosthetic socket.

A Clinician's perspective

Amalia Gruman Laird, Clinician of Winkley Orthotics & Prosthetics, MN has been working with LIM for a year. From ordering the Infinite Socket™ the first time, she fit Pam Selinski and provided feedback that helped us fine tune our product to better perform not only for the patient, but also for the Clinician.


After fitting three Infinite suction sockets to patients I feel that I have seen a significant amount of growth in the fabrication of the Infinite socket. To me, seeing the difference between fitting my very first socket, while experiencing the need to troubleshoot a great deal and fitting another one about a year later with ease speaks volumes for LIM itself. The socket itself has already been updated several times with increases to the durability of the brim, as well as improving the socket fabrication process which has made it easier for the prosthetist to fit to the patient.

The benefits of the Infinite socket are great. One of the biggest things that I believe helped my patients the most, is the ability to don and doff easily, and be able to tighten the proximal brim up to truly get the support needed for high function. This improved proximal support which would otherwise be compromised to allow for a patient to don and doff.

One of the other benefits although it seems quite overwhelming at first, is the ability to swap out parts without having to remake a socket if incorrect. The molding capability of the struts is very helpful if that type of modification needs to be done. Re-moulding a strut is somewhat worrisome as heating up the piece to allow you to move it, also removes any prior curves that once existed. I’ve also been able to decrease the amount of flexion by swapping out plates for one patient to allow her to progress in therapy and experiment with getting back into her Zumba movements.


Something that I would hope could possibly be changed in the future is the bulk/weight of the socket itself, though it is not necessarily heavier than a traditional socket.


For the more conservative female population the socket is a little bulky appearing, and the distal plate appears quite large in terms of aesthetics. I’ve also noticed there are a lot of places for things to rub together and make noise, which I’ve managed to subside by adding some neoprene in the said area. The only other issue that could possibly keep someone from wearing the Infinite Socket is if they cannot tolerate the addition of a roll-on liner, which some patients would really hesitate to try.

I do look forward to working with the Infinite socket in the coming years and hope that it continues to be a beneficial part of my practice and improve the lives of my patients.


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– Amalia Gruman Laird CP, CTP


Access Your Life

On August 13th 2015 I became an above knee amputee after years of surgeries to my left knee due to Type II CRPS/RSD. 12 days after the operation I had access to a training leg, and was up and walking even before my stitches were removed. I was soon fitted with my first socket, and at first things were going really well, but the more I wore the socket, the more pain I would endure. I also had major problems with my stump swelling and shrinking whilst wearing it due to lymphedema. It became a nightmare! It would take me 45 minutes to just get the socket on and then within minutes my leg would shrink so I’d take the socket off put socks on and then after putting the socket back on for ten minutes my stump would swell again.


My awesome Prosthetists, Helen Brigham and Steven Purcell at Specialised Ability Centre in Manchester, tried everything to make it comfortable but nothing worked. Eventually it got to the point where I was told that when my stump was swollen, to just not wear my leg. The longest I could wear my leg was no more than 3-4 hours once or twice a week, which was so frustrating as my physiotherapists said that my walking was spot on! I had worked so hard to get my fitness back and then to be told “don’t wear your leg” was a kick in the gut. My leg was in the corner of my room becoming an ornament gathering dust.

I decided on researching other socket options and in December last year I came across LIM Innovations whilst going through my twitter stream. I did some research on them via their website and was in awe! I thought I would send LIM a tweet asking them if this was available in the UK, and within ten minutes they responded. I went straight in to show all of my physio team and my prosthetist to see what they thought. Everyone at Specialised Ability Centre actively want to help patients to live fully independent lives, so they are always open in to looking at new technologies coming through.

In March, the LIM team came along and met my team. I was completely overwhelmed, excited, and shocked; like a kid at Christmas. The next day I had my cast taken which was then sent back to San Francisco, so that my Infinite Socket could be made. They came back over to the UK in April and spent the day fitting my socket as well as showing the prosthetists and technicians how to do all the adjustments. I was so surprised at how soft and light it feels to wear.


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Within the first week I was invited by Limb Power and British Cycling to go to The National Cycling Centre in Manchester to have a try at track para-cycling on the Velodrome. I haven’t been on a bike in over 20 years! Even then it was on a mountain bike not a racer. The wheels are 2cms in width, which left me nervous at first but I managed to do 12 laps! I will be going back again for sure, as I want to beat those 12 laps. It felt amazing to be able to take part in sports again!


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Then in week 2 I was able to tick off another goal. I wanted to be able to walk all the way round the supermarket I go to and do my shopping whilst holding a basket. I did it! I must admit that when I got back to my car I was so hot that my face was bright red, it was a full on workout but I did it! I had not been able to do that in well over 10 years.

In a couple of weeks, I will be going to the Limb Power Anniversary Games. They have an introduction to sports where you can go along and try out lots of different sports. I’m so excited to go along and just give everything a go.


There are plenty of other amputees out there that want to wear their leg but can’t because of socket problems. I also think that the Infinite Socket would be a perfect solution for new amputees to help getting them used to wearing a prosthesis, as the socket can accommodate and be adjusted to stump changes that happen within the first couple of years. This would mean goodbye to 5 -10 castings, test socket fittings and the time it takes to get for those appointments. I can’t recommend it highly enough.


Here is my rundown of the traditional socket Vs the Infinite Socket:

The old socket is hard, rigid, unforgiving, painful around the groin, doesn’t hold my femur steady and most importantly it will never accommodate my leg swelling throughout the day. I had padding added to stop my bone tapping on the sides of the socket, which hurts! It would cut off the feeling in my stump when standing for any length of time. I couldn’t sit comfortably at all. I would have to lean over to one side to sit as it would cut into me. I couldn’t drive whilst wearing it because it would cut off the feeling in my stump and it would jab into my hip and groin. My prosthetists tried everything to try and make it comfortable but nothing worked.

The Infinite Socket is soft, extremely sturdy, doesn’t cut off the feeling of my stump when I’m sat down, flexes when walking, which holds the femur in place for a more confident stride and the very best part…. Its fully adjustable! I can adjust it throughout the day, which means no more having to carry 1/3/5 ply socks and having to take my leg off and on to add or remove socks. I can sit down in comfort without having to lean to stop it cutting into me. I can drive long distances too. I now love my socket! I want to show my whole leg off now not just the bit below the socket.

Control Your Comfort

I’m a 46 year old medically retired veteran who loves fishing, family and playing guitar. I have three boys: 17, 18, and 21 with my partner who I’ve been married to almost 23 years.


The root cause of my amputation was Osteosarcoma followed by a nasty bone infection that eventually took my leg on January 23, 1992 when I was just 21. I was young and the advancements in prosthetic socket technology were not there yet, but was happy to get my first socket, a quad-style, around August ’92. Three months later I was playing basketball on my church team and that season was able to jump and grab the rim again; something I never thought possible again since my amputation. It was a dream come true.

A few years later, a new prosthetist came in and as an amputee said I should be in a narrow ML socket instead; well that screwed me up. I began to develop cysts on the tendon that runs to the leg through the groin and have had issues ever since that day. It was something I should not have let happen, but believed the prosthetist knew what was best for me.


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I soon moved on to another prosthetist who was supposed to be one of the best in the country. I asked him to fit me back into a quad-socket as I longed for that comfort and mobility I was used to. He refused due to the quad-socket being considered old tech as he only looks forward to up and coming technologies. After almost a year of not getting fit, I went without a leg for three more years. I couldn’t stand the sockets I was being fit into. They didn’t support my lifestyle or myself as a person.

I needed to become mobile again however, and started trying prostheses again as I longed for the freedom to move. I tested total contact sockets, then seal-in suction sockets, which I really like, and even tried elevated vacuum but didn’t really see a big benefit. Finally, my prosthetist fit me into a modified quad and I remained wearing that style to the day I tried the Infinite Socket.

Now the Infinite Socket felt good the first time you put it on. Sure, it is a little tough getting the alignment consistently right when donning it, but that comes with time. The good thing about the socket is that the struts are malleable, and my prosthetist was able to reheat the struts to fit the shape of my limb. During my assisted fitting with Anthony, one of LIM’s clinical training staff, both my prosthetist and I learned a lot about the benefits of the Infinite Socket.


However, the turning point was when I decided the alignment issues were too much bother and I insisted on going back to the quad socket. I was not aware of just how comfortable the Infinite Socket was until I put my old socket on to set up my backup leg. It was so hard and rigid! I couldn’t believe it! I put my Infinite Socket back on and it felt like a pair of worn in slippers.


I now enjoy spending time with my kids, fishing with friends and generally living life to the fullest, pain free. No one socket is right for everybody, the old style quad-socket fit me brilliantly for years, and now I have modern technology, that if it weren’t for my prosthetist looking to test new technologies, I would never have had the chance to try.

As a person who has lost a limb, you must work hard to reach your goals, and results are best when a group of professionals come together to provide the tools to succeed. A good working relationship with your prosthetist is very important so you can achieve the best possible outcomes for your prosthetic use. It is therefore in your hands, as it was in mine, to get the socket that’s right for you.

Doing it for the Kids

On November 7, 2013, I was scheduled for a Gastric Sleeve procedure for weight loss. I woke up November 23 with a huge dialysis machine next to my bed and a bunch of other medical devices connected to me. At this moment, I learned that my surgery was unsuccessful and I had just woken up from a 15-day induced coma. The doctor explains that my legs had been amputated due to complications with the procedure. During the surgery, a surgeon had punctured my aorta and I lost 4 liters of blood. My legs had died at this point and were amputated above the knee.


I went back to my hometown on Jan. 1, 2014, but reality started to sink in, and I knew nothing from now on was going to be easy.  After a few therapy sessions, I regained strength in my upper body and received my first set of traditional sockets around June. I could not even take a step without falling. However, I had to get my mobility back no matter what, even if it was on a wheelchair. I work 40+ hours a week and have two toddlers (Charlie 5 and Sofia 3) and I had to do this for them.  They deserved their Dad, to be taken out to the park, play games, and have a father to look up to as a role model.

A few months later, I was fortunate enough to get hand controls installed in my truck. My Kids and I went everywhere together; life started to feel normal again, but, I was still not walking. I started gaining weight, which was a huge deal because that was what got me here in the first place. I attended a few therapy sessions a month, but it was not enough for me to learn to walk again as my sockets would hurt so much. I started packing socks for comfort and I finally started walking with one hand on the rail. In early February 2015, I started to let go of the parallel bars and finally started walking unassisted, though I spent 90% of my day in the wheelchair.

I attended a Bilateral above the Knee Amputee Bootcamp and met other amputees who encouraged and taught me so much in regards to dealing with my amputation. I was so inspired that in July 2015 I hung my wheelchair to collect dust in the garage and haven’t touched it to this day. During all this time, my legs had reduced dramatically and I was wearing four to five socks in each socket. They were so large, that I was able to fit most of my arm on the sides of the sockets. I was casted for another two pairs of sockets later and I could not walk on them at all.

I kept seeing pictures and videos on Facebook of this company called LIM Innovations. So I began to research what this adjustable socket was all about. Since I fluctuate in volume so much from my leg, I was very interested in this technology, which I hoped would put the end to my use of socks.


In December 2015, I received my Infinite Sockets, and although it took a while for my sockets to fit properly, the tweaks and fittings that my Prosthetist was able to make with the clinical specialist from LIM present, it really proved a worthwhile experience.


They’ve been the most comfortable socket I’ve had; I am able to walk all day with no pain in my groin area nor in my stump area. My old socket pegged me into walking one particular way and it has nearly ruined my whole body in the process. The Infinite Socket, feels as if it is allowing me to reclaim a fair amount of meaningful space for control. Today, I put my sockets on at 7am and take them off at 11pm, Monday through Sunday. I am able to work like I used to and take care of my family. I love the confidence that I have with them; I am able to be a drummer playing live gigs again.

My Fiancé Tracy and I got engaged recently. She’s been by my side since I was on wheels, through watching me fall face first on the floor when trying my stubbies even to this day. We’ve been through thick and thin for sure. I know that there’s so many challenges ahead for us, but with each other’s support, we get through anything.  We are crazy in love and will be getting married in August in Laredo, Texas. I love life and I’m so happy that I get to share moments with my loved ones!  We only have this one life, and I’m grateful for this second chance. It’s made me stronger than I’ve ever been.


