While amputation is always a last resort, there are times when a successful amputation lets patients have a better quality of life than living with pain or disabilities of limbs that cannot be saved or repaired.

Whether you’ve lost a limb due to an accident or illness, we understand your anger, frustrations, concerns, and fears. It’s common for people to believe that their quality of life will never be the same if they learn they need to have a limb amputated. Whatever you are feeling is entirely normal.

But as a leading provider of prosthetics in Tennessee, we’re here to tell you that losing a limb doesn’t mean you can’t live a full and active life. How can we be so sure? We are unique here at The Surgical Clinic Prosthetics because many of our staff members are amputees that have replaced their missing limbs with a prosthetic.

Or, in the case of our clinic manager Daryl Farler, two limbs. “I typically wear pants and come in and ask them, can you tell me which leg I’m missing? I pull my pants up, and it blows their mind because they don’t realize I’m missing both,” says Farler.

Daryl has been an amputee for eight years, but thanks to his prosthetics, he has done everything from the simple locomotion of getting up and walking for the first time to finishing a half ironman.

“We definitely see all kinds and are able to help all kinds because we put forth that extra effort it takes to help the individual out. The loss of a limb is equated to the loss of a loved one. This is a very emotional time for an individual. It’s a very scary time because they just don’t know what is coming. Nobody wakes up and says hey, I’m going to have my leg cut off today or my hand cut off today. We come in before surgery and lay the roadmap. We explain that this is not the end of the world. It’s the next step. The next stage in your life,” says Farler.

Advanced prosthetic technology aside, because many of our staff understand firsthand what you are feeling and experiencing, we offer a service nobody else can. We can provide empathy, a new perspective, and hope for the future.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of a prosthetic device, the importance of being appropriately fitted, and the advanced prosthetic technology we use at The Surgical Clinic that makes us a trusted leader in prosthetics in Tennessee.

How a Prosthetic Device Can Improve Your Quality of Life

A prosthetic is an artificial limb that replaces a missing body part. The goal is to regain as much function as the original limb as possible. A properly fitted prosthetic should help an amputee return to all daily activities, such as eating, walking, and getting dressed.

But what about more strenuous activities and sports? One of the primary concerns for active people who become amputees is that they will never be able to do the activities they love again.

Of course, every patient is different, and so is every outcome. Still, we can confidently say that most of our prosthesis patients resume all activities they once loved after getting correctly fitted for and adjusting to their artificial limb.

The advances in prosthetic technology that we use at THC Prosthetics give people with amputations more freedom than ever. High-technology prostheses make activities like running, hiking, biking, and weightlifting all possible.

People can now do almost everything they could before they lost their limb. There’s no shortage of inspirational stories where amputees have improved their quality of life.

Dr. Jim Griffin, an avid pilot, sustained a foot injury in 1998 while participating in a WWII B25 at an airshow. They made a high-speed pass, the seat he was on broke, and he fell into the bottom of the aircraft and snapped his left foot backward 180 degrees.

Over 15 years, Dr. Griffin had three artificial ankles and 22 surgeries. Eventually, in the spring of 2013, his ankle failed. He decided to have amputation surgery and replace his missing limb with a prosthetic.

“In June 2013, I had surgery. It has been a great experience working with The Surgical Clinic in Nashville. After I had my new prosthetic leg, I was out flying with friends. These people are willing to work with me and make me as mobile as I can possibly be.” says Griffin.

John Miller is another patient success story. Jason was born with cerebral palsy, and his mobility worsened into adulthood. He could hardly walk across a room because he had an ankle on which he couldn’t bear weight. After many discussions with our team, John decided the best solution was to amputate his lower right leg and replace it with a prosthetic.

“Since I’ve had the procedure done, I can do things with my family I couldn’t do before. We went to Chimney Rock for vacation. It is 500 steps up, and 500 steps down. I would have passed that up. I would have looked at it and thought wow, that would be like being up there. This year I went up there. I can get on the floor and play with my daughter, carry her on my back, things anyone would think is a normal thing that wouldn’t be possible for me before the operation.” says Miller

Many patients of The Surgical Clinic and The Surgical Clinic’s Prosthetics Institute have shared their stories. If you want to see them, you can click here or subscribe to our YouTube Channel to stay up on these special patients and their care team.

