With over 40 years of experience in the industry Roger Wolfson and Associates has the necessary expertisee to get you comfortable using your new prosthesis. The most important thing about having an elective amputation is for the patient and the surgeon to consult with the prosthetist upfront. The prosthetist is the one who is in the critical position of being able to advise the surgeon on how best to perform the amputation to ensure that the residual limb is suitable to receive the new prosthetic.
It was just over a year ago that 37 year-old Allan Merton, a Mold Shop Foreman from Brits who works for Bridgestone South Africa, elected to have a below knee amputation to his left leg due to repeated infections and pain following a severe leg break.
A difficult life-changing decision in the face of dealing with pain and infection
As this story unfolds, one will discover that it is not difficult to see that Allan’s positive outlook on life and high levels of energy are an inspiration to anyone, since this brave young man and father of two young boys, took it upon himself to make an extremely difficult life-changing decision in the face of dealing with pain and infection. His optimism and steely determination not to let the trials and tribulations of life get him down are almost palpable.
“I had a funeral for my lost leg”
Allan explains: “After I fell and broke my leg, I kept on getting infections. No matter what I did the infections wouldn’t heal. I wasn’t prepared to sit around for months or even years on end living with the consequences of repeated infections. After about 5 months of working with Dr Richard Kyte, the orthopedic surgeon who did my procedure; and having tried every possible avenue in an attempt to save my leg; looking at the long term prognosis of my condition going forward, once I had weighed up my options, I elected to have an amputation. This was the only way I could guarantee that there would be no more infections and no more pain.
Taking a major decision such as this is not an easy task. So, the way that I dealt with it was to literally have a funeral for my lost leg which definitely helped me to come to terms with the situation from an emotional and psychological point of view. Once I had been through this “funeral ritual” I felt a lot better in knowing that I had made the right decision that would finally put an end to the pain and infections.”
Allan’s condition is such that due to circulatatory disease resulting from injury, infection had set in which is caused by a deterioration of bloodflow to the infected limb.
The importance of consulting with the prosthetist upfront prior to having an elective amputation
Allan’s amputation was performed by Dr Richard Kyte, orthopaedic surgeon, in consultation with Roger Wolfson, orthotics and prosthetics specialist.
The most important thing about having an elective amputation is for the patient and the surgeon to consult with the prosthetist upfront. The prosthetist is the one who is in the critical position of being able to advise the surgeon on how best to perform the amputation to ensure that the residual limb is suitable to receive the new prosthetic.
Immediate Post-Operative Prosthesis (IPOP)
Allan’s amputation was performed using the technique known as Immediate Post Operative Prosthesis (IPOP). The IPOP technique involves the application of a rigid plaster cast with a temporary peg leg to the residual limb immediately post op. The advantage of using this technique mainly involves time in that with an IPOP the patient can walk with the temporary prosthesis in as little as 5 days post-surgery and can literally up and running with a final prosthesis in a matter of only a few weeks post op.
Allan’s case is testament to the effectiveness of the IPOP technique. His surgery was performed on 21 November 2018, just over a year ago; and although he was still using crutches, within only a few weeks Allan was up and running and ready to return to work on 7 January 2019.
A year has gone past since Allan’s procedure and Roger Wolfson has not only seen to it that Allan is Walking Comfortably with his new prosthetic leg, but, the leg is walking so well that Allan is now running through the corridors of Roger Wolfson’s rooms.