Jill, from Pennsylvania, recounts how she persevered through years of surgeries and rehabilitation to finally regain her active lifestyle with the Infinite Socket TF.
“I’m an energetic person. I’m out and about every day doing as much activity as possible. I love to get myself into anything active, whether it’s outdoor activities or competitive sports–I’ve always been that way. Then, in 2009, I received a stress fracture to my left foot. The exact moment it happened is unclear, though we suspect it may have happened when I tripped in a parking lot one evening. Surgery was needed to fix it, and the doctor did a full fusion on my foot. The fusion and all the hardware in my foot ultimately came apart, though I didn’t realize it at the time. A few years later I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went to have a doctor look at it. In 2013, they tried to reconstruct it. The reconstruction did not go well, and infection set in. All the hardware in my foot was removed to allow it to heal, but a year later the pain was worse, and my foot was deformed. By the end of 2016, I’d had twelve surgeries to try to save the foot to no avail. In December of 2016, I became a below knee amputee.
I got myself a prosthesis and was walking. However, I was still having trouble and couldn’t figure out why I was in so much pain. It turns out there was osteomyelitis in my tibia, and in 2017 I opted for a shorter amputation. A year from then, the pain in my knee from osteomyelitis was still persistent. In April of 2018, I became an above the knee amputee and encountered a whole new set of challenges.
Below-the-knee sockets had been simple for me. I had a traditional transtibial socket, and within three months I was out jumping rope and other activities of that nature. However, when I got my traditional above-the-knee socket, it was the most uncomfortable thing I had experienced in my entire life. When I first put it on, my reaction was ‘you have got to be kidding me.’ It was limited, heavy and restrictive. The brim was incredibly awkward in the crotch area and so bulky. It made me feel really bad. I tried my best but felt that I could only be as good as the socket I had to work with, and the conventional did not work for me. For many months it sat against my wall, and I was non-weight-bearing for an entire year. The rashes and the rubbing made the socket unwearable, and for months I’d go in once a week for adjustments and band-aid solutions to try and make it bearable. If I do something I really full-on go for it, and I really tried to make it work. Even so, it just wasn’t usable, and I became really depressed.
I decided I absolutely had to get walking to stop feeling bad for myself. A support group I joined on Facebook connected me with LIM, and in April of 2019, I received my Infinite Socket TF. This thing is absolutely amazing, and I only wish I’d found it sooner. There are so many positive things about the design that make such a difference. It doesn’t dig into my thigh and groin area because of the low trim, and it’s lightweight as opposed to thick and heavy. The steps I’m taking aren’t restricted as they were in the conventional socket. The word “breathable” comes to mind; I don’t feel as if my limb is encased in something hard and unnatural. Sitting is also much easier as I can loosen and tighten my socket with the ratchet strap at the top, which is also great for volume fluctuation. The difference between the Infinite Socket and my old traditional socket is night and day. I’ve done more in the past few weeks than I’ve done in the past year. It made me feel good about myself again.”