I welcome ideas
I am a BK (below knee) amputee. I have access to custom made prosthetics in the USA but wonder what other people do in other countries where there aren’t dedicated prosthesis fabricators to make them. My last prosthetic leg cost $14,000 and I can’t even wear it. Made by Hanger and when I asked them to recast it, (make a new mold), they said no I waited too long and now they won’t do it. If I need a casting, I’ll need a prescription for another new prosthesis. So I’ve done nothing because I don’t have that kind of money but that’s a different story. I refuse pity and charity but welcome ideas!
I know there are volunteer groups that go all over the world to help others and I see that as a way for these same people to help those who may not be mobile because of limb loss. If this is possible, I would like to figure out a way these same volunteers to take a kit of some kind and help these people.
I envision a small box that contains everything they need to fit one amputee. Before they leave they could watch a YouTube training video on how to use the kit. I think of ways the amputee they are helping to be included in this process so they can make repairs once the volunteers leave. If the amputee sees how it is made, then maybe their ideas will improve upon ours. The kits would have to be low cost but I’m thinking less than $50 for everything they would need with instructions. That’s the goal anyway.
Making the mold:
The first steps in making the customer mold is use plaster and wrap the stump in it until it dries. When the mold is removed you have an impression of the shape of the stump. Sounds easy but my prosthesist always marked my stump where I felt pain as to include relief areas in the molding for the final prosthesis. Maybe a marker could be used? After the plaster dries (could mud or clay be used?), what would fill it to make the stump molding? Only thing I can think of is the foam insulation in a can. It’s about $7 and could fit in the box. But can people transport it on planes? I don’t know.
As for the rest:
As to what would be used for the shell, I don’t know because my prosthetics use carbon fiber weaves. Super strong and light weight but how would people use that in other countries?
I hope there are some people who read this that have seen different materials used. What did they use before carbon fiber? Wood? Would there be an interest from any prosthesists organizations to come up with a cheaper solution for those in need? I don’t think I will get much help because it hurts their wallets.
I would appreciate any feedback anyone has. There are people in every country who can’t afford one or simply needs a replacement and I would love for there to be an alternative way that was cheap and effective.
- Marker $2
- Plaster rolls $10 (guessing)
- Foam spray $7
- donated used boxes $0
$19 but so far to go into the unknown.