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I just want to thank you for bringing Zach Harvey, CPO to Denver. I have been an active below knee amputee for over 30 years and my experience with Zach has been superior to any of the experiences I had with the many prosthetists I have dealt with over the years (even the Southern California Los Angeles and San Diego area ones). My socket fits like a glove and feels like a slipper! Day one with the new prosthesis, I went straight from Zach’s office to the gym for a High Intensity Interval Training class which is coed and full of some serious fitness geeks. I had been to the class the week before and this is the kind of class you tend to watch the clock in hoping class is ending soon. With my new prosthesis, when class ended I felt like the energizer bunny and was ready for more. After class, I was walking up the stairs and one of the men in the class was about 5 steps behind me. When I got to the top of the stairs, he stopped me and said “Oh My God, I saw you in class and I did not realize until your foot was at my eye level that you are an amputee.” I have been receiving all sorts of comments from people and more comments in the last 30 days with the new prosthesis than I ever received in the last 30 years. In addition to the HIIT class, I have been spinning, snow skiing, doing yoga, pilates, low impact aerobics and even working out in a small group personal fitness class with an ex-professional MMA fighter. I can’t wait to check it out on the tennis court when we have a warm enough day and no snow on the courts. Every day I am discovering more and more happiness with the use of my new leg. I can walk up and down stairs without holding the handrail for the first time in 30 years. There are so many improvements in my daily living that I can’t even list them all. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Your story is similar to mine I was an all-American wide reciever from 1987-1990 at the University of Washington before being drafted 1st overall by the Houston Oilers. after 4 years R leg issues forced me from the game.
I returned to seattle to finish my bio chemistry degree to become an anasthesia hospital specialist from WA. to CO. My career ended with a BKA from MRSA. I do public speaking and started a website to monitor Prostheic manufacturers and their service. Buloe is the only manufactuer not to recieve a negative response! Congratulations I would much appreciate the oppurtunity to speak with you at your convience. Either by e-mail or phone 719-209-7326. My purpose is only to better prosthetic manufacturers and amputees quality of life.
Hey, I found your story while looking for more information on a knee I will be fortunate enough to receive in the coming weeks. I will be fitted with the Genium knee and am very excited about it. My problem is, I have my doubts about my socket fitting properly.
I have only been a through knee amp for a year now, but have adapted extremely well, and quickly.
I understand how things work and can pick up on the technical aspect quite quickly.
This being said, (and it sounds terrible even in my head) I have my doubts on my prostatist.
He is very “old school” and is reluctant with the new technology.
My socket is comfortable enough, but i dont know any different, and I feel like there could be improvements. I have an alpha liner that is supposed to accommodate the mass on the distal end of my femur, but it seems like it could be better.
I have a flex socket that is made of a resin but it seems like it needs more adjustments. His answer is just dawn a sock liner to fill the space.
He uses the old casting method. But Im sure there are better ways to have a CUSTOM fit.
I just want to have the best socket I can to accompany this amazing knee I am about to receive.
An you tell me how YOU make a socket?
P.S. I lost my leg in a motorcycle crash. I was struck by a van who ran a light.
I too have overcome some obsticals early in life, as I was born with a backwards heart and had transposition of the great arteries at an early age.
This year after my crash, I was told I’d need a transplant, but got an update that my heart has actually recovered from the surgerys and I will only need a defibulator.
Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for sharing your personal story. Congratulations on overcoming the challenges that have come your way. Am I being TOO positive to say that once we make it through these hard times, we grow in so many ways?
I bet you are excited about being fitted with the Genium. That’s some pretty cool technology. I have had the opportunity to work with it some. You are right in your thinking that the socket fit is a hugely important part of the process. I have a bit of a hard time knowing what to say; perhaps having some frank discussions with your prosthetist before getting started would be your best move.
