My short bio:

I entered the Army on February 24th, 2005, just days before my 26th birthday. I chose to become an Abrams Crewman (tanker - 19k) because I wanted to do something active, I definitely wanted to deploy, and I was honestly hoping to see combat. I was younger, braver, and quite naive at the time.

Months after I joined, I was on my way back from a welcome briefing on Fort Hood when another soldier used the oncoming turn lane to pass a line of cars. I tried to dodge him but he clipped the rear wheel of my motorcycle causing it to fall down and pin my left foot as the foot peg folded up. My foot was crushed, but was immediately diagnosed as nothing but a bruised bone. 3 months later it was discovered that most of the bones had fractures of some kind and that the ligaments over my mid foot were damaged (a LisFranc fracture/dislocation). I underwent 3 surgeries while still serving, the last one being a fusion of the joints. I would never run again or stand without pain.

Until late 2014, that is. After 3 more operations by the VA, years of doctors visits, and even being part of the VA scheduling scandal, the ER visits and narcotics refills became too much for my doctors and they referred me to a private doctor. With the support of 4 VA doctors (including my primary) and the private doctor I'm now seeing at San Antonio Orthopedic Group, I have chosen to electively have the bad foot and leg amputated below the knee.

I would go on, but the rest can be left to the questions.

Bits of my story can be found at the following links:

18 days to go

Free Canvas for a Tattoo and a Cause

My VA Wait List Story

My Proof:

Foot pictures, pictures of me pre and post accident, and the Surgical Risk Disclosure form for my upcoming BKA

I will answer any question, including medical. This is part of my saying goodbye to the foot. Hopefully I can educate some people about LisFranc injuries, the VA, the Army, and how to deal with chronic pain.

EDIT Very surprised at how well this went. I'm going to keep answering questions this evening, but it might get a bit slower. Wife and I are about to work on the leg art work for Day t-17. I'll post pictures of that afterward.

I'm curious if anyone would be interested in the following:

AMA with my wife? I know spousal support is really important with these things. Perhaps she has some input for the people on the other side.

AMA with me post op? It will be a few months, but perhaps I can revisit things in September!

EDIT 2 12AM here. I'm still answering questions. I've had a great time meeting a lot of fellow soldiers, some old Fort Hood friends, and a lot of amputees and amputee candidates. I've only got 17 days left before the operation, so I'll keep going as long as I can tonight.

1 favor to ask If you know anyone willing to do a memorial/worthy cause tattoo in the San Antonio, Austin, Houston or even Dallas, Texas area, please let them know about me. I'm looking for someone to help do a tribute to some fallen soldiers from 1-8CAV and a donation to a worthy cause tattoo before it goes. Was hoping to document it and make something special out of this. Thanks in advance.

EDIT 3 Off to bed. I'll answer any questions posed tonight when I get up tomorrow. Thank you so much for making this such a resounding success. I had no idea when I started this how well it would go. I've been inspired, I've learned a lot about what I'm going through, and I believe I've been able to help a few people. Hopefully we're all not done with that. I'll post more tomorrow, then I'll see you all in a few weeks with a Post Op AMA.

For now, enjoy the day t-17 artwork

EDIT 4, Monday 23 June at 2:47pm CST I haven't forgotten about the messages posted since last night, I have just been very busy today. I will get back to everyone soon. I encourage anyone new to this AMA to read through it thoroughly. If you still have a question that you'd like answered, please post it, or even contact me privately. I will make time to respond to everyone prior to July 10th. Otherwise, I will be back in late July with a Post OP AMA including all the pictures of the surgery, some journal entries, and hopefully a few video monologues from myself and my wife. Thanks for everything.

Anyone in the San Antonio area (or elsewhere really) that would like to help out, I know my wife will need it, and we will not turn down the kindness. We have a calendar set up for the many people that have volunteered their time, food, or other help. If you''d like to be included in that, please message me privately.

EDIT 4 30 July 2014 Just a quick status update. I've had a lot of PMs asking for an update, so here goes.

I'm 3 weeks post op. I was doing fine until last week when I took a fall getting out of the tub. Split open the wound and now I'm back in bed full time waiting for it to heal.

I have lots of good news, some I unfortunately cannot share yet. First, I have had a few redditors from this AMA help me out. That's been awesome. One redditor came to my house, cooked some snacks for my wife and I, helped me get around a bit, and played some board games with us. Meeting her was great, and now I have a new friend right around the corner.

I was able to donate my leg after a lot of "leg-work", but I don't have a lot to share on that quite yet. The laws in Texas were funny and now we're dealing with Federal Regulations trying to make sure all of our I's are dotted and T's are crossed. When I do my follow up AMA I will be able to go into more detail, but for now I can assure everyone that the leg wasn't burnt to ashes and was in fact put toward a very worthy cause.

Comments: 1007 • Responses: 97  • Date: 

Mimshot357 karma

I do some prosthetic design although mostly neuro/upper limb applications, which still have a long way to go. Devices for trans-tibial amputations have come a long way, though and are quite impressive in their capabilities. I'm curious if you know what you're getting yet. Most young healthy people get a blade for athletic use in addition to an every-day foot. Do you know what kind of ankle you're getting?

jodycwilliams232 karma

No idea yet. The VA and my private doctor are still getting everything in order. Hopefully I can get an appointment with a prosthetist after I go in for my last pre-Op appointment this Wednesday. The Fee Voucher process is a bit of a mess, but I would hope they get it all straight and let me get some of this done before the surgery.

killbillten1438 karma

Hey I underwent an elective below knee amputation a little more then a year ago. I am now very active and have yet to find something I can't do. If you wanna talk about anything you can PM me

jodycwilliams262 karma

Thanks a ton, friend. I will definitely contact you very soon. People like you have helped me a lot. I've gotten at least a half dozen similar private messages.

private_pants175 karma


jodycwilliams96 karma

Thanks! I will definitely keep you in mind.

reagsx81 karma

I'm a prosthetic resident in us. Feel free to msg me as well.

jodycwilliams59 karma

Thank you. I've got quite a few names saved up. Now to find the time to get to everyone! :)

aliceinondering15 karma

Knowing the military, they will just give you the bottom part of a cane and tell you is the latest thing.

jodycwilliams22 karma

Don't forget they'll give you the manual for it as well and expect you to PMCS it before walking.

Drink_Clorox_and_Die-56 karma


jodycwilliams8 karma

I don't think you know very much about what you're talking about.

It is actually more likely that I'll get less money every month after this than more, as my ratings will get redone to just a BKA (40%) and I'll have to start all over arguing with them about whether or not that affected my knees, hips, etc.

I'm sure you're just a troll, but I still feel compelled to tell you how sorry I am for your troubled soul that you felt the need to type any of that. I honestly wish the help and positive things I'm getting out of this were instead somehow to be directed your way, cause you seem to need it more than I.

I'm sure you'll delete that account soon enough, if it hasn't been already. I wish you the best. Find some help.

lozzero3 karma

What part of 'never able to run again or stand without pain' do you not understand? Constant pain for the rest of his life would be more debilitating than choosing to remove the limb. Especially when you have narcotics involved. At least with amputation he can go on to lead a normal life with a clear mind.

Drink_Clorox_and_Die-8 karma


jodycwilliams5 karma

I'm curious: What privilege would that be?

And yes, I'm definitely looking for attention. I'm hoping that I can get some attention to what I went through so that others might not. This post has given me a lot of ideas and has brought a few others out to ask some questions about their injuries. If this helps 1 or 2 people, great. And if the cost is that I have to read a stranger's delusional rants and cowardly accusations, so be it.

