"Ups and downs"

After I got a moped accident at the age of 15 and I lost my left leg after a medical mistake, I walked with a socket prosthesis for more than 50 years.

initially that went very well for many years. I did not know better either. In the summers with warm weather it was not so nice, the socket became very humid by perspiring. I have also experienced 2 pregnancies and the fluctuating weight was not so pleasant.

After the years it started to take its toll, putting on the prosthesis was very difficult, it took 1 to 1.5 hours. Furthermore, walking was more and more difficult and I quickly used a wheelchair. At that time there were no prospects for another form of prosthesis (I had a blunt with a lot of soft tissue).

I read an article about osseointegration in the magazine Kort & Krachtig. After having slept on this for a night or slept and pondered a lot, after I had discussed this with my husband and had him read the article, we immediately submitted it to my rehabilitation doctor. Unfortunately, there was not much known there yet. This was in 2014.

I did go on to the Radboudumc where Dr. v.d. Meent and dr. J.P. Frölke working. After a long wait of a year I was allowed to come on a nice day in which the whole team was present about this operation. Doctors, physiotherapists, prosthetist and Dicky de Best (who had this kind of prosthesis for some time). She could move well in the patient. After explanation, taking pictures and a personal conversation I was found to be good candidate for osseointegration surgery.

It was again a waiting list of 1 year, which has become 3 years due to various circumstances. I always became Dr. J.P.Frölke informed by telephone. Finally I got my first surgery on December 8, 2017, which went well and I was allowed to go home after 3 days to heal. The second surgery was on 29 January 2018 when the implant was brought out. This became a day admission for me.

The rehabilitation started a few days later. I had not used my leg muscles for more than 50 years, so this was a challenge! A very nice physio team helped me with this! With some ups and downs I have done over half a year to learn to walk well. In the meantime I practiced at home from mid-March to July and in case of doubt I can always call the Dutch osseointegration  team. The osseointegration team has taught me to run free, walk on uneven terrain and walk up and down hill. Also via the Dutch osseointegration facebook group I have been able to ask a lot of questions to Dicky de Best. She gave me very valuable advice.

What has the world opened up for me! I continue to walk on "own" legs. After 15 March 2018 I did not use the wheelchair anymore.

I wished this had come earlier on my way years ago.

Engeline Vernooy