The Importance of a Proper Fitting Prostheses

Prosthetic limbs are designed to do exactly as these patient testimonies highlight. They should help you function better in your daily life. However, your prosthetic could do the opposite if you aren’t fitted properly.

A poor-fitting prosthesis can lead to a myriad of problems. Some of the common issues that could occur if you are not appropriately fitted include:

  • Intact limb pain
  • Back pain
  • Poor balance
  • Reduced mobility
  • Skin irritation
  • Socket discomfort

The importance of a properly fitted prosthetic can’t be overstated. We take all necessary measures at THC Prosthetics to ensure that your prosthesis fits perfectly. It might take multiple adjustments, but this is normal, as it takes a little tweaking to establish the perfect fit. We will work with you until it’s right.

There will also be a learning curve. So even if the fit is perfect, adjusting to your new prosthetic limb will still take a little time. But after you’ve adjusted, you will know your prosthesis fits because it will be easier, not more difficult, to use and wear.

The Surgical Clinic Vascular Surgeons and The Surgical Clinic’s Prosthetics Use The Most Advanced Prosthetics Technology In Tennessee

Limb amputation can be devastating for a patient. Not only physically but emotionally. Our responsibility is to provide as comprehensive care as we can. “A good amputation is better than, say, a bad foot. A good prosthesis can change your life for the better.” explains our vascular surgeon Stanley Snyder, Jr. MD, RVT, FACS.

The prosthetic technology available is changing the lives of people who have lost limbs. We are proud to offer these life-changing options that help make the transition easier.

One of our prosthetists on staff, Aaron Fitzsimmons, who is also an amputee with a prosthetic, explains it to patients like this – “It is a new way of living your life. You will do everything you did before. You’ll just do it in a different way, and you’ll put a leg on in the morning and do it.”

The Vein Team and the Occupational Therapists of The Surgical Clinic’s Prosthetics Institute work closely with patients to plan a surgical technique that will help them recover as quickly as possible, with the entire team’s goal to give patients supportive care that allows them to return to their everyday lives.

We have taken a lead role in understanding how surgery and prosthetics must work collaboratively to give patients the best opportunities to be fitted with prosthetics that work well, are not painful and can return people to active lifestyles.

The innovative model at The Surgical Center engages the patient, biomedical engineering, the prosthetics manufacturing industry and the fields of occupational therapy with the expertise of specialized prosthetics therapists to gear each step of the process toward the patient’s recovery.

The Vascular Surgeons are working with Vanderbilt’s Biomedical Engineering School to examine the routing of veins, where incision lines are made, and other aspects of the surgery can promote better fittings with prosthetics in the recovery stages. Vanderbilt has worked to develop prosthetics that will work better for patients through this close collaboration and partnership with the surgeons.

This team approach has led to a unique model of care for patients facing the complex decisions of amputation and the recovery that follows.

The Surgical Clinic Can Help You Decide If Amputation Surgery Is Right For You and Help You Get The Perfect Prosthetic Limb Fit

Everyone hopes that limbs can be saved, but there are times when the pain associated with a severely limited, deformed or damaged limb can be far more devastating than getting on with life with a prosthetic.

Whether you are a new amputee or need a new prosthesis, we can help you or your loved one decide what is best for your unique situation. At TSC Prosthetics, we take an integrated approach to prosthetic care that makes this transition easy on you and your family.

We don’t see your new prosthesis as “just a limb”; we understand it is your life. Your emotions and goals are important to us. Your prosthetic should allow you to regain your life.

Our surgical and prosthetic teams work closely together to create a comfortable process for our patients. We will help you find the best solution for your needs and will support you throughout.

Prosthetics In Nashville and Middle Tennessee

There is no need to travel hundreds or thousands of miles away for top-of-the-line service. The Surgical Clinic has multiple offices near you to bring our expertise closer to your community.

Call us at 615.301.5264 to schedule your consultation or appointment in Nashville, Columbia, Clarksville, Lebanon, Murfreesboro, Dickson, or our state-of-the-art mobile lab.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: click here.