Drink_Clorox_and_Die-12 karma


jodycwilliams4 karma

I'm very happily married. I have no reason to tell anyone anything other than the truth. Military records of non Spec Ops people are almost always public, so you're welcome to go pull mine along with just about all the others.

It would be foolish to lie as I've been talking about non-combat related injuries for years on the internet. It is something that needs some advocacy specifically because of people like you.

I didn't do anything brave, and I don't care about bravery. Honesty is all I care about. Who are you? What's the truth of your story? Why don't you share with us why you are so upset about someone (me) that almost certainly has no connection to you whatsoever? Perhaps nobody else is interested, but I am.

ChrisFartwick331 karma

What happens to your foot once it's amputated? Any plans to keep it?

jodycwilliams707 karma

I'm working with my doctor to have it donated to a local medical school with instructions that it be used to study injuries such as mine.

Dewrito442 karma

That's a good cause. My first thought was to have it preserved as a trophy.

oneanddoneforfun2042 karma

My first thought was to sell it to Oscar Mayer. They're known for their below-knee.

jodycwilliams460 karma

Needed this. Thanks! :)

GorillaBallet246 karma

"my below-knee has a first name... it's J-O-D and Y!"

jodycwilliams302 karma


You know...Jody is the absolute worst name for a guy in the Army.

I caught so much hell for that damn name. I even tried to lie to my Drills about it which just got me into more trouble.

PWL73316247 karma

For those who don't know, "Jody" is the name of the legendary coward who stays at home when others to go war, usually using the opportunity to steal the soldier's girl.

jodycwilliams268 karma

Worst. Name. Ever.

source: Jody

Tetrisaurus25 karma

So what you're telling me is that you don't call yourself Jody Highroller?

jodycwilliams25 karma

If I don't have to, I don't tell fellow vets my first name at all. lol

thpppt16 karma

Jody is the worst name for a guy in any US military force.

jodycwilliams17 karma

You have no idea how bad the Drills punished me just for having this name.

jodycwilliams129 karma

When I was hurt in 2005, the care for LisFranc injuries was not what I'd call top-notch. Most of them went misdiagnosed as they weren't easy to pick up from just an X-Ray. This is what happened to me.

Doc saw nothing in an X-Ray but my foot looked all messed up, swollen, etc. What's he do? Tells me it was a bruised bone and to report for duty. Once one doctor has made a diagnosis in the military, it can be very hard to have that reviewed. The clinics even told me I had a right to get a second opinion, but when I asked they told me to find a private doctor and pay for it out of pocket, which is what I did.

I'm rambling. Anyhow, the injury is kinda rare, especially for young men that aren't playing American Football. I'm hoping my foot can be used to educate young doctors and prevent others from going through what I have.

sackman66mode61 karma


jodycwilliams148 karma

Yes, I would classify it as malpractice. The Disable American Veterans, a certified Veterans Service Organization, is helping me pursue this as a lot of things were done incorrectly, including possible falsification of my PEB, not treating things they knew were still unsolved, and kicking me out of prescribed physical therapy so they could get more VA patients in at Darnell Army Hospital.

It is a complicated thing, and even more complicated actually pursuing compensation. The government and its agencies have pretty broad immunity. I'm not trying to sue, but I am trying to get my records updated to properly list everything. I could have fought for this with a PEB/MEB Appeal back in 2006, but...

  1. I was very medicated, in a lot of pain, and don't really think I had the ability to sign anything binding at the time
  2. I was told if I didn't sign they'd make me sit in my room while in the med hold company for years. A friend of mine took 8 bullets in Iraq and was on his 3rd or 4th year dealing with them. I truly believed I was going to be more or less a prisoner if I didn't sign the MEB findings
  3. My care from the Army had come to a complete stop. Most of the 1CD doctors were deployed. My physical therapy consult had been canceled for what I believed to have been political reasons.
  4. The military was improperly rating people to the lowest possible rating back then. There has since been laws passed by Congress that require the DoD to review the cases of everyone medically put out at 0%, 10%, or 20%. This process is known as the Physical Disability Review Board, and that is something I'm currently working through with lawyers.

Basically, it's a mess. I honestly am not looking for money. I need my records updated and to list everything correctly so that I receive proper treatment for these conditions should the VA rate me in the future below 60%. At 60% and above, everything is covered by the VA, including non-service connected conditions. Everyone below 60% only gets service connected conditions treated. This makes getting my records to properly reflect my actual injuries of great importance for me.

TealOcelot29 karma

Thanks for sharing your story. I hear reports on the radio of how bad the VA service is, but seeing a first-hand story written down in such detail really drives home the point. I can't believe we treat our veterans this way. If there is anyway reddit can help in your case or the broader issue of horrible veteran care, please let us know.

jodycwilliams16 karma

Yeah, it is kinda crazy. If you didn't read the "My VA Wait List Story" post, I highly recommend that. I went into great detail of the process they used here in San Antonio.

Big_Test_Icicle4 karma

Out of curiosity: did you go to other doctors, both in the VA and private, to get a second, third, etc. opinion?

jodycwilliams4 karma

I'm on my 6th Podiatrist, 8th Ortho Surgeon, and I've spoken with 3 of the Physical Therapists at Audie Murphy.

The private doc I'm currently seeing is supposed to be amazing. I've done some checking into him and it all sounds great, but ya never know.

MockingbirdRambler81 karma

Here is another suggestion, see what you can do to get it donated to the search and rescue cadaver dogs for training. On my team we don't have anything larger then a dry tibia, so a large piece of "source" would be a very appreciated donation.

jodycwilliams64 karma

Thanks for this suggestion. If I can't get it to specifically LisFranc research, this might be my second option.

MockingbirdRambler49 karma

Thanks for taking the suggestion seriously, some teams will even appreciate the dirty dressing because it can be easily tucked into a jar and buried.

jodycwilliams36 karma

I will at least ask for that. Do you happen to know anyone in San Antonio area that would use it?

moralprolapse23 karma

I'd look for where they train the cadaver dogs in your area. You'd have the small perk where if you went missing, God forbid, you're THEE brand they were trained on. They'll find you.

jodycwilliams6 karma

I'm already doing this, thanks! Another redditor got me a link to them earlier today. I will at least give them my bandages.

jodycwilliams6 karma

Thanks to your advice, the first donation of an amputated limb for search and rescue training in the state of Texas happened today. Thank you so much.

Enjoy some Gold. You've earned it and much more.

Agamemnon32341 karma

Can you make a request to them to be there when the students learn using your foot? The doc teaching can be like "this is /u/jodycwilliams he'll be observing today". Then later he can ask a question about it and you can answer to the astonishment of the students.

jodycwilliams42 karma

I actually have something like that written in my notebook to ask on Wednesday. That's definitely something I'll get back to you on.

MattchuPeachU172 karma

Do you have any contact with the dude who hit you? Is/was he apologetic?

jodycwilliams379 karma

This was one of the worst parts of what I went through. The guy that hit me punched the gas and sped off. I was directly behind the 1CD Clinic on Fort Hood around 8am when this happened. Everyone that witnessed the accident was either a doctor or a medic. Their instincts and training kicked in and they all rushed straight for me. Nobody caught the guy's plate or even had much information about his vehicle. I did see that it was a white Nissan Altima or Honda Accord, but there were hundreds similar to that on Fort Hood at that time.

This was 2005, so there weren't cameras on every single corner of the base. They did an investigation into the accident as they always do. If they found that I wasn't where I was supposed to be, was operating the vehicle against regulations, or even was not wearing the proper safety equipment at the time, it is possible they would have ruled me negligent and I would have been punished and forced to pay for my care.

Luckily, there were a lot of officers and senior NCOs that helped me that day. They all testified on my behalf and saved my ass.

Maverik45253 karma

it seems while bullet proof, reflective belts wont save you from a car hit

jodycwilliams149 karma

ah...if only everyone got this joke.

allthe_gundams31 karma

What rank were you when you got hit?

jodycwilliams117 karma

PV2. My CO didn't report me as unpromotable/unfit for duty for a long time. I still got my PFC promotion. Made my day.

Qlinkenstein21 karma

As someone that used to do LOD investigations, I always hated having to look at guys who I thought were doing everything right. I'm sorry you had to go through all of this and I'm glad they found in your favor with the LOD.

jodycwilliams17 karma

I didn't mind. I understood what it was all about and had a great CO and 1SG on my side. I was lucky, though.

Stign151 karma

How are you dealing with the psychological anxiety? Are you on anti-depressants? Or are you seeing someone to talk to about this? Do you have trouble sleeping? I could imagine this is on your mind 24/7.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you the best of luck man!

jodycwilliams206 karma

Thank you for this question. This is something that has always been hard for me, but since I made the decision to go through with the amputation it has gotten considerably worse.

This AMA is part of how I'm dealing with things. I'm also putting different messages on my leg every day and posting pictures everywhere I can to try and bring attention to important causes. I've spent a lot of time with my wife, son, brother and his wife lately. I've been walking a lot, even though it hurts like hell. Just trying to keep myself occupied and doing things that I have to appreciate before they are gone.

I'm on anti-depressants. I have been on them since becoming a VA patient in 2006. Originally, I was suffering from more Survivor's Guilt than anything. It was very difficult to be left behind while my friends were deploying to Sadr City. I kept in touch with them all I could, but it wasn't easy.

After a while, I tried to reconnect with the civilian world. I was asked regularly why I got out. I find it hard to be anything but completely honest, so I freely shared my story. Sadly, this often led to people accusing me of being a coward, or foolishly suggesting that I purposefully got hurt to avoid deployment. The details of my accident didn't matter to them, they just seemed to enjoy hurting me more than anything. I spent a good bit of this time in bed while I was still having more surgeries, and I sunk away from everyone out of shame. I have quite often thought "Are they right?". It isn't rational, I know that. I know that I didn't purposefully drop my bike and break my foot, or any of the other things that happened. I obviously had zero control over the doctors, for instance. None of that matters when you're at you're lowest, though. I picked myself apart. I imagined the accident in a thousand different scenarios, and I began to doubt my own memory.

Going through the documents to help build my review case lately has been helpful. The doctors' notes are very clear describing what I went through. This has helped me to trust my memory again.

As for sleep...I didn't sleep for the first several years unless I passed out from exhaustion. It was for a variety of reasons, including anxiety and depression, but mostly because I was in an incredible amount of pain the first 5 years. I tried Ambien twice. The first time was short lived. I was hallucinating and doing things that I didn't remember, so they took me off. I went back to not sleeping for a few years before they tried Ambien a second time. It became a miracle drug for me. Getting in bed immediately and going to sleep stopped most of my bad side effects and for nearly 3 years I slept wonderfully. That was until this past winter when the pain became too much and 5mg Hydrocodone and Ambien weren't enough to keep me asleep.

Lately, the anxiety has been horrible at night. I have started to have second thoughts and the nerve pain that the Lyrica had under control since May has suddenly stopped working so well. I think this has a lot to do with watching videos, checking out images, and trying to learn as much as I can. I don't think my mind appreciates all of that while I'm telling it "Hey, that thing is gone in 17 days, buddy."

I see the doctor again on Wednesday. I'm going to be asking about this specifically, as it has gotten harder every night since I made the decision. I'm starting to drive my wife crazy.

motorcityvicki112 karma


jodycwilliams55 karma

The one guy that died in my company's next deployment was a replacement as well. Not sure if he replaced me specifically, but he was one of the 3 or 4 C Co had. It still eats at me today, but it eats at his wife and son much more.

Hard stuff to deal with, but it is part of being a soldier. I'm sorry about your friend's ordeal. Just gotta ask yourself if you did all you can, and if the answer is yes, then soldier on. Like I said in another comment, I got lucky in a way with my injury being so obvious. My company treated me amazingly well and I'm still in contact with many of them today.

motorcityvicki8 karma


jodycwilliams16 karma

My friend Simpson was in 2-8 C Co in 05 - 0?. I wouldn't be shocked if you knew him and his wife.

Bunny_ofDeath39 karma

Mirror therapy helps with anxiety, depression, and nerve pain-I highly recommend it after the surgery. PS I'm an occupational therapist who has worked with amputees for years. If you have any questions concerning your post surgery therapy or what to expect, PM me.

jodycwilliams19 karma

You're the second person today to post this. Once I get some time, I'm going to have to do some more research. I'm going to save your name for later if that's ok?

titty_sprinkles6917 karma

I hope the anxiety gets better for you - reading this answer felt backwards to me as, personally, my anxiety near-vanishes after making a tough decision. Hopefully you will feel better after the surgery once the pain is gone and you can start working towards living a normal life again with prosthetics.

Off topic question. What type of bike were you riding? Have you ridden since the accident? I ask this as a fellow motorcycle rider out of pure curiosity.

Best of luck.

jodycwilliams19 karma

I was on a Suzuki GSX something or other. I haven't ridden since. I can't really operate the shifter pedal anymore, just hurts too much.

The decision anxiety is behind me, but now comes the worry about what life will be like afterward. I won't be me, that's just something I've accepted. I'll have to figure it out, and that unknown factor is a bit bothersome to me.

offendicula9 karma

Anxiety is worrying about things that aren't happening yet. Your worst case scenarios might never come true. Things will be different and there will be adjustments but you've already fought through all these years with your foot broken. And you did good, fought the bureaucracy, got all this treatment, and made a really hard decision that sounds like the right one. And you're still here!

If you're not seeing a psychologist right now, I'd recommend scheduling a few appointments with the purpose of talking through your thoughts and feelings on the current situation. It could reduce your anxiety.

This is really striking a chord with me because I was talking with some people about motorcycle accidents just last night. An acquaintance once showed me the scars from the reconstruction of his leg and hip and it looked like train tracks had been laid into his body. Cars hitting motorcycles is nasty, nasty stuff.

Thank you for your service, and no thanks to the sleaze who hit you and ran away.

jodycwilliams13 karma

Thanks for your comments. Wednesday I see the surgeon and I'm specifically going to be asking about a psychologist referral from him.

And yes, motorcycle accidents can be really bad. Doesn't take much. I was going maybe 5 mph at the most when this happened. It is very easy for a distracted or rushed driver to not notice a motorcyclist.

IamGrimReefer85 karma

i'm not sure how to phrase this and i'm not saying it is easy and it doesn't really sound like you have much of a choice - do you think it's easier to elect to have your foot amputated or to wake up after an incident without your foot? does the choice to have this done make the reality an easier?

jodycwilliams120 karma

Don't worry man, this is a great question.

The doctor has explained it a bit to me. Emergent amputations (aka life saving) are what you're referring to. Those are the people that suffer the most from Phantom Pains. They have no preparation for the procedure, and definitely no chance to have it nerve blocked for 5 days prior. It is an incredible shock to them. The only good side for them is not having to think and stress about it prior to the procedure.

While the last few days have sucked and the next 17 days will only get harder, I don't think I'd trade with an emergent case. I would think their post op depression would be miserable.

thecatcollector12 karma

Is there any difference with the healing times with the two operations? How long will it be from the surgery to the point where you can get fitted for a prothstetic?

jodycwilliams21 karma

I'm not sure about the difference between the two. I imagine an emergent situation involves trauma beyond the doctor's control, at least initially. It would depend on hour severe and widespread that trauma is.

I believe it will be about 6 weeks before I'm fitted for my first, temporary prosthetic. However, the VA says much shorter than that. I guess I'll learn soon enough!

crescent261263 karma

I imagine the process of coming to that decision was difficult. What was the nail in the coffin so to speak with your mindset that made you agree to the amputation?

jodycwilliams239 karma

I was in Audie Murphy VA Hospital one day waiting for my physical therapy appointment. I was there to work on neuropathic pain management and range of motion in my knees.

While sitting there I saw a young man pushing a twin-stroller and talking on his cell phone as he approached the elevator. He was wearing a baseball cap, a black shirt, and some khaki shorts. Then I saw his prosthetic right leg. He was doing all of these things, smiling, and walking perfectly normally.

I was shocked. I have to think about every single step. I have to watch where I place my feet. I hobble as I go about, and often I fall. Here he was without a foot or lower leg and didn't have a care in the world about them. I was jealous. I almost cried right then. I don't know what it is like to not be thinking about my foot constantly. It hurts every single second of the day and night.

I had a doctor talk with me about an amputation 2 months before this, but I had dismissed it. After seeing this young man and how happy and carefree he was, I completely changed my mind. I want that feeling. I want to think about anything else other than my foot for just a day even. I want to look up and look around while I walk and not dart my eyes between where I'm going and where I'm stepping constantly.

9 years was enough. That man's abilities and happiness was enough. I wanted to make sure other doctors agreed with this, but I was fairly certain right then that this is what I wanted. The docs have agreed, and in 17 days I may finally start thinking about anything else.

robinson21772 karma

My uncle fell off a roof and walked with a cane for twenty years, while trying everything in the book for pain management. Twenty years to the day after the accident, he had his right foot amputated. He couldn't be happier. He walks with no assistance and you wouldn't know he had a prosthetic unless he told you.

jodycwilliams91 karma

Amazing right?

I'm the happiest guy in the world who is about to lose a leg. :)

NorbitGorbit56 karma

is there a company that is considered the luxury brand for prosthetics?

jodycwilliams49 karma

Good question. That's something I've been researching myself lately. A few amputees have made suggestions, but I have not seen a prosthetist yet to ask them about it.

Since I'm not an expert on prosthetics yet, I'll leave this one unanswered and perhaps someone better equipped to provide details can chime in.

BDUB7217 karma

Check out the RUSH foot by Ability Dynamics.

jodycwilliams17 karma

That one is actually near the top of my list.

eightbitbeard48 karma

While it's devastating to lose any limb, I've actually thought about what I would do if I were to lose an arm or leg. I would make the best of my situation to design and wear my own ridiculous prosthesis. Brass steampunk leg. Pirate peg with hidden booze flask. Airsoft machine gun. Computer keyboard. (Cross my leg over my other leg, open the lid and type away.) Insane looking cyborg appendage, then I'll stumble into a store, grab a clerk and scream "WHAT YEAR IS IT!?"

jodycwilliams46 karma

hahaha, yes!

I absolutely want to go for the most steampunk look possible. Hell, if I can make it shoot out a little vapor from time to time to make it seem operated by steam that would be even better.

Kaykochi29 karma

I'm a nurse and I deal with amputees quite a lot. What's one question you don't want us to ask? I always ask people how they are coping, esp if it's a new surgery etc but I don't want to appear rude.

jodycwilliams25 karma

That's a really interesting question.

I think first thing I don't want to be asked is if I need a bed pan. I can never use those things and just feel incredibly uncomfortable talking about bowel movements with strangers.

Otherwise, I'm not sure honestly. I'm not really bothered by any questions, so I might be the wrong person to ask this to. I imagine there are plenty of folks that suffer with major depression after something like this and have quite a lot to offer. Who knows, I might have a few things to add after the surgery.

kol1528 karma

why so much of the leg along with the foot?

wouldn't you want to keep as much flesh and bone as reasonable? or does it have something to do with the calf muscle attachments in the foot?

jodycwilliams12 karma

Well, I'm not really that knowledgeable as to why they cut it so high. I have a feeling it has more to do with manufacturing the prosthetics than anything. Probably also has to do with where they put the fibia and tibia back together.

derzahla12 karma

I'm not really that knowledgeable as to why they cut it so high.

Im pretty surprised this isnt something that concerned you enough to ask? hah. Id certainly want to know why they're planning to cut off half my leg when only my foot is bad. Still curious as to what the official explanation is.

jodycwilliams23 karma

Honestly, the pain is so bad some days I wouldn't object to them taking that foot, the other foot, and both my hands if it would just grant me a little relief.

bunnyish25 karma

Have you thought about getting a super awesome looking prosthetic? This guy makes some really amazing ones!

jodycwilliams7 karma

I have. That one is pretty nice. I don't think they let you get a nice one for 6 months or so. Everyone has told me the first one will get destroyed.

bizzlefarp24 karma

I work within an group that is helping to fight for veterans negatively affected by the VA administration and doctors it employees.

I see you have mentioned some issues related to that, but can you expand on some of the issues you have come against?

jodycwilliams28 karma

I'm not ignoring your question, I actually have a ton to say about it. I'm leaving it for a little later when things calm down.

Thank you for the question. I think you'll be interested in the response when I get to it in a few hours.

nbaagain24 karma

How much weight will you lose post op? Or how much does the lower leg weigh?

jodycwilliams25 karma

That is an awesome question that I'm going to ask my doc on Wednesday.

nbaagain34 karma

Well, congratulations on the weight loss!

jodycwilliams45 karma

haha, exactly. I need to eat a few subs then see if I can get an endorsement deal!

Weenercopter23 karma

Are you so grateful that you had military health benefits to cover all your procedures for what would have amounted to an ungodly sum of money in the private sector?

jodycwilliams36 karma

Good question. I had TriCare while serving and for 6 months afterward. I now have VA care and MediCare to help cover things.

The Army benefits aren't really that, they are more a part of the job when you're a soldier. I guess from the outside you may see it as a benefit, but keeping healthy and fixing injuries was more of a duty while I was a soldier. I reported to Sick Call and the Hospital under orders, just as I would have reported to motorpool duty.

But as for the financial side...I guess yes, I could say I'm glad I'm not currently dealing with a ridiculous amount of bills. I did end up having to pay for quite a few things, including my MRI while I was serving. The Army had done X-Rays and said that was enough, so they refused to do an MRI. $1200 later and a private doc's opinion proved that even after the first two surgeries and nearly 8 months off of my foot I still had several broken bones and various LisFranc issues.

The VA side of things is different. The care hasn't been top notch, but I've never been asked to pay a dime for anything service related. As I'm 60%+ they cover even non-service related injuries, but that isn't always as easy to take care of. I do still have to use private doctors for some things (for instance I had a sinus cyst removed in December 2013 at my expense), but for the most part I'm covered.

It is a very mixed bag. I can't answer the financial side without addressing the quality of care. Do I get what I pay for? Sure, it is mostly free. Can and do I pay for better care? Yes, quite often I pull my wallet out to see a private doctor and get a second opinion. It happens a lot in regard to imaging. The VA is very stingy with MRIs, CT and Bone scans.

sinz846 karma

why do i have you tagged as a mormonsubkiller?

jodycwilliams4 karma

No idea? :)

Dirty_Pretzel_22 karma

Do you have an emotional attachment to your foot? I would feel like my other foot would get lonely, which is dumb...but honest.

jodycwilliams21 karma

I was an All State Cross Country athlete and soccer player for about 20 years. So yeah, I have an attachment to both of my feet. One of them is about to get detached though, whether it wants to or not!

Good question.

Dirty_Pretzel_31 karma

After the singularity, during the extermination of humans, you will be passed over. The machines look compassionately at their cybernetic brethren. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

jodycwilliams33 karma


Now to perfect my beep boop beep boop

Chuggerbomb21 karma

Could you please describe a little more about the mechanism of the injury? Which direction did the foot peg crush your foot in?

Also how did your foot look afterwards? Was there any obvious deformity apart from the swelling?

I'm a student paramedic in the UK and I've never even heard of this kind of fracture, and it'd be good to know a little more about the mechanism and presentation in case I encounter it in the future.

Best of luck with your op, I hope this provides the resolution you're looking for. Prosthetics have come a very long way in the last few years too, so you may even find that your mobility is improved!

jodycwilliams21 karma

Great question! Was waiting for someone to ask about something medical.

The foot peg crushed my foot pretty much perpendicular to the instep and very near the ankle. I then slid about 30 - 50 yards on the concrete before hitting a curb with my head (thankfully I had a helmet) and shoulder and coming to a stop. I'm guessing here because this happened so fast, but the doctors and I believe that the front of my foot twisted while I slid on the concrete while the center was pinched. This is what most likely tore the ligaments around the cuneiform.

The foot was incredibly swollen immediately afterward. My big toe was obviously pointed outward a bit and the metatarsal and toe could be moved about in all directions fairly easily. The easiest indicator was the clicking and grinding when I walked. As stated in another post, I was told it was a bruised bone and I needed to walk it off. When I walked, you could clearly hear the grinding from several feet away. It was bad enough that my 1SG ordered me to use crutches (against my profile) and that I had to have my foot covered at all times as he was getting sick to his stomach just looking at it. He was very humorous about all of this.

The doctor determined it was a LisFranc Fracture and Dislocation in early December by twisting it under a fluoroscope. He first blocked several nerves. Once I was properly numbed up, he brought in the fluoroscope and then proceeded to twist the front of my foot while holding the back still. I could still feel some of it and let me say it was not enjoyable. At least he was able to see that it was pretty easy to turn the front-top of my left foot almost 90 degrees from the back. It was kinda disgusting to look at.

This is a decent view of a minor LisFranc injury. He only damaged the first metatarsal. All of mine were ripped up and the ligaments connecting the cuneiform to the metatarsals were all dead by the time they properly diagnosed things and tried to treat it.

619shepard7 karma

Were any of your original x-rays done with weight bearing?

jodycwilliams11 karma

Not for several months. Very good question.

This would most likely have shown the spread in the joints. The Ortho Clinic did this in November (accident was August 26th, 2005, 2 days before Katrina). That is when they noticed something, casted my leg, then referred me to podiatry.

Bay-oh-woolph20 karma

They still gonna let you deploy in an auxiliary role, or are they gonna have you fly a desk?

If you're still wanting to ride, check out /r/motorcycles, if I remember correctly there was some research posted about companies that build bikes for amputees, a lot of 'em veterans.


jodycwilliams53 karma

They actually put me out in 2006. It was pretty hard to stay in back then if you couldn't wear a boot (which I couldn't without an amputation). My foot was swollen constantly and didn't bend in the middle anymore, so I was deemed unfit for duty.

I believe it is pretty easy to stay in these days and if I weren't married with a child I would go back and enlist again as soon as I recover. I loved my time in the Army, even though I spent most of it on CQ or working the DOC. I just enjoyed being able to do my part and help my friends.

As for riding, I don't think my wife would be happy with that. She's been through a lot. I'm not a combat PTSD patient, but I wake up in pain yelling all of the time. I have put her through enough the last 3 years. Staying with me and helping me as much as she has I would say has earned her the right to veto some things.

HetzerHetzesHetzly19 karma

The father of one of my friends went through something vaguely similar. A ladder on a cryo tank at his job wasn't mounted properly and collapsed as he was climbing it. He broke his ankle quite badly, and it never healed right. About thirteen years later, the bone started going necrotic and he went with an amputation below the knee. As part of the procedure, they took the heel pad and tendons and grafted them to the bottom of the tibia and fibula to give him a secure, sturdy weight-bearing structure on the bottom of his leg. It apparently helped quite a bit with recovery. Will you be getting something similar done? If not, what will they be doing to negate the problem of having the 'chopsticks' slowly wearing away at the skin at the bottom of the amputation?

I know very little about all of this, and am immensely curious. Sadly, my friend and his father have both passed away, so I can't ask either of them about it anymore.

jodycwilliams17 karma

First, I'm sorry to hear about your friends.

As for the procedure, that is something I'm questioning him about this Wednesday, but what he initially described was this. It is known as an Ertl Amputation.

Applekami15 karma

Hey, I recently went through an ankle fusion 7 months ago. According to all x rays it healed perfectly but I still can't walk for more than a few minute due to pain. It also aches all day and keeps me awake at night. Sometimes I just feel like crying from being so sick of the pain.

I've tried 4 different types of prescribed pain killers and nothing has helped yet. The only thing thats left is morphine, but my Dr is reluctent to give me that for some reason.

You said to ask about chronic pain, so is there any help or advice you can give to at least help me relax at night?

jodycwilliams16 karma

Ah man, that's tough. Ambien worked great for me for a while, but the pain is too much for even that these days. Amitriptyline(Elavil) is something they can try, but for me that stuff knocked me out for 2 or 3 days from 1 dosage. I never felt right on it.

You sound like you have a lot of mechanical pain like me. The only things that work for me is staying off of it and taking Vicodin. Sometimes the pills don't work, but usually they are enough to help me at least bear it for a bit. I also use a lot of cold and hot packs. I just vary them. I still get a lot of swelling everyday though. If you don't, that might not help at all.

Another thing you could try is a good leg pillow, preferably something that isolates and secures your legs. You'd have to sleep on your back, but it might be worth it. I find that anything that helps to remove the effects of gravity, even just a little, seems to help.

I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm here for you, and I'm sure many others are as well. Keep on your doctors, do all of the research you can on the internet and at a library, and most importantly try to find someone with almost the exact same injury that is willing to talk with you. That's been hard for me as LisFranc injuries are pretty rare, but I've met other foot pain folks and learned a lot from them.

akiri4239 karma

Have you ever used the Butrans patch for pain? My boyfriend has a ridiculous amount of back and neck pain (four car accidents have left him with a blown L5 disc, etc.) and he has been using this patch for about a year. Prior to that he was on norco and using it pretty heavily to just get out of bed. The Butrans patch eliminates the highs-and-lows associated with pain pills because the dose is consistent all day long.

jodycwilliams6 karma

I've never even heard of that before your post. I'll do some research tonight. Thank you!

marcusxavier115 karma

does the prospect of always finding the best parking spot and skipping the roller coaster lines have any influence in your decision?

jodycwilliams20 karma

haha, no

I've had a disabled tag for 7 years (DV plates let you park in handicapped spots). It doesn't really matter since there are so many these days. I'd say 10% of the time I get to use a handicap spot at most places. Wal-Mart actually has the most available. Everywhere else is pretty hard. Audie Murphy VA Hospital is the absolute worst. I'm sure everyone that goes there lately can testify to that.

As for roller coasters, I miss them. Haven't gotten to ride one since I got hurt. The bumps and G forces would put me in pretty agonizing pain.

missandei_targaryen14 karma

Hey man, first of all I really hope your surgery goes well.

I wanted to ask you what advice you would give to young people who are interested in motorcycles. I have my motorcycle license and I bought a bike, but I have almost no practice riding it and because of a number of issues, I'm going to have to sell it. I really don't want to, and I want to have the time to practice and get better and develop my riding skills, but at the same time, I'm scared of the reality of a crash. I'm a nurse, so I have no delusions about "oh, that'll never happen to me, though," so part of me is relieved that I'm being forced to sell my bike, but another part of me really hates it.

Would you still encourage young riders to continue riding, or would you tell them the risk isn't worth the fun and freedom of having a motorcycle?

jodycwilliams24 karma

I would never discourage people from trying something that is within their capability, as long as it isn't illegal.

Motorcycles can be great. I took a few riding courses, had put thousands of miles on my bike and really thought I was a great rider before this accident. The fact is, how good you are at riding has a cap on how much that affects what happens to you on the road. At some point your skill doesn't matter when measured against the ability of strangers to notice you or not.

My suggestion would be to ride on dirt first. Get comfortable in an open area where the is no possibility for you to do anything more than get a nasty burn on the grass. Once you've felt like you've mastered that, take a road course and master it before moving on. Finally, it is always safer to travel with other riders, in my opinion. Make yourself as big as possible.

Now those are riding tips. Here are some motorcycle shopping tips that I think are just as important, if not more.

  1. Don't start with anything more than a 500cc. Even that is pushing it.
  2. Don't start with anything more than 2.5x your weight. Past that and you start getting into an area where you cannot get it off you should the need arise. It was something I did the moment I came to a stop. Glad I as strong enough and that the adrenaline was pumping so damn hard.
  3. Buy a helmet, a reflective vest, and some long sleeve/legged rugged clothing.
  4. Find someone that is already very experienced to ride the bike you want to buy before you buy it. They'll know exactly what to look for and how a good bike should feel under road conditions.
  5. This is the big one that would have saved me a leg: Buy a set of Fairing Crash Protectors. They protect your bike from unnecessary damage, but they also stop the bike and/or peg from crushing your foot. Get them for front and back, they are available. It'll keep your bike 3 - 5" off the ground as it slides. I'd still be running today had I spent about $50 on these things. Why they aren't mandatory on all highway capable bikes is befuddling to me.

Alodapotato5 karma

Wow $50 and you could have been saved from years of pain, hindsights real...

jodycwilliams6 karma

Yup. I went looking for ways to prevent this from happening after my accident and that's what I found. I wrote several congressmen, Suzuki and Honda telling them that these little things should be required. Never heard anything back.

Why_Ner10 karma

First, I ask this in all seriousness - but what outcome will make you happiest after your amputation? What will be the ideal result for you?

I absolutely understand that being free of pain is very important (probably THE most important thing at this point)...but I expect that there are things you have thought about and are hoping for beyond that. :)

jodycwilliams14 karma

Happy? Just being able to stand and walk without pain.

Happier? Able to jog and play a little basketball.

Happiest? Swimming, soccer, hiking, biking, and coaching my kid's teams. Maybe even getting back into distance running.

And dream come true would be to accompany 1-8CAV on their Spur ride. I never got to earn my damn hat. Makes me really sad to think about.

spazturtle6 karma


You could have a flipper attachment.

jodycwilliams8 karma

I'm kinda shocked how few swimming prosthetics there are out there, or perhaps I'm just not finding them all.

TheBigRedSD47 karma

Damn, I'm not sure if this is a frequent problem in the military but while I was in Iraq we had a Marine jump off an LAV and break his ankle. The doctors did an x-ray diagnosed it as a fracture and put him in a cast in Al Asad air base for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks he was still in searing pain, and so another doctor decided to take another look and discovered that it was actually broken all the way through and had no set at all. He was flown back to the US where they had to amputate his leg at the knee as well. Our unit flipped it's shit at the medical staff at Al Asad, and unfortunately the injured Marine had to be medically retired.

Is this considered a service related injury since you were on active duty when this occurred? Will you receive a medical pension of any kind? Will any veterans groups assist you with finding a prosthetic and readjusting to your new life?

Sorry to hear that happened man, and thanks for your service.

jodycwilliams9 karma

It was service connected. I was returning from a briefing I had been ordered to attend. I was following all regulations at the time and wearing all safety gear. I was also on base, which helped.

Sorry about your friend. Sounds like he had issues like mine but was treated more immediately than mine at least.

izaacibanez977 karma

How do you handle this emotionally? I always feel very sorry for people missing limbs, but they are usually just "eh" about it, in my experience. Im 17 and had shingles last summer, and I had it on my head. It was on my eye, and there was a good chance id lose my eye. I had to start wearing an eye patch, and within a few days I didn't care, I thought it looked kinda badass. So I guess what im asking, are you pretty sad about this, or are you indifferent?

jodycwilliams16 karma

Hey man, thanks for posting and sharing your experience.

I think you and I see eye-to-eye, pun intended. I'm actually planning to not cover my prosthetic in any human-like outer shell. I kinda like the Robocop look!

As for dealing with it emotionally, I think I'm currently in the easy part, and this hasn't been easy. The hard part is waking up and having a friend of 35 years dead (my left lower leg and foot). It is going to be tough, but I'll take almost anything over this constant pain and inability to do most things.

I'm very anxious more than anything. At night it catches up to me the most and I get very depressed. I think "Why me?" and other pitiful things, but my wife helps to get me straight with her support. I wake up a bit refreshed, but as the pain gets worse during the day it starts building back up.

I've seen others go through much worse, and they all have gone on to succeed. My fellow veterans are an inspiration that helps me out a lot. While I have issues with my care at the VA, I will say this: going to the VA Hospitals is a mental massage that most of us desperately need. I get to see others that went through the same stuff. We share stories. We prop each other up. I have had plenty of WW2 veterans give me their stories, pat me on the back, and tell me it'll all work out. I sat in the Podiatry clinic one day when a guy was wheeled in. He had his WW2 Navy Vet hat on and as I read it I saw something that I found amazing: his boat was the USS Indianapolis. It wasn't that hat, but it was similar. If you want an amazing story, I highly suggest looking up that one.

The old vet was incredibly nice and freely told me his story and how he floated in the ocean and watched his friends die. He ended it with commendations of their service...their dedication to the mission and the American people. Thinking of how he and his shipmates stuck to their orders to protect the mission brought a lot of pride to him. It was pretty amazing to hear his story, and I still think about him regularly.

Tuesday_D7 karma

I really like your answer here. I'm trying to get the Mina X-1 robotic exoskeleton to help me along after both of my knees are replaced. I'm actually really looking forward to being kinda mecha looking. I'm hoping they'll let me do a DuPont Mirage wrap on it.

jodycwilliams8 karma

Just make sure they install the Transformers' sound pack or it'll be a total let down, right?

Tuesday_D5 karma

I want the Six-Million Dollar Man package. ;)

jodycwilliams7 karma

Do we really have the technology? Can we make him better?

sortaplainnonjane7 karma

Can you please clarify what happened? You had your foot crushed...and they waited 3 months for an x-ray?

jodycwilliams15 karma

No, not exactly.