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Dan's Advocacy Mission

My name is Dan McMullan and I am an above-knee amputee. In 1984, when I was 21 years old, I lost my leg in a motorcycle accident that broke nearly every bone in the right side of my body. My parents passed away in 1970, and I was dealing with my medical issues largely on my own. As a young disabled person, with minimal parental support, it was particularly difficult to receive quality care.


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After 14 months recovering in a hospital, I reached a stable state and was transferred to a Hospital in California. The first night I was in the hospital, a disabled woman died in a bathtub accident due to malpractice. I left in fear and spent the next decade, homeless, with no medical care.

Whilst homeless, I spent nearly an entire week sleeping on the steps of the Social Security office, taking a number every morning, hoping they would call me. By the end of the week, a representative approached me, and I walked out with my first disability check in eight years. This inspired me to become an activist for people with disabilities. I was able to get off the streets and regain a normal lifestyle, because I actively pursued whatever prosthetic care I could get, and I want to make sure other people have the same opportunities.

I am now 52 years old, and have transitioned into Medi-Cal coverage in California. I have been wearing a prosthesis for 21 years, but there are still obstacles to overcome. As an advocate for people with disabilities and the homeless, I feel the need to improve care for the vulnerable Medicare population. All amputees, regardless of coverage, deserve to have the same life experiences available to them that I now have. Most amputees are not athletes or young active patients. The vast majority are Medicare eligible individuals that struggle with volume control, poor fit, and comfort. I firmly believe that the Infinite Socket should be a prosthetic socket solution that is available to them, and I would recommend empowering them to function with purpose in their communities.


Achieving prosthetic enablement is a process in itself. Each amputee’s needs and abilities change over time, especially in terms of limb fluctuation. Instead of living within device specifications, the Infinite Socket is a device that actually grows and evolves with you as your needs and abilities change. This allows me to work meaningfully towards day-to-day challenges such as walking without the fear of my leg falling off.


Yes, LIM’s process may be different, but their ideologies are all on the right tracks. By providing amputees with the comfort, control and adjustability amputees often crave for, they have provided an alternative that is available with Medicare/Medi-Cal. They want to work with prosthetists, they want to work with amputees, and want to make evolutions to a product that is both conceptually different and unique in it’s custom design with varying suspension styles and tensioning options for the brim.

Today I am married with three kids, and a Commissioner on the Human Welfare and Community Action Commission for the City of Berkeley. My organization, Disabled People Outside Project, helps people with disabilities live with dignity and independence. I am blessed to truly understand how people experience disability and homelessness, and hope to use my experience to improve access to care for people with disabilities and the homeless.

Lifting Weight and Limitations

We welcomed Enrique Alvarez to the Infinite Socket family back in August. Enrique had always lived an active lifestyle, varying from bodybuilding to motorcycle riding, and surfing. Enrique shares his story exclusively for the first time, and proves that with the right mindset you can overcome any challenge by literally lifting it out of your way.


In November 1995 I went out to see my friend’s band play at a local nightclub. That night changed my life forever. Had I known that it would alter the ways I did things like surfing, snowboarding, motorcycle riding, and even the little things we take for granted like running, biking and climbing, I would have gladly stayed at home. Next thing I know I was in an ambulance en route to the hospital, bleeding out and barely alive with a stab wound to the femoral artery and vein.

The doctors tried to treat it and save the limb but compartmental damage to the calf and tibialis muscles was too much. The lack of oxygen due to blood loss and necrosis of the tissue, which became infected resulted in amputation before it spread further throughout my blood stream. I hesitated and declined to get my leg removed, it was a surreal and scary experience; the thought of your life changing and the persistent battle in my mind of “why me? What did I really do to deserve this?” After a couple of days of fevers and pain I gave in and they amputated below the knee. Unfortunately, the infection had spread further than they previously had thought and they were forced to cut at the knee. I was finally released after 3 and a half weeks in the hospital. This is when the real challenges began, both emotionally and physically.


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Adjusting to life as an amputee was challenging: having to learn to be my new self again, learning to perfect and customize movements I often took for granted, and how to develop stability in a simple walk. I was fortunate enough to adapt quickly, becoming comfortable with these new process in my life as well as becoming comfortable in myself, I was determined to regain the strength to enjoy what I enjoyed so much as an abled bodied person. I pushed my physical, mental and emotional boundaries. Doing new things, meeting different people, constantly fighting to overcome my self doubts.

Frequent trips to the gym rapidly became a way I could easily take my mind off the tribulations of being an amputee, which has led to me competing in bodybuilding competitions, where I placed in the top five in all events. However, due to the discomfort and lack of suction in my previous sockets, I struggled to push myself to the maximum. My traditional socket could hold the strain of the weights I was lifting, but the restriction in movement and discomfort I felt when applying 300lbs. to my bodyweight was beyond belief on my distal end. I had to find an alternative and searched around.

That’s when I found LIM Innovations, a company from San Francisco, who designed and produced the Infinite Socket. I saw the modularity, adjustability, and the various suspension types this socket had to offer and requested more information. One month later from discovering the socket, I was wearing it. The added comfort and stability has made such a big difference to my training. From the top where my ischial bone connects with the socket down to the residual limb. I haven’t had tissue breakdown due to my activity levels, whether it be working out, doing cardio on any of the machines or even walking long distances. In comparison, the conventional socket would be hard and rigid and would require major adjustments or even a new socket if I was to partake in any of these activities. It was also highly uncomfortable or would tear my skin after long periods of use.


“The ratchet system is a Godsend, it has given me to opportunity to drop up to 10 lbs. so far without any major adjustments other that simply cranking on the ratchet to a comfortable and snug fit.”


My goal this year is to be number one and also win in any event or challenge handed to me. I am looking forward to returning back to competition form in the upcoming weeks with no worries thanks to the versatility of this socket. I want to prove to myself and inspire others that obstacles in your way can be pushed aside and applied mentally to every facet of your life to become successful. My life has slowly come full circle, gaining the acceptance, admiration and respect from my peers and getting treated as an equal with no questions asked along the way.


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To Infinite(y) & Beyond

The initial fitting of LIM Innovations’ patient adjustable socket, the Infinite Socket™ at Pace Rehabilitation has yielded a positive outcome for the UK’s 1st amputee adopter.


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Following a successful trial of the adjustable socket system, transfemoral amputee Rob Ball has become the first person in the United Kingdom to purchase the system.

