Post BPI amputation

Treatments, Rehabilitation, and Recovery
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Post BPI amputation

Post by admin » Tue Oct 26, 2004 9:07 am

Has anyone had their BPI arm amputated? I am seriously considering this procedure as I find after 6+ years of carrying this redundant baggage around my waist I now want to have some functional use, via prosthetics, from my inactive limb.

My main concern is the potential increase in PLP. I am aware that some theories suggest that OBPI has less prolonged PLP because of the psychiatric preparation the brain has to losing a limb as opposed to the instantaneous, no preparation TBPI. I feel that since I will now become effectively an amputee will the pain be as acute?


jennyb
Posts: 1183
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2001 5:24 pm
Injury Description, Date, extent, surgical intervention etc: January 1980 Yamaha RD200 vs 16 wheeler truck, result, 1 totally paralysed right arm. I was 21, now 54. I had no surgery, I don't regret this. Decided to totally ignore limitations (easily done aged 21) adapted very quickly to one handed life, got married, had 3 kids, worked- the effect of the injury on my life (once the pain stopped being constant) was minimal and now, aged 54, I very rarely even think of it, unless I bash it or it gets cold, then I wish I'd had it amputated :) Except for a steering knob on my car, I have no adaptations to help with life, mainly because I honestly don't think of myself as disabled and the only thing I can't do is peel potatoes, which is definitely a good thing.

Re: Post BPI amputation

Post by jennyb » Tue Oct 26, 2004 4:23 pm

I am currently on the waiting list here in New Zealand for amputation. I have had my bpi for 24 years and like you have finally got sick of dragging the dam thing around and finding injuries on it I didn't feel happen.
I have researched the PLP thing extensively. Unfortunately most studies have been done on people who amputate immediately after trauma, not several years later. The pain many tbpi suffer is a form of PLP anyway and after discussion with a pain clinic we decided between us that as cortical remapping has already happened to me (which is why I get PLP) then it is not likely to get worse. BUT there are no guarantees.......

What I would say is every person I know who has amputated, without exception, thinks it is the best thing they ever did and does not regret it for an instant. I'll post on here when I get the chop to let you know how it goes but NZ's health system isn't the best in the world (only 4 million people here, not enough tax dollars) and I'm in for quite a wait as I don't have insurance. Gives me time to come to terms with it-I'm aware the biggest effect is likely to be emotional, bereavement, grief. This arm is the baby I've kept warm and dry for 24 years, always sitting quietly on my lap. I'll miss it in some ways....but I'm looking forward to the freedom too!
Let us know what you decide Declan :0)
Jen NZ

cbe411
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 8:27 pm
Injury Description, Date, extent, surgical intervention etc: MVA in 2001, nerve graph in 2002, Median Nerve Transfer in 2004 and an unsuccessful Gracillis Muscle Transfer in 2006. I am living life and loving it! Feel free to contact me :)
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Contact:

Re: Post BPI amputation

Post by cbe411 » Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:18 pm

Declan, I have posted this on the TBPI UK site as well. There are a few amputees around there so it might be of some help to you. Let us know how you get on with this!

COurt xx

Declan
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:05 pm

Re: Post BPI amputation

Post by Declan » Tue Oct 26, 2004 7:38 pm

Thanks Jenny & Court, I think I've already made my mind up, I'm having it cut. Which, by my reckoning should be about February/April next year. We're fortunate enough here in Northern Ireland to have a brimming pool of specialist orthopaedic surgeons as a result of our checkered past, so they're telling me 2/3 months after my next snowboarding trip to the French Alps. Ohh! I can't wait...

I'm a pretty active guy and I find my flailing limb a total incumberance. I can't even seem to make or find a sling that comfortably holds my arm without bouncing or sagging while exercising. Yeah I know, whine, whine, whine... It's just, I'd rather have a useful prosthetic than a useless limb.

I'd thought that it may have been a more common request amongst us lot than it seems to be, even my consultant is rueing my decision simply on the grounds that he's never done or heard of it before, kinda brings them down to our level a bit, you know... having no point of reference and you stumble into your choices while questioning the seemingly unknown.

They keep throwing the 'increased pain' possibility at me. I'm figuring, "how in hell blazes, could it..., ever... be as bad as it was for the first year?", those early days are as hard to describe as trying to tell your wife why you love her after all these years without repeating yourself into a corner.

I do think that there's a strong possibilty that the pain will increase, but this time around I've a much bigger arsenal of tricks of my own to pull against it. Back then, I would have been wound tighter than a fishing line pulling a 200lb Marlin in the wake of a powerboat and grinding my teeth flat, but with the information available here and a host of compadres at all stages of recovery, I'm more mentally prepared for it.

I'd really like to get in touch with someone who has had the chop and lived to tell the tale though, so if you get any replies from the TBPI UK site please pass them on, thanks.

Declan


cbe411
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 8:27 pm
Injury Description, Date, extent, surgical intervention etc: MVA in 2001, nerve graph in 2002, Median Nerve Transfer in 2004 and an unsuccessful Gracillis Muscle Transfer in 2006. I am living life and loving it! Feel free to contact me :)
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Contact:

Re: Post BPI amputation

Post by cbe411 » Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:33 pm

Declan, I got this response on the UK site from YEti....