August 26th, 2005, I was involved in an accident that crushed my left foot. I was taken to the hospital. A resident there ordered an X-Ray, reviewed it, then sent me back to my company with a profile that said "Return to Duty in 3 days". Nothing else special on it.

That afternoon, I was still in an incredible amount of pain but had to report to formation. When I went in, I didn't have a shoe on because I couldn't wear anything. My foot disgusted my 1SG and Captain enough that they told the formation to get me to the hospital. Sgt. Eugene Lamie (KIA Iraq) volunteered and rushed me straight there with his emergency flashers going.

Second visit to the ER the same day didn't do much for me. They gave me some stronger painkillers (Percocet I believe) and sent me back to the barracks with a profile that said I was to remain in bed for a few days.

Now, on the side of all of this you have to imagine what was going on. Everyone knew Katrina was coming and it was going to be bad. 1CD, 2nd Brigade, 1-8 CAV had been preparing for a few days to be called up in case we were requested. We'd been packing our bags, laying it out for inspections, and reporting to rehearsal emergency formations quite often. This sounds very contrary to what you heard on the news, I know. As someone who stood in those formations and packed and repacked my gear probably 20 times I can say with 100% certainty that we were prepared to haul ass to Louisiana the moment the governor requested help.

So, back to my story. Now I'm in bed and no longer in those formations. Everything was hectic and I was pretty much forgotten as we had more important things to be concerned with. On August 28th, Katrina started to pound Louisiana. A few days later, my company and many others were finally given the order to go. I was left on Rear D confined to my room for most of the time. The company ended up being in New Orleans for 2 weeks, leaving me stuck in my room without the ability to seek further medical care short of calling an ambulance, which I wasn't going to do.

They returned a few weeks later and checked in on me. The first week they were back was unpacking and cleaning up time. Instead of taking 2 weeks off it was more like 3. Now nearly a month has gone by since I've seen a doctor.

Late September rolls around and C-Co begins to have normal morning formations again, and I'm required to attend. I'm still unable to wear a boot, but my profile didn't allow me to do otherwise. I just showed up to formations hobbling and carrying the boot and sock that I couldn't wear. Picture a very tall, very grizzled old Puerto Rican 1SG with a very weak stomach seeing my foot yet again and not seeing any progress. He wasn't happy.

It was at this time that I began attending sick call every single morning, as ordered by Top and the CO. Sick Call was in a small trailer between the barracks. The guy seeing me every day was a Physician's Assistant with the rank of Captain. For the next several weeks he didn't do much more than rubberstamp the ER's opinion and send me back to my barracks with more Advil than your local pharmacy might carry in a 6 month period.

This proved to be an annoyance to my CO and 1SG, so they started sending E5s with me to the appointments. Just a few of those is all it took for the PA to refer me to the actual clinic with the doctors. A week or two there and I was finally at the Ortho guys sometime in late October. This is when they noticed the deformity and casted my foot. This is when I was referred to podiatry finally.

The real story here is that there are a very wide range of factors in the Army that determine your quality of care. Deployments can definitely put a kink in things, but seeing a higher rank from those who are supposed to care for you is also something I believe needs to end, at least on bases. Not being able to fight for proper medical care yourself because you fear that you're going to be punished is horrible. I shouldn't have had to be accompanied by NCOs to get a PA to move things along, but I did. Even once I got the proper diagnosis from Podiatry in late November, they first said there wasn't anything they could do but cast it some more. Again, an NCO had to accompany me. They had me leave the room while they "discussed" my care. I could hear my tank commander yelling at the Major from down the hall. I was brought in afterward, told by the Major "Well, maybe we can pin it", and that was the beginning of my surgical odyssey.

sortaplainnonjane8 karma

I was a 68W, so I'm familiar with Army medicine. That said, you were clearly failed at several points. :(

I would like to point out that most of the physician assistants I've met have been phenomenal. I'm sorry that wasn't your experience.

I hope the surgery goes well and you are able to be pain-free.

jodycwilliams8 karma

In his defense, he was just agreeing with the Doctor. Just as I was scared to argue with someone above me, perhaps he was as well. I don't really hold any ill will toward him, even if he was a bit of a pompous ass. :P

Dunder_Chingis7 karma

So what are your options as far as awesome cyborg robo legs go now? Does insure cover those?

jodycwilliams9 karma

Really not sure quite yet. I haven't seen a prosthetist yet. There are a ton of great options though. As for paying, I have to see what the VA is going to give me. Don't think I'm going to get much of a choice.

DakkarDragontis6 karma

Have you given any thoughts to new nicknames?

jodycwilliams18 karma

Not yet, but you're welcome to suggest some!

My wife and I have thought about getting a peg leg prepared for all the Halloweens I'll be attending with my son.

Willbeer4work6 karma

Are you receiving any benefits or perks for electively having it removed?

jodycwilliams12 karma

I would definitely not say that.

The VA pays a SMC(k) rate to BKAs. That's $101.50/month for losing a leg. Not sure I'd call that a benefit or a perk, but it is something.

I'm going to be rated again after this. There is a good chance that I'll have my rating lowered. Maybe not though. My knees and hips are shot on both side and have to be rated in the future along with everything else.

The fact that I'm doing it electively doesn't factor into it, really. Elective sounds like I'm asking for it to be done and that's that, but it isn't that simple. Sure, this isn't emergent and has nothing to do with saving my life immediately, so it doesn't line up with a lot of amputations. However, it is considered to be a major improvement to my Quality of Life, and the VA as well as my private doctor all agree that this is necessary.

So, it isn't really that much of an option. They've all said there is nothing more that can be done with the foot surgically or otherwise. My old podiatrist wants me to try another pair of shoes (which would be the 3rd or 4th), but I've decided 9 years is long enough to wait for miracle shoes to save me.

toferx6 karma

Just had lisfranc surgery done on a unilateral dislocation of all the metatarsals on my left foot. Had 3 screws and 2 pins placed in my foot and after 6 months I'm walking again but I'm not getting very much guidance from my doctor. I asked them if there was anything I could do such as exercises or massaging it to help with the recovery and they basically said to let my body take care of it.

Do you have any advice on how to take care of it after your experience? Hope the amputation goes well and you get a cool prosthetic that'll let you run/jump and walk normally.

jodycwilliams6 karma

Yes, I do have some advice. Don't get onto it until you are 100% sure you're ready. And then, use a cam walker for a long time. LisFranc Injury can be treated really well these days if given the proper patience to heal.

You should start working on range of motion for your ankle as soon as the stitches are out. Very little at first, mind you. And if you don't have a CryoCuff I highly suggest you talk to your doctor about getting one. You're going to have a lot of swelling for a year or so, and that thing will help you deal with it in a very convenient way. Lastly, you may want to talk with your doctor about a bone stim if you had a fusion.

Get better man and take it easy. That injury will cost you a leg if you try to rush things.

ScanExam5 karma

Have your surgeons discussed phantom pain phenomena and other potential residual neuropathic pain syndromes?

jodycwilliams11 karma

Yes. Supposedly, Phantom Pain isn't nearly as much an issue for planned amputations as it is for emergent. However, I've seen a lot of people suggest that you get checked into the hospital a few days prior to the surgery and put on an epidural. Apparently, if you can make your brain forget about it a few days prior to the surgery, it helps a lot afterward.

quickscopemcjerkoff2 karma

Have you already picked out your prosthetic leg?

jodycwilliams2 karma

Not yet. I have not yet seen a prosthetist, but I'm hoping to soon.

