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Dr Mordrid
7th November 2012, 20:19
From a conversation I had elsewhere -



My right ankle hurts 24/7, and makes a really loud *crack!* every step I take up a staircase. I'm envious of your new appendage! :)


Dunno - it's a rough tradeoff. Think long & hard before considering such a thing...

After this exchange I started attending an amputee support group in the rehab center and encountered 3 people who had elective amputations. They took that option in order to alleviate chronic pain, loss of motion and instability issues related to old injuries or disease processes.

All 3 reported an improved quality of life post-op. One was only 24 y/o and had his right lower leg & ankle shattered in a motorcycle accident.

After talking to the physical therapists and my surgeon this is a far more common procedure than I had thought. So, the next logical question is - under what conditions would you?

KRSESQ
7th November 2012, 22:46
Wow. That's a toughy. My brother-in-law Wally bounced his motorcycle off an El Camino years ago and totally smashed up his right leg from knee to ankle. (He also broke his right humerus one inch below the shoulder.) It was fortunate he was a patient at the hospital where he worked and many of the doctors were long-time family friends. Between the multiple muscle, bone, and skin grafts, they went way above and beyond the call to get him sewed back together. They later admitted if it had been anyone else they would have amputated. Today the only lingering effect is that he knows days before anyone else when the weather is changing.

He wore steel rods protruding from his leg for almost two years before he was fully healed. Today he thanks his lucky stars he still has his leg, despite the prolonged recuperation he went through.

For myself, I think the issue would have to be genuinely life-threatening for me to consider it, unless someone could convince me QOL would be SIGNIFICANTLY improved afterward. (Although some of the new prosthetic hands coming on-line are REALLY REALLY COOL.)

Umfriend
7th November 2012, 23:05
I can't imagine but I think I know that if I had constant or very frequent reccuring pain (the latter prolly even being worse) I would consider.

To date, I have been so blessed I've not had to think about these kind of things or experienced them in my neighbourhood.

Brian Ellis
7th November 2012, 23:29
Guess it's no use for my chronic pain, which is due to two compressive fractures of vertebrae and a partial dislocation between two others, result of osteoporosis induced by massive doses of corticosteroids to counter two immunodeficient diseases. Am now (since last Friday, after a year of gradually reduced doses) weaned off the steroids but still take methotrexate, which ain't much better. In the process of weaning off that as well, now taking 57% of the original weekly dose. Difficult to amputate the spine!

VJ
8th November 2012, 00:29
I've suffered a lot of chronic back pain, due to two grown-in discs (the things between the vertebrae - don't know their English names - are "fused" with the vertebrae) and rheumatic arthritis, so I can really imagine people making such decisions.

My biggest worry would be: how can you be sure that the pain will stop? Often, people still feel pain in amputated limbs... And if you would have some part amputated, only to find out that the pain does not stop... :ermm:

Brian Ellis
8th November 2012, 02:40
I've suffered a lot of chronic back pain, due to two grown-in discs (the things between the vertebrae - don't know their English names - are "fused" with the vertebrae) and rheumatic arthritis, so I can really imagine people making such decisions.


The popular term is a slipped disc, the correct term is an intervertebral hernia. Painful! Also osteoarthritis in the neck. Man was never intended to be bipedal!

Fat Tone
8th November 2012, 02:41
I saw reports once of people with useless limbs, hands I think, electing to have them removed so they could have highly advanced replacements fitted. It was a great success for them.

If only I could have my belly amputated ;)

VJ
8th November 2012, 02:49
Actually no... on the X-rays, it shows that the disc has "sunk" into the vertebra below it, and this on two consecutive vertebrae. This limits the movement of the vertebra on that location (those two are almost completely locked together) and causes pain. An inflammation on that location causes pressure on the spinal cord which results in tingling sensations in both legs (an emergency visit just before Christmas a few years go to an MRI scanner learned that). But for now we seem to have everything very well under control, and I'm even managing without medication, after over 17 years of suffering. :)

KRSESQ
8th November 2012, 09:13
If only I could have my belly amputated ;)

You can (in a manner of speaking). :D

Brian Ellis
8th November 2012, 09:46
I saw reports once of people with useless limbs, hands I think, electing to have them removed so they could have highly advanced replacements fitted. It was a great success for them.

If only I could have my belly amputated ;)

No good! You would have to change your moniker to Slim Tone :)

Fat Tone
8th November 2012, 13:46
A price worth paying!

I am working on it with the 5/2 fasting, still a long way to go though.