THE PAIN DOESN'T GO AWAY WHEN YOU AMPUTATE
Had my arm amputated after about three years of waiting for something to improve (which never happened) and haven't looked back since. With the artificial arm I can shoot (clays and game on a regular basis) I still ride (building trike...taking forever) and am member of NABD (LAPSED) Live a full life and don't miss being able to play the violin (never could beforehand anyway...lol) If you've been told, and you're 100% sure that the arm is dead, then I have no hesitation in reccommending amputation. BUT it's a no-going-back type of decision so you've got to be sure (I understand that you got contact with Courtney, so if you want to get more in-depth, she can give you my MSN MESSENGER ID and we can talk more about it if you'd like. (there's not such thing as not-enough-information) I've had phantom pains for around 30 years so amputation is not a solution purely for pain relief. Its a lot more complicated than that, and I can explain the theory of that to you too, if it'll help.
Yeti
p.s. PLP?

I hope this helps a bit! This guy is great, live in the UK but originally from Scottland! Feel free to mail me and I'll give you his contact info!

Also check out http://www.tbpiukgroup.homestead.com/index_1.html Thats the UK site, they are great peeps there too! Get at me and I will gladly share info with you!

COurt xx

Henry
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed May 14, 2003 1:30 pm

Re: Post BPI amputation

Post by Henry » Tue Oct 26, 2004 10:12 pm

Hi Declan,

I'm 22 years post chop. Had it done and never regretted it. As my Kiwi friend says, it was a relief to get rid of it.

No change in the pain, The nerves don't care if the arm is gone or not.

I never used the hook as I do not have enough motion to operate the arm.

Still, very active: squash, weight lifting, snowmobiling, cycling, etc.

good luck and feel free to email me: hlvandelinde@yahoo.com

Cheerios,

H

cbe411
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 8:27 pm
Injury Description, Date, extent, surgical intervention etc: MVA in 2001, nerve graph in 2002, Median Nerve Transfer in 2004 and an unsuccessful Gracillis Muscle Transfer in 2006. I am living life and loving it! Feel free to contact me :)
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Contact:

Re: Post BPI amputation

Post by cbe411 » Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:50 am

Here is another from th UK boards....

I dunno does it hurt ? Yeti lost his watch !!!!!!

Just meeting a few peeps who've had it done ( for their own reasons ) doesn't make it the right fit for you ?

Do you have a specific task or outcome you'd like to gain from amputation ? Your still gonna be cripped sans limb or not ? At the end of the day you'll still take off that prosthesis and be truly be one armed

Truth be told I was talked out of it by peeps around here...I was bound and bent that the chop was the best option by year 3....I'm not saying I won't consider it if I have problems when I get old but for now I can still use the arm as an assist hand or not.

Believe me Court I've given this subject ALOT of thought. I am a candidate for an amp just below the elbow....they'd be more than happy to nip it off and plug some apparatus of my choosing...As the guy's said " We aren't advocating it but we'd be willing to do it " .............

Anyhhoo it's your choice,

Mikey

Gayle Ozzy
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:09 pm

Re: Post BPI amputation

Post by Gayle Ozzy » Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:58 pm

How do you use a prosthetic arm if you have full avulsions and no muscles to power anything? Are they body powered arms with cables around your back?

jsmom
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 30, 2015 11:04 am
Injury Description, Date, extent, surgical intervention etc: My 18-year-old son Jonny had a serious ski accident in January 2015. Skier vs Tree. He avulsed all 5 nerves of the left-side brachial plexus and shredded it in the lower area where it divides, as well. He sustained many other life-threatening injuries-- ruptured subclavian artery, head injury, broken scapula, 11 broken ribs, broken pelvis, and a few other broken bones. Amazing trauma team and outstanding surgeons saved his life, and he has recovered miraculously well from this.

The life-long BPI is now what we are dealing with. No surgery for that yet (at 4.5 months in), but is adapting to life quite well with one arm. He is in pain when he is at rest, bored, trying to sleep, but the rest of the time the pain is not too terrible…. mostly just pins and needles. If he keeps busy, the pain is manageable.
Now trying to decide if he should have the inter-costal nerve surgery or just leave the arm alone. We'll be going to Mayo for further testing later this month.

Re: Post BPI amputation

Post by jsmom » Sat May 30, 2015 12:01 pm

In the case of a full avulsion where there is no longer any connection to the brain and zero EMG signals in the arm, is it possible to find a prosthetic that is useful and not just dead weight like the flail arm was?
Currently debating whether amputation and prosthetic arm would be a good alternative to a flail arm.

Master DIVER TOM
Posts: 752
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 11:51 am

Re: Post BPI amputation

Post by Master DIVER TOM » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:54 am

Thank-you for posting :shock:
I get a wet noodle for a arm , from birth erbs ;)
How a doctor would take a falling arm off , without a referral to a doctor who treats our limitation, Tick Me oFF :evil: :twisted:
Please get a doctor who treats our Falling arms ,
To Date many use Dan sling for a Noodle arm ;)
Just Thinking, by past post :D
There were many pictures , waring Dans sling and many use it for a Falling arm and hand,
To Rich and Dan ,
I wish I new how to pull up the past post , using Dan sling.
Fact, Dan sling, well :roll: it resolves many issues for a Failing arm and the wet noodle effect ;)
Just thinking :shock:
Tom

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