Rob explained the challenges that he would experience with his existing socket, “For years I’ve used rigid carbon fibre sockets, which were a perfect fit for about 2 hours in the middle of the day, but couldn’t be adjusted for the changing volume of my residual limb throughout the day.” He added, “To manage this I would have to find somewhere to take off the leg and add ‘socks’.  However, this more realistically meant avoiding walking as much as I’d have liked.”

So when Rob had the chance to try a user-a  djustable socket system at Pace, he was very keen to see if it was a benefit for him.

Following a two week home trial, during which a small adjustment was required to the socket in clinic, Rob was able to feedback his experiences to the team.

Rob said, “I found that with the Infinite Socket it can be loosened to fit perfectly first thing in the morning.  Then, as my residual limb loses volume throughout the day, I can just tighten the ratchet strap a couple of clicks and it’s a perfect fit again.”

A delighted Rob added, “The Infinite Socket has given me a new sense of freedom.  I don’t think about volume changes any more.  I just click the ratchet and carry on walking!”

Jamie Gillespie, Rob’s prosthetist at Pace, commented, “We are very happy with the outcome achieved for Rob and are evaluating how effective this could be for others.”

More details about the system can be read here.

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Tammy's Journey to Inspire

Our monthly installation – Then and Now – features #LIMLegend Tammy Myers and her heartfelt journey post amputation, inspiring others along the way.   


Tammy


 

My life was pretty average before moving to Decatur, Texas. I was a stay at home Mom, grandmother of three, a little adventurous, and with a deep love for water and the outdoors. With my Son attending a new high school and me juggling unpacking with Christmas shopping, it was an extremely busy time for me. I was having some leg cramps that worsened rapidly until I could no longer ignore them. I couldn’t walk around in a store without looking for a bench or stopping to rub my leg & wondering if I would make it to the car.

Fortunately, I happened to have an appointment with my doctor that day in what became a pivotal moment in my life! A day I never forget! 12-14-07. I went in for a routine Doppler and never actually got out of hospitals and rehabs until the end of January. The Doppler showed a clot in my artery behind my knee. I remember leaving to get in car to go eat with my family and the Doctor calling me back into the ward or risk me losing my foot. I was thinking “Yeah right! Is he serious?”

I remember people being there intermittently after being admitted for my five procedures. The surgeon wanted to take my leg off at the hip but my family refused. They had me transferred to St. Paul where the surgery took place through the night Christmas Eve into the following festive day. They were able to save my leg above my knee. It was hard, I won’t lie. I had only gone in for a Doppler and cramping and here I was with one leg amputated above the knee.

I did not know any other amputee; I was in severe pain and didn’t know what to expect next. A new way of live was soon to begin, relearning to do things everyone take for granted. I was determined to be as independent as possible and quickly started physical therapy where Brett Braziel taught me how to think out of the box not only with my therapy but in life in general where only “I CAN!” was accepted.

I noticed there was a need in the amputee community that wasn’t being fulfilled, where I knew I could make a positive difference. Following this realization, in 2008 I founded a support group for the community and outlying areas called ‘Amputees In Motion’. I had finally found my passion and my purpose! What a blessing! I started working out, being a social butterfly, not taking no for an answer and learned I was stronger than I ever knew. After speaking to old and young people alike without judgment, I learned one can make a difference. To kick off the inspiring nature of AIM I went skydiving with my son to show that life doesn’t end after amputation; there’s always a way to do things and live your dreams.

Unfortunately, 2008 was a rough road filled with multiple health and leg issues, and elected to have a revision to have staff scraped from the bone and the limb cut shorter. After having a blood clot up my arm to my brain they finally diagnosed me with a rare disorder that I would have never know about had I not lost my leg.

Today I can say all these things make me a stronger and better rounded woman. I’m the Founder of Amputees In Motion, a registered peer visitor with the Amputee Coalition, proud LIM Ambassador as well as belonging to multiple Women’s groups to help inspire, motivate others. Since I’ve lost my leg I have gone skydiving, parasailing, inner tubing, zip-lining, and taken a cruise with the Amputee Coalition.  

Over the years I’ve had several traditional sockets. I’m so thankful I found LIM Innovations. My limb is constantly fluctuating due to the activities I take part in, but I no longer have to worry how my limb will fit in the socket. My socket just adjusts to the shape of my limb, no matter where I am, with the crank of the ratchet fastener around the brim. No more stomping in the morning when I wake up. I keep the socket on all day, walking with unparalleled comfort that allows me to participate in all my activities. In the future I would like to try and run a 5k!

My socket is very unique in the way it was developed, for I have custom leopard print strut covers as well as this dynamic design, that act as a way to start conversations and open doors to educating others. I hope to continue helping others achieving what they want to do, and try new things with my Infinite Socket including getting through the Texas heat!

I just want to tell the whole World about LIM and why it’s important for all of us to be able to choose comfort and technology. In order for amputees to live a life that’s productive, it’s vital that we get a say in what prosthesis want. Everyone should all be able to have dreams like walking our first 5k, be a member on a rowing team, (my secret dream haha) or just walking comfortably round a shop without pain, and with LIM’s Infinite Socket I feel like all this could one day be possible. 


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Clinical Trials at Pace Rehab UK

Our Clinical Specialist, Anthony Ung, has been overseas in Europe supporting our newest International Certified Provider, Pace Rehabilitation.  Pace is a reputable and well known prosthetic clinic in England and we are happy to have them on our team.  After three successful and time saving fittings, the patients were walking, riding bikes, and all smiles after the process.  


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If you were to ask an established above the knee amputee what they would ideally like from their prosthetic socket, it would be expected that they would reply with comments relating to the ability to adjust the fit in response to daily and short term changes to volume.

We typically hear descriptions of a well rehearsed and sometimes lengthy morning routines to apply the prosthesis, a period of good fit during the day and then a little more movement experienced later as the limb reduces in size.

For some, prosthetic socks are applied as the day goes on.  Others are less keen and continue regardless.  Then there’s other challenges such as changes to shape and size according to weather and seasons.  Summer months and hot weather often cause some increase in volume, colder months some reduction.  Christmas and holiday periods also tend to lead to tight fitting sockets soon after.  For many it’s a continual challenge to maintain the good fit of the socket.

