My sister just posted some pictures over on /r/pics of me before and after my amputation.This is why I got it amputated:

"He opted to have the amputation because he had been fighting a very rare bone/joint disease called Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS), which is essentially recurring benign tumors in his ankle. He got his first radiation treatment at 21 years old.
Alongside this, he also had degenerative arthritis; so much so that when the surgeon dissected his ankle after the amputation, there was ZERO cartilage left. He had been walking bone-on-bone for a couple years now, which caused bone spurs and an incredible amount of pain (only slightly dulled by heavy narcotics).
We're not sure how this happened, but as his pain increase over the years, we started to recall just how many snowboarding, wakeboarding, and rugby injuries were on that specific ankle."

Hey guys, Ask me anything! PROOF

Edit: