'Ups en Downs'

After I had a moped accident at the age of 15 and lost my left leg as a result of a medical error, I walked with a socket prosthesis for more than 50 years.

Initially it went well for many years. I didn't know any better either. in the summers with warm weather that was not so nice, the tube then became very moist due to perspiration. I also went through 2 pregnancies and the fluctuating weight was not so pleasant either.

After the years started to take their toll, putting on the prosthesis was very difficult, taking 1 to 1.5 hours. Furthermore, walking became increasingly difficult and I soon made use of a wheelchair. There were no prospects for another form of prosthesis at the time (I had a stump with a lot of soft tissue).

I read an article about osseointegration in the magazine Kort & Krachtig. After a night's sleep about this, in other words, not sleeping and worrying a lot, and after I had discussed this with my husband and had him read the article, we immediately presented it to my rehabilitation doctor. Unfortunately, there was not much publicity there yet. This was in 2014.

I did go on to Radboudumc, where Dr. v.d. Meent and Dr J.P. Frolke are employed. After a long wait of a year, I was allowed to come on a nice day in which the entire team was present about this operation. Doctors, physiotherapists, prosthetist and Dicky de Best (who had this form of prosthesis for some time). She could empathize well with the patient. After explanation, taking pictures and a personal meeting, I was approved for this operation.

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

Rehabilitation began a few days later. I hadn't used my leg muscles for over 50 years, so this became a challenge! A very nice physio team helped me with this! With some ups and downs, it took me more than half a year to learn to walk properly. In the meantime I practiced at home from mid-March to July and if in doubt I can always call the treatment team. the treatment team taught me to run loose, to walk on uneven terrain, and to walk up and down hill. I was also able to ask Dicky de Best many questions via the app. She gave me very valuable advice.

How the world has opened up for me again! I keep walking on "my own" legs. After March 15, 2018 I have not used the wheelchair anymore.

If only this had come my way years ago.

Engeline Vernooy