Over the years, attempts have been made with varying success to provide a prosthetic socket with a degree of adjustability.  We’ve seen air inflated bladders used, assisted vacuum units attempting to minimize volume fluctuation and BOA type systems to wind in further tension to the socket.

Recently at Pace Rehabilitation, we have been working closely with the team at LIM, a company based in San Francisco to evaluate their Infinite socket design.  Commercially available since September 2014 and with almost 300 fittings carried out, this unique design of self adjustable socket has recently become available within the UK.

Following live on line training sessions with the US team, video conferences, casting and data capture sessions, three existing above the knee amputees who receive support from Pace Rehabilitation have been fitted under the guidance of one of the LIM prosthetists within our clinics.

We are in the process of fitting those using locking liner and Seal-In type designs of interface system.  Early initial response is very positive and encouraging with improvements being offered to the levels of comfort during standing, walking and sitting from this softer and more forgiving design.   Of course the ability for the user to adjust the fit of the socket during the day by the use of a ratchet strap or Velcro strapping is especially welcomed.


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Self adjustments to the to the socket, temporarily removing support under the ischium within the backside along with a softer brim at the top seems to allow for comfortable use on a bike where full support can be returned after the fitness session or ride.  The control of the prosthesis from the socket appears as good if not better in some cases during walking when compared to a more rigid and conventional design.

During this period of evaluation we will continue to learn the capabilities of LIM Infinite socket.  We can certainly see the potential from this design and expect that this will become a serious offering to those who we support in clinic.

Further designs are in development, including an option for below the knee amputations.  We will continue to provide information when it becomes available.

Pain Free Comfort Everyday

6:00AM every morning my alarm goes off and I wake up to one of the most beautiful views overlooking San Francisco, CA from my apartment in Tiburon. Another day, another chance to transform someone’s life and provide them opportunities to walk without in pain free. After I finish my morning ritual of the usual wakeup: breakfast, shave, shower, I slip into my suction Infinite Socket, adjust the ratchet to the necessary tension, and head over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Arriving at LIM Innovations HQ, I will spend the next 10-12 hours on my feet. I kick my morning off with coffee, a quick production meeting, and then we start the socket building machine, aka the production team! Building an Infinite Socket requires multiple stations, and multiple people working together. The fact of the matter is once we start the day, we are all on our feet and constantly moving. My socket keeps me pain free all day and most of all I am comfortable while on my feet and working.

Despite the long day, I take pride in the fact that LIM Innovations and I are establishing new standards for amputees to live by. I head home before unwinding with an evening walk of a mile or so accompanied by my girlfriend Nadia and our dogs. The rolling hills and incredible sunset provide me with a perfect backdrop to realize that no matter how long I’m on my Infinite Socket, I never stop to even think about it. I haven’t had a blister or skin breakdown in over a year of wearing this unique alternative to traditional prosthesis. That is quite an achievement in the grand scheme of things.

After cooking our family dinner, I wash the dishes and finish a few emails before heading to bed. I unleash the ratchet strap, release the air in my suction cup and give it a quick clean. I fall asleep relaxed knowing I can fulfill my daily activities just as anyone does, whilst exploring new paths that shape who I am today.


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Neo on a walk in San Francisco

During a recent photo shoot in New York I found myself in a Starbucks, where a completely coincidental meeting changed my life forever — by making it possible for me to walk comfortably again.

Dr. Andrew Pedtke, the CEO of a young and innovative startup in San Francisco approached my table; intrigued by my prosthesis and camera on the side, where he introduced himself and the vision behind his Company LIM Innovations®. Ever since my motorcycle accident in August 2003 I had always felt the need to hide my prosthesis after catching several judgmental looks cast in my direction. Something about Andy was unique, from the way he sat down and took a genuine interest in my life.

I was invited to travel with Andrew to meet with Infinite Socket™ wearers along the East Coast, where I was able to witness first-hand the new lease of life that the dynamic socket has given amputees. Through the eye of my lens I captured the vastly different lifestyle adopted by #LIMLegends who bear the adjustable socket that captures muscle volume fluctuation.

From meeting former Italian fighter pilot Claudio Cappabianca and inspirational student mother Irene Blum in New York, I travelled with Andy to Florida to meet Pam Selinski at ‘The Villages’ monthly meeting. Each individual I met had their own reason for craving the Infinite Socket™. Pam wanted the comfort to play basketball with her Grandchildren in the park, Claudio wanted support to walk in the wild for long periods of time and Irene needed the adjustability to cope with her frequently fluctuating limb. These stories were conveyed by everyday people who wanted to participate in everyday activities.


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It was then I realized the extent of the discomfort on my distal end of the limb, aggravated by walking days on end with little time out of the socket. One continuous theme mentioned by all the #LIMLegends I interviewed was that we had already gone through so much pain; why should we suffer more because of an uncomfortable socket? Right there and then I decided my next socket was going to be an Infinite Socket™. I travelled to San Francisco where the in-house clinician cast my residual limb and produced a finished product within 48 hours. From the moment I tried it on, everything changed! My confidence was boosted to new heights and I wanted to walk everywhere; the comfort and control I had over my gait was unparalleled. I felt like I could tackle any task and what better way to test this than by walking up the steep hill next to the iconic ‘painted ladies.’

The hill was steeper than anything in Paris, so this was a new challenge for me. I approached the slope with a new vigor and an eagerness I haven’t felt since before my accident. With two clicks of the ratchet the brim was tight around my limb, and I was off with the suction supporting my every stride. I have had many sockets over the years, but the dynamic structure of the Infinite Socket™ was able to provide me comfort beyond comparison.

To top it off, I don’t hesitate to show-off my prosthesis which, with the most unreal composite parts and bionic inspired elements combine to look great through my lens and feels comfortable, supportive and totally dynamic.


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IG: @neotonylee
Twitter: @neotonylee

You’ve got to fit a socket or two…

Here at LIM Innovations™ we deeply value feedback from our users. With such a diverse group, we invite you to join us for an in-depth look at their story. Hector Crawford discusses his struggle to find a socket that fits in order to participate in new daily activities which will improve his quality of life. Here’s his story:

When I was 24 years old, I was diagnosed with bone cancer. This aggressive strain required strenuous and lengthy treatment in order to save my life. We made the difficult decision to amputate my right leg above the knee to improve my chances of survival. I am happy to say that the treatment worked and I am here to this day.

Over the last 20 years, I have had multiple prosthetic legs. One thing has always been clear to me; no matter how advanced the foot or knee, it is the socket that will determine your ability to use prosthetic leg. Conventional sockets are rigid, non-adjustable, and uncomfortable to the point of sometimes breaking open the skin. As a result, it got to the point that I gave up on wearing a prosthetic leg eight years ago.

I heard about LIM Innovations’ Infinite Socket™ from a friend who is also an amputee. Their new approach to sockets addresses the issues I had with conventional solutions. It is flexible and adjustable which makes the whole leg much more functional. It has opened doors to new daily activities of living, which will improve my quality of life.

On top of great new technology, LIM provides a friendly knowledgeable service.  They took the time to understand my personal situation and develop a solution tailored to my needs. In all our interactions they have explained what was set to be accomplished during the visit (e.g. install a new component) and welcomed my feedback on how well the leg was meeting my needs. The staff at LIM is clearly driven to make prosthetic legs more accessible for all amputees, and their Infinite Socket opens new avenues to compete and transform the prosthetic culture as we know it.

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Advocate of Hope for Fellow Veterans

This week we remember the service of our veterans, who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free. We are grateful to those who gave their all to protect and defend our freedom at the expense of their own safety. The pride that our veterans showed when donning their uniform should be matched in the care we offer them following their service, and to honor them we thought it right to share some stories of their bravery and life after their service. Today we share military veteran and Infinite Socket user Paul Beyer’s story about how he aims to be an advocate of hope for fellow amputated veterans who choose to remain wheelchair bound.


I’m falling! There’s only one thing that I’m afraid of and that’s fear itself. I found myself afraid of falling because the prosthetic device I had didn’t work and I fell all the time. I’m a larger than life type of guy, Sniper Scout in Vietnam with a six second life expectancy, over 135 missions completed, you name it I’ve done it! The amputation really cut me down to size. Now I’m worried about falling? FALLING? The scenario desperately needed to change, so if there was something out there that could help my case, I’d embrace it and run with it.

One meeting with my prosthetist in Hawaii, and I was handed a Wired magazine. There, in the centerfold was the Infinite Socket™; I lusted after it. It looked so inviting, like somebody really cared in the production of it. I firmly believe ‘if meant to be it’s up to me,’ so I went after it and for the first time in a long while I got really excited about the prospect of having a product where my needs were put first and maybe, just maybe, I might not fall.

In Vietnam I did some pretty radical combat related things and came back home to see people judging me about what I did; it hurt. I tried to cover up the pain through my tough guy biker character until it became all too much and I couldn’t cope anymore. It wasn’t until I made a life changing decision that set me on the good road in life. It breaks my heart seeing other amputee war veterans going through the same ordeal but mentally quit. 70% of amputated veterans over the age of 60 melt into the material of their wheelchair because they follow the path of least resistance. They look at their options, rationalize them, get comfortable in their wheelchair and sustain that lonely helpless feeling.

Today, when I turn up at any VA hospital and my fellow veterans see the enthusiasm rushing through me now that I’m mobile and comfortable with myself, they begin to believe again. Sometimes people just need to be prompted and reminded that they are no different, that there is life after amputation. I want to talk to every veteran in a wheelchair out there… I want them to talk to me. A lot of people don’t have anybody anymore, and the fact that LIM Innovations has produced something that provides a hope to many immobile people goes a long way in providing a better option to life. It’s another chance.

There are people out there who are wasting away and need alternative options to start a better life. Imagine the feeling if you helped someone out and they came up to you and said “Thanks, you saved my life.” Now that’s what I’m after!

What I like about the socket is that with all the tissue and fluid fluctuation going all over the place, the ratchet actually captures it, encases it and you don’t have to worry about it. With the World Team Sport Challenge coming up Lim has given me something that I can crank on and tighten giving me all the confidence in the World to go out there and do it without my fear of falling. Time to get out of the wheelchair and back into life!

A Marine Regains Her Active Lifestyle

This week we remember the service of our veterans, who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free. We are grateful to those who gave their all to protect and defend our freedom at the expense of their own safety. The pride that our veterans showed when donning their uniform should be matched in the care we offer them following their service, and to honor them we thought it right to share some stories of their bravery and life after their service. Today we share military veteran and Infinite Socket user Cyndi Lee’s story about her search for appropriate prosthetics that would enable her to return to the active lifestyle she once had when serving her Country.


I was an active-duty Marine in 1989, when I first tore my left meniscus. After the initial reconstructive surgery, I was deployed again until 1993. Years later in civilian life, I had several scopes and three more reconstructive surgeries on my injury before I was diagnosed with Osteolysis and had to make the single hardest decision I’ve ever had to make about the direction of my life.

After my amputation in 2011, I found it hard to adapt to life with such little activity and got into adaptive sports, most notably the ‘Valor Games,’ winning two gold and two silver medals from my wheelchair, which I had pretty much resigned myself to being in. The issue was that for each “conventional” carbon fiber and plastic sockets made, I was never able to truly get comfortable due to problems with the distal end of my limb. I wasn’t able to wear them without intense searing pain and therefore spent many days of the past five years in the chair.

About 18 months ago I saw the Infinite socket in Wired Magazine, and I tell you now it was like love at first sight. I knew it was the answer to all my issues, without even having seeing it in person. From the ratchet to loosen and tighten the socket to the cup that encloses the limb… I was sure it would be a life changer for me. Would I finally be able to get back my active life prior to amputation?

The past sockets I was only able to wear a few hours at a time and ended up with breakage of the skin and soreness for many days. With the Infinite Socket, I found myself putting my liner and leg on straight away from getting out of bed. I actually wanted to start my day!

Now I look forward to getting more “bells and whistles” applied to the knee and hope to eventually learn to walk up stairs, as I already seemed to have mastered going down, but that’s not where my ambition lies. What I would love to see is other veterans testing this socket as well! I feel it would be a great asset in allowing them to regain the lifestyle they were once accustomed to prior to amputation, and help cut down on depression/frustration of learning to deal with the conventional socket and being an amputee.

From Serving Our Nation to Serving Our Veterans

This week we remember the service of our veterans, who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free. We are grateful to those who gave their all to protect and defend our freedom at the expense of their own safety. The pride that our veterans showed when donning their uniform should be matched in the care we offer them following their service, and to honor them we thought it right to share some stories of their bravery and life after their service. Today we share Lim Innovations employee Tristan Wyatt’s story; a past Veteran and amputee, who gave his all in battle and now works to provide the best prosthetic care to other Veterans with limb loss.


I have been a veteran and an amputee for over 12 years with the former identity quickly leading to the latter after a vicious summer in Fallujah in 2003. Over the past few years, the two identities for the most part, have been synonymous with each other as a part of my psyche. When I look at my artificial limb, I cannot help reminiscing on the long hot days in Iraq and the terrifying nights.

Similarly, my thoughts on Veterans Day always seem to include my amputation and artificial limb. Recently, I have noticed that the American psyche has connected these two identities as well in many forms. Around town, I cannot help but notice non-profit organizations’ posters and commercials calling to assist wounded service members often coupled with an amputee veteran.

Social media provides artists like photographer Michael Stokes countless ways to introduce the American mind to the idea of amputation, war and art in an intimate and inventive way. My recent favorite example is a less tasteful meme that was recently posted to my Facebook page by a fellow veteran. It reads, “I am not handicapped. It is my enemy that is handicapped, since my leg is now bulletproof,” printed over a picture of an American solider in a desert, in full combat load and sporting an artificial limb.

Naturally there are a lot of feelings that come up when I see the public making these connections. However, I must admit, I couldn’t help but feel a little pride to see the resilience, dynamism, inventiveness and humor (often at times in the face of horror), that makes our military great and lend itself to another kind of important mission.

This mission is one of awareness, unity and education of limb loss and artificial limb use. On this Veterans Day I raise my glass to our Veterans, especially those bringing awareness to amputation, and to those in the prosthetic industry that also embrace inventiveness, dynamism, resilience and humor. I was fortunate to have served in an organization that embraced those values then and I am fortunate to be a part of an organization that embraces those values now. Cheers, and happy Veterans Day!

When In Ghana

Here at LIM Innovations™ we deeply value feedback from our users. With such a diverse group, we invite you to join us for an in-depth look at their story. Melissa Tabke’s tale is epic, as she chose not to let her amputation get her down, and instead continues to work on developing Ghana’s agricultural scene. With the help of her amazing prosthetist and the comfort of the Infinite Socket, Melissa feels there is nothing she can’t do when in Ghana. Here’s her story:

 

When I lost my leg above the knee after graduating from high school, I knew I would be able to keep traveling and working abroad but it would be more difficult as I would have to depend on a prosthetic leg to live my daily life. Luckily, I found a prosthetist who is innovative and passionate about finding working solutions for his patients that allow them to live their lives as optimally as possible. I moved 1,000 miles away to attend the university of my dreams four weeks after being discharged from the hospital, and one week after learning how to walk again with an enormous amount of help from my family, friends, and most notably, my prosthetist. Being a college freshman and having to learn how to navigate a massive campus, new social environment, and 8am general chemistry class was a challenge in itself. Add residual limb change, learning how to walk up stairs, hills, and even on flat ground without tripping, battling blisters in places blisters should never be, learning how to ride my horse again, all while coming to terms with the fact that you’re an 18-year-old girl who has just had a quarter of your body removed, and it made life seemed a bit overwhelming sometimes. While my prosthetist found incredible solutions for most of my issues, I would still get off my horse some evenings with giant gashes in my thigh from my prosthetic and blood all over my jeans and saddle. How could something that was so natural for me now become so painfully difficult?

I rolled right in to my master’s program where I was at school for fourteen hours a day regularly, in the lab, on the farm working with my cattle, and in class. Additionally, I started doing CrossFit to keep my sanity, which means 5am workouts. Life was definitely starting to take a toll on my limb. I had blisters that wouldn’t heal for weeks and my socket was even more uncomfortable and unyielding than before. Taking time out of my life was not an option I considered; finding a solution was.

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After grad school I began working in Ghana, and for a year and a half I climbed mountains, walked 3-5 miles a day and travelled on public transportation on a daily basis. The developing world is not “handicapped” accessible. During my first year in Ghana while doing some browsing on the internet for new prosthetic stuff, an ad for the Infinite Socket popped up. I watched a few YouTube videos and sent an email asking about some more information and letting them know I when I would be back in the States. A day after I hit American soil, I got a call from Robert Geshlider at LIM giving me more information and chatting with me about how I could test it out. I called my prosthetist and he contacted the LIM guys. Three weeks and a couple of casts later, Jon Smith and a supporting prosthetist from Detroit were standing in my prosthetist’s office in Iowa with one of their sockets. I don’t think I’ve ever had a fitting quite like that before.

This is the most natural fitting socket I have ever worn. It feels like part of me and spending hours in it, whether at the office or in the field, is easy. The best part, I can adjust it myself when I need to throughout the day or when something needs to be replaced. The LIM team has been awesome to work with from the other side of the globe. It is an incredible alternative to conventional sockets and LIM is constantly working to improve their design. I am thrilled to be a part of that process. Trekking through jungles and savannah in 100 degree weather has never been more comfortable or functional before. I love my job. I love traveling. I love not having blisters and skin breakdown. This socket is a phenomenal improvement to my daily life and I am so thankful for the team at LIM and my prosthetist at home for making my life easier and more comfortable so I can spend more time focusing on my real life and less time figuring out the “mechanics” that allow me to continue it. Keep it up guys!

Ed Beatty is Swinging High

Here at LIM Innovations we pride ourselves on the feedback from users. With such a diverse group of users, we invite you to join our users for an in-depth look at their story and how our Infinite Socket has affected their lives. Ed Beatty’s tale looks at how his ambitious lifestyle has been re-instilled following a motorcycle accident thanks to the love and support of those around him. Ed Beatty is swinging high right now, and demonstrates great determination in the face of adversity.


Prior to my accident I lived life with confidence and welcomed any challenge mental or physical. I was confident, ambitious and eager to take whatever life threw my way head on.

At least that’s what I thought until December 21st 2011 when I was in a motorcycle accident, suddenly everything changed. I was left without two legs above the knee, open book pelvis fracture, rods in both femurs, possible organ damage, head trauma and in an induced coma for 27 days.

Mentally and physically I was broken and stripped of all my confidence and ambition to move forward. Without the love and support of family, friends and a son that I had to be there for I’m not sure I would have made it. So instead of giving up my choice was to live, my only concern was how much living I was going to be able to do.

I’d watched a lot of videos of other BAKA’s doing all kinds of activities and enjoying life which gave me hope, my only uncertainty was how much work and determination it was going to take to get there. So I started the long and slow road to recovery which in return had its ups and downs.
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I have a whole lot of bone ossification from my accident so getting a good comfortable fit was a challenge for my prosthesis but did a good job with a traditional socket. But at the end of the day if there’s a better solution for my situation that’s going to give me a better fit and allow me to be more active I’m going to look into it, that’s when I found LIM Innovations.

I read up and watched video’s on their socket design and honestly I was overwhelmed with excitement at the idea of having a socket that I might actually find comfort in. I reached out to them via email hoping to get a response seeing they were a new company and based on the other side of the US.  The CPO of the company Jon Smith contacted almost instantly and we spoke in detail about my accident and the level of activity I would like to get back to. Everything that I was told was what I wanted to hear so we set an appointment and I was on my way to San Francisco.

Upon arriving at LIM’s office I found that all the staff took the time to come up and introduce themselves and let me know what part of the process they would be involved in. They were all genuinely polite and gave me the over all feeling of compassion, empathy and excited to get my process started. The end result is that they had went above and beyond with getting me comfortable.

I am living and still learning to do new things with confidence and comfort that I thought would never be possible. So big thanks to LIM Innovations for making it possible!

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Irene Blum's Prosthetic Journey

 Here at LIM Innovations we pride ourselves on the feedback from users. With such a diverse group of users, we invite you to join one of our amputees  for an in-depth look at their story and how our Infinite Socket has affected their lives. Irene Blum’s prosthetic journey focuses on how she overcame her battle against cancer successfully to make huge strides in becoming the healthy and active amputee she is today. Irene’s story is truly inspiring.


Before I got sick, I was a busy young adult. I was a 20-year-old single mom and full-time college student. I’d run after my son at a playground in the afternoon and pull all-nighters to finish essays due the next morning. I was healthy, active, and able to keep up with my son and schoolwork. Toward the end of 2013 through early 2014, I started feeling fatigued and had very bad pain below my right knee. I couldn’t keep up anymore, I didn’t want to get out of bed. The pain would be so excruciating that it would wake me up in the middle of the night and I would have crying fits because nothing would relieve me from that. After many doctor appointments and tests, they had an explanation for everything I was going through. It was a lesion eating away at my tibia bone. In May 2014, I was diagnosed with a pediatric bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma.Irene Blum's Prosthetic Journey

My protocol involved a year of chemotherapy and limb-salvage surgery that involved removing half of my femur, my knee, and half of my tibia and replacing that with metal, plastic, and cadaver bone. I felt so lucky that surgical techniques have improved so much that amputation for bone cancer was no longer necessary and they’d be able to save my leg! Well, I was wrong. After surgery, my leg was completely numb and limp. I couldn’t move my foot or toes. I became extremely depressed because I thought I would never be able to function normally again because I had a dead leg that I couldn’t control and that always buckled beneath me.

A few weeks after my limb-salvage surgery, chemotherapy started again. The type of chemo I was on wiped out my immune system completely so any little infection I caught would be life-threatening. A few months after my initial surgery, I noticed my incision re-opened on my knee and it began leaking pus and the skin was necrotic. The doctors thought it was a superficial skin infection so I was treated for that. My leg was still leaking pus but I was told it would stop because of the antibiotics. I guess my body just couldn’t fight it though because almost a week after being released from the hospital for my skin infection, I started developing very intense pain deep in my knee. It was literally the worst pain of my entire life. Worse than labor, worse than child-birth, worse than an accident that resulted in 2nd and 3rd degree burns all over my torso and leg, and worse than the cancer eating away my bone.

I could not get out of bed, I was dripping in sweat, I could not move because any little movement would result in screams and cries. I was on heavy duty pain medications that weren’t working when a home visiting nurse came to my house to check on me. She looked mortified. My pants were wet from leakage from my leg, I had a 105F temperature, my heart rate was 180, and my blood pressure was 70/40. She called 911 and when the EMTs tried to move me, I screamed bloody murder because of the pain. They injected me with some more heavy duty pain medicine that did not help at all. They said they could have sedated a horse with the amount of pain medication I was on. THAT is how much pain I was in.

They rushed me to my local hospital where it was determined that I had gone into septic shock. I was then sent to the cancer hospital where I would be treated. I overheard the doctors tell the paramedics that they didn’t believe I could keep my leg.

In December 2014, my leg was amputated above the knee. And honestly, thanks to my prosthetist Leah Brickner and LIM Innovations, I have so much more quality of life now than when I had my limb-salvage surgery. Initially, I had a traditional socket which I absolutely hated. My stump size was always changing so I would have to compensate with socks or not being able to sit all the way in the socket. It was heavy, clunky, and awkward. Leah decided LIM Innovations’ Infinite Socket would be perfect for me and it was. It allows for fluctuation of the stump because of its open design. I can easily adjust my socket strap. As my body changes, I don’t need to compensate with socks because I can just make it a little tighter when I need to. I don’t need to wait around for new sockets to be fabricated because my prosthetist and I can make quick and easy changes to the socket I have.Irene Blum's Prosthetic Journey

Another personal advantage of the Infinite Socket is that because the struts are far apart, the heterotrophic ossification that formed on my femur sits in between my two front struts and it isn’t irritated at all. Also, I was born with club foot and have issues with my remaining ankle. I had a small procedure done on it and heavily relied on my “good leg,” or my prosthetic leg.

Since I have only been in remission from cancer for 4 months, I am still in the beginning stages of being a healthy and active amputee, but every single day I make huge strides. So far I have been able to walk again, walk up my flight of stairs to get into my apartment, drive, hit softballs in a batting cage, dance salsa, catch a bridal bouquet, play pranks on my friends, show off my “robot leg” to sick children in the hospital, walk around the mall with my girlfriends, and go on vacation. One day I want to run in a childhood cancer fundraising race. Because of how awesome my leg is, I am sure I will be able to. Most importantly though, I am chasing after my son at playgrounds in the afternoon and am pulling all-nighters to finish essays due the next morning again. Leah Brickner and LIM Innovations helped me take my life back.