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.
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.