As for our techniques, funny you should ask because our 5 Certified Prosthetists (3 in Tennessee, 1 from South Carolina/Georgia and 1 from Texas, all gathered in Nashville today and spent 10 straight hours working on and talking about nothing but above-knee socket style and fitting techniques. We are continuing tomorrow. Obviously we are very committed to being the best we can be! I must say though that there definitely is no magic answer. Probably the two most important things I would look for in a prosthetist would not only be experience but also his/her willingness to buckle in and go hard until it was as good as can be. With there being no exact answer, hard work and making the effort to keep up with the best techniques is probably the way for us to get our best results.
Good luck! Matt
Matthew A. Bulow, CP
Bulow BioTech Prosthetics
100 Kenner Ave
Nashville, TN 37205
My father lost his leg above the knee and suffered a traumatic head injury last year due to an explosion. I wanted to know, if my father is given a Genium knee or Power Knee will he most likely be forced back to work.
What will be the logic behind forcing a 64 year old man to operate heavy machinery again, while learning to ambulate with a computer knee.
I just wanted to know if you have had much experience in workers compensation patience having these types responses to workers receiving these knees being forced back to work.
Thanks for having the confidence in us to get our opinion during this important time for your family. In my experience, I have NOT seen cases where a company has pressured/forced a person to return to work after the Worker’s Comp insurance has provided the person with an appropriate prosthesis. I really look at it more from the amputee’s perspective, and that is, getting the best prosthetic result possible to put him in POSITION to do what he chooses to and is able to do with the rest of his life. Although we have fit both the Genium knee and the Power Knee, we have also had great results with both the Rheo Knee and the C-Leg and have had a better percentage of success getting approval for these units. Part of this is because even Medicare covers these two knees so there isn’t much basis for a Worker’s Comp carrier not to cover them after an employee has been injured on the job. To make the best determination of which knee unit would be best for your father, I would need to see him in the clinic and get a complete feel for the case.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. In the meantime, feel free to check out our website (www.bulowbiotech.com) and our Facebook page to get more information on above-knee prosthetics.
You are certified for the new iWalk system. Does this system contribute any energy during bicycling? Or just walking and running? Would this help someone to pedal when standing out of the saddle? I live in North Carolina, and you’re currently the nearest facility certified with this interesting new system. Thanks!
You will not get powered plantar-flexion of the ankle during biking, but you do get the ankle articulation making is easier to peddle instead of being constantly in a fixed position. Thanks for your interest and please keep in touch if we can help you in any way. Matt
We are starting a new weekly feature called Ask a Prosthetist where a member of the Bulow team will provide an answer to commonly asked questions about prosthetics. If you have a question that you would like to see answered, please submit on the Chat with Matt page and check back on Wednesdays for the latest post!
What is a gel liner? How do I use one?
A prosthetic gel liner looks like a gel covered sock that you roll onto your residual limb. It may be made completely of gel, but most of the time it has a fabric covered outside. It is used as an interface to pad your limb and make the prosthesis more comfortable. Many times it also has a pin attached to the end, or a rubber seal around the perimeter which holds the prosthesis onto your limb. A gel liner can be made of silicone, thermoplastic elastomer, or urethane. Each type of material has its own positive properties. Silicone and thermoplastic elastomer liners are the most widely used and work well with suction or pinlock suspension. These liners are usually placed directly against the skin without the use of any lotion. Urethane liners are a good choice for suction or vacuum sockets, as they have greater flow characteristics. The urethane liner is used with lotion and is the typical choice when a custom made liner is needed. Your practitioner will measure your limb and order the appropriately sized liner. If your limb is very conical or irregular, it may be necessary to use a custom made liner. In that case the practitioner will take a cast of your limb and send it off to be made.
Each day, you should put on a clean, dry gel liner. I recommend having two and alternating them each day to increase their life span. To clean the liner, turn it inside out and wash the gel side every day with warm water and mild soap. Rinse it thoroughly, turn it right side out, and hang or lay flat to dry. Once a week, wipe the gel side of the liner with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth. You can expect a pair of gel liners to last around 6-12 months. For very active patients they may need to be replaced sooner.
Bobby Latham, CP BOCO
Hi all–Just wanted to update you on one of our recent clients, Shirley Cunningham, a 54 year old woman who had lost her right leg below the knee due to amputation earlier this year. She arrived at Bulow BioTech Prosthetics’ Columbia, South Carolina clinic in a wheelchair, unable to afford a prosthetic limb and believed her insurance would not cover the costs. Our staff realized she did qualify for insurance and was able to walk her through the process to get it. In a matter of weeks, Shirley had a prosthetic leg and the mobility to help her return to her job and her life. She has been a CNA for the past 30 years and looks forward to returning to her job soon. Click here for more on Shirley’s story: http://www.bulowbiotech.com/news/
Hello I am trying to find someone who makes the prosthetics like the U3 except for the legs. my mother has been in the hospital since mothers day.She had to have her legs amputated. Her left leg is amputated above the knee and her right leg is amputated close to the hip. My mothers biggest fear in life has finally happened and now I am trying to do everything in my power to find a hope for her to have a chance to walk again. Is what i’m asking for a possibility or am I wishing on a dream for my mother that will never happen? thank you….misty
Hello Misty. First off, I’m sorry that your mother has had to undergo the bilateral amputations. Perhaps she could get a lift from reading some of the “Patient Stories”. In particular, I’d read the one on Mr. Donald Monk, who is a 70-year-old bilateral above-knee amputee. Also, you can see a video of him testing some new prostheses on our Facebook page….It is very challenging to ambulate with bilateral above-knee (AK) prostheses but obviously it can be done with good fittings and a lot of hard work. As for prosthetic componentry, check out the RHEO KNEE by Ossur and the C-Leg by Otto Bock. These two prosthetic knees are the microprocessor knees (MPK) that we most frequently use. Good luck and let us know if we can help you. Matt
nice updates to the website!
I’m glad that you have found hope and inspiration through some of our patient stories. I am the practitioner for the Columbia office, and would be happy to come by and talk with you and your husband in the hospital, or have you come by and tour our Columbia clinic if he is already discharged. He will be surprised at what he can do with a properly fitting prosthesis. I understand that he would like to return to fishing, biking, horseback riding, and playing with his grandkids, which are all very feasible goals for someone with a prosthesis. Please call me, and we can schedule a time to meet that suits your needs.
Bobby Latham CP, BOCO
I’ve started researching prosthetics because the man I love just lost two toes and ball joint of the left foot and will possibly loose more – soon. He has always lead a very active lifestyle – fishing, HD motorcycle clubs, horseback riding are his life loves along with his chaps and grand kids. At this point he thinks he will have to give up everyhting he loves and just be a cripple. I know better and know he will pull out of the initial shock, I’m just looking for ways to find support and options for us. I’ve bookmarked your website as a favorite and appreciate the informatin and shared stories. He goes back to Palmetto Baptist Hospital in Columbia, SC this evening for possibly more surgery on the amputated area. There is a problem with the re-growth the surgeon was waiting on before skin grafting. Reading the informatin on your site is inspiring and helpful. I understand you just opened operations in Columbia – if possible, please send me the contact information. I’m sure we’ll need it.
Thanks again and God bless. Marguerite
Donna, what area are you in? Let me know and I’ll do my best to get you in touch with a support group. Also, if you are in either the Cookeville, Clarksville, or Nashville, TN or Columbia, SC areas, we are always willing to pair you up with amputees similar to you. Check out some of our Patient Stories on the website. Keep in touch with us and let us know how we can help you. Matt
BKR on June 15, 2010 from septic shock after ruptured ulcer. Can walk on prosthetices now but hurts. Dose not fit well as I lost 60 pounds after original cast was made and have not managed to gain but 13 of it back. I continue to fight every day to get back to where I was last June and intend to be there by this June. Thank you for listening. If there are support groups in our area I am interested. Bye.
I went to Northwestern University and thought it was a fantastic program. I would recommend contacting them to at least see what the current requirements are for certification. As for shadowing, please call our office and we can discuss this.
Thanks for contacting us,
I hope you remember me. You came to see me at the Nashville Babtist hosital and made my first posthetic in 2004(results from a motor cycle accident). It is great to see you are doing so well.
The reason I am writing is to get some information on the classes needed to get into a prosthetic career. You may know someone that would let me shadow and ask questions one day at work. If you could help me in any way I would appreciate it. Nice to chat with you and hope to see you soon.
We are really excited to have Bobby join our team. We have been looking to expand for 2 years but we’re admittedly very picky and committed to maintaining our very high standards. Needless to say, Bobby is a great addition! He has a great new facility in Columbia and is excited to be there. I will be there with him from March 4-8 and will be running the half marathon with him on that Saturday. Good luck and hope to meet you one day! Matt
Congratulations on getting Bobby Latham! He was one of the best in Greenville SC. I currently am having a bad experience in the Greenville area getting fitted properly. Having a congenital birth defect. Bobby made on of the best fitting prosthetics I ever had, but unfortunately, the company I’m with now is not doing so great.. Want try to get to Columbia for so I can walk again. I used to be active, now I can hardy walk!
Hi Debbie, I would recommend that he start by going back and working with the C.P. who fit him with the prosthesis and explaining the problems that he has had. If this doesn’t work out, I would recommend that he contacts the local Vocational Rehabilitation department to see if they would assist him with getting a new prosthesis so that he can get back to work. They are great with helping people who are willing to help themselves. Good luck!
What advise do you have for a young man who received a prosthetic leg after he lost his leg in an accident and this prosthetic has never fit correctly? In fact, it has broken a time or two. This is a fine young man who suffered a tragic motorcycle accident in which he has hit by a reckless driver. He has sense been unable to work thus leaving him without insurance.
Team Bulow, Your web site rocks! Very inspirational. I am forever a big fan.
Tyler, we loved the 5K event and plan on coming again next year! Ryan is an inspiration to our team at Bulow. Matt
Thank you so much again for running in our Communities 5K to raise money for folks in need. Your participation really meant a lot to Ryan who you met and fitted for a great prosthetic. I’m really glad we got to meet your family and Thank You again for all you’ve done for our friend.
Scott, I’d love to see if there is something that would be better for you. Call our office or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back with you ASAP. Good luck! Matt
I am sorry to hear that you are not having a good experience with your current prosthesis. The pin and lock suspension method you described as currently wearing can lend itself to being uncomfortable for some individuals. A big complaint we have, especially with the more active amputees, is that the prosthesis is being suspended from this single pin on the bottom of the limb. This can allow the prosthesis to “piston” or move up and down as you walk, as well as give you the feeling that the entire weight of the prosthesis is concentrated at that one pin. The good news I have for you is there are other options for you, and there are a variety of suspension techniques available.
You also mentioned your frustration with your prosthetic foot. Again, to your benefit, there are dozens of prosthetic feet available for varying activity levels. It is unfortunate that you have been limited by your current prosthesis and feel as though if you had something better you would be able to, as you put it, “Get back into the swing of things and do it comfortably”. I am confident with the right fitting prosthesis and complimenting suspension and foot you will be able to get back into the swing of things. Please feel free to call or email us because we would love to help you!
I’m overcomming cancer for the third time. Radiation beeds some how caused a circulation problem in my left leg. It was amputated below the knee.
This amputee place here set me up with a system that uses a screw that is attached to the gel-like sock I wear. I’m finding it’s not too comfortable. My foot doesn’t bend like a real foot at all and I feel like I have to dive into my knee just to get my foot to “role over.” I was wondering if they are all like this? I don’t see why there isn’t better technology for the foot.
I was reading Scott’s story (the other Scott story on this sight) and I was thinking “wow, I would really like to get back into the swing of things and do it comfortably.” Is my prosthetic Dr off his rocker when he says “well, that’s as good as it gets” ???
Everyone, please SAVE THE DATE of Friday, October 8th. We are having a barbecue/gathering in appreciation of all the amputees we have the privilege of working with. This will be a great opportunity to connect with others and share ideas! Please call the office for more information! Matt
thanks 4 the encurigement im 26 years old and learing to walk again with a prostic a/k on my left leg the esperince is life changing and can b over come thank to my 2 year old son who keeps me going
Thanks bunches, Matt!
I feel so blessed that I met Matt. He truly got me back on my feet again and found the foot designed exactly for people like me.