I have done a bit of research into it. Thankfully, there are a lot of options out there these days.

GSD_LOVER2 karma

what kind of bike were you on?

jodycwilliams4 karma

A Suzuki GSX something or other. It has been 9 years and thousands of narcotic pills since then! lol :)

bigpersonguy2 karma

Are you going to be able to run and be active again without or with minimal pain after recovery from the procedure? That would be payday for me if i were in your situation.

jodycwilliams4 karma

Supposedly the pain will be much less. I mean, the foot won't even be there. So, it'll have to be some sort of completely new pain if anything.

CopperMyDog2 karma

Are you going to sue the guy?

jodycwilliams2 karma

Not really possible since he drove off and was never found.

altSHIFTT2 karma

Wow, good luck with the surgery, do you think you will miss having a leg? I for one, would not miss it much if I had to amputate my leg, because I am a fairly inactive person as it is, and the exercise I do is reasonably light, mostly on a bike which I would assume would be very easy to retrofit with an extension for the missing part of the leg. Would you be interested in actively tinkering with the prosthetic? Are you the type of person that would utilize 3d printers to make improvements? Also, since your leg is fairly painful as it is, do you think it will be a lot better to just amputate, or do you think you might regret it a bit? Sorry for the bunch of questions, and again, good luck!

jodycwilliams4 karma

I have missed it for 9 years as is. Imagine having just a flat piece of 2x4 that's about 10" long attached to the bottom of your leg for a decade. That's pretty much how it has been.

Will I miss the damaged leg? Nah, I don't think so.

My leg is becoming less useful everyday. Walking with a bad gait causes a lot of damage to joints all over. My right side is going to have to go too if I don't do something about the left sooner rather than later.

3D printers are something I'm very interested in. There are a few neat plans out there that people have put together for prosthetics. I haven't had the time to do anything about that prior to this, but I'll definitely look into it.

tibialpursuit2 karma

Do you ever think about luncheon meat when you think about BKAs? I personally never think about them as "below knee"; rather, I think of them as "baloney" amputations. I know they're serious business, but I always end up thinking about sandwiches.

jodycwilliams2 karma

I didn't really until today, and now I can't stop thinking about a good turkey sandwich every time my foot hurts.

Thanks reddit. :(

ryanasimov2 karma

Any pre-op discussion or counseling from the doctors about what to expect with regards to phantom-limb sensation?

jodycwilliams3 karma

This is what he's talked with me a lot about. I shouldn't have much in the way of Phantom Pain since mine is planned, but he's expecting a year or more before I stop trying to scratch my non-existent toes.

fbifriday1 karma

What happened to the soldier that hit you?

jodycwilliams2 karma

I responded to that in an earlier comment. He drove off and was never found.

Thanks for the question.

lewko1 karma

Any plans to marry a smoking hot girl and then shoot her through a door?

jodycwilliams1 karma

I think my wife is pretty smoking hot as is. As for shooting, I don't think so. I'm actually giving my friend my pistol for a few weeks immediately after the surgery. I don't want to do anything stupid while I'm heavily medicated and depressed.

Tuesday_D1 karma

What sort of nerve disorders were you diagnosed with and was there anything done to treat the nerves other than narcotics?

I'm currently suffering from CRPS after a surgery went wrong. I'm trying to think of m next steps.

A nerve in my left leg thinks my leg has been amputated. Before I was finally treated, I was in constant unmanageable pain and was paralyzed for 5 months. I considered having the thing amputated for real to get rid of that nerve but the flawed signals have already taken over my body. An amputation would probably make it happen higher up. I'm already experiencing symptoms in my dominant hand after a break.

I will be very interested to see how this all works out for you. All the best for recovery!

jodycwilliams2 karma

I have been told I most likely have CRPS as well. It sucks, but since getting on Lyrica my life has changed in terms of the nerve pain.

Have you tried Gabapentin or Lyrica?

kawasutra1 karma

What have you been doing to deal with the chronic pain? And what footwear were you wearing at the time of the accident? You have gone through a LOT mentally I imagine to have come to the decision to electively amputate the leg. Respect to you!

jodycwilliams3 karma

I was wearing the standard Army issued combat boot at the time. A full leather boot that went up to about my calf. It had a very rigid sole and a very wide front portion. I actually believe that was part of why this injury turned out to be so bad.

Rawtashk1 karma

2 questions

1: I know nothing about amputations. Is it required that it be right below the knee and not just the foot? No prosthetic feet, I'm going to assume? Just legs?

2: Let's say that you would have had a correct diagnosis on day 1 of your injuries. Would that have saved your foot/leg? Was is the 3 months of you limping around on your injuries and the bones healing incorrectly that make it un-repairable, or were you fucked from day one no matter what/

619shepard2 karma

Not OP but any amputation that removes the ankle joint is considered a below knee amputation. It's actually preferred to leave more of the residual limb if possible because it tends to be lighter and therefore easier to deal with than a prosthetic.

Rawtashk1 karma

I was more referring to the picture where the amputation line was right below the knee.

jodycwilliams1 karma

Ah...I just had that drawn as part of the daily art work. It'll be 7" below the knee in reality.

jodycwilliams1 karma

Thanks for your questions.

I'm not much more experienced than you, but I'll add what I can.

  1. They can amputate just about anywhere. The choice is more about what kind of prosthetic will work best for you. My doctors and I agreed I would have the most options with a BKA (below knee) than anything else. Amputating part of my foot wouldn't really work as my ankle is incredibly messed up at this point as well

  2. Day 1 LisFranc injuries are typically very easy to treat. If casted and immobilized immediately, most people recover just fine. It is the ligaments that are the concern, and they die kinda fast if not properly tended to. There were several football players injured recently with a LisFranc dislocation or fracture. It has gotten a lot of attention in just the last few years, which is awesome. You can find more from the NFL here.

I'm not sure this would have helped my specific injury much. The trauma to my foot was pretty wide spread, but you never know. One doctor did tell me had they caught it immediately I would have recovered 100%. If they don't catch it quickly, they have to fuse the bones of the joints. That's when things can go from bad to hellacious pretty quickly.

ReeferSutherland_1 karma


jodycwilliams1 karma

Yeah, that's part of being young and naive.

ReeferSutherland_1 karma

Yeah, shit, I guess some things just last a lifetime. Wrong thread for dumb shit, sorry man.

jodycwilliams1 karma

Nope, not at all. This is the exact thread.

I wish I had stood up to the few people that gave me hell back then (very few actual soldiers did).

The only time I got real hell was coming back from a clearing appointment in flip flops and full BDUs one day. A Colonel stops me and starts yelling at me pretty bad on the side walk, accusing me of being out of uniform. I stood there and let him go on for a good bit. I found it kinda weird that he didn't notice all the scars and even a few stitches in my foot, but oh well.

He stood there on Battalion Avenue on Ft. Hood screaming for probably 5 minutes before he came to his senses and asked if I had a profile. Finally getting a chance to respond, I pulled it out and gave it to him with a smile on my face. Clear as day it said "footwear of choice" (I actually still have this profile in my files).

That Colonel's face turned really red, but not from anger. The guy apologized profusely, stopped a car, and made them give me a ride.

Geofferic-4 karma

Do you have any awesome, really sexy siblings that may or may not have also gotten their toenails painted?

Just curious.

jodycwilliams2 karma

Sexy? Nah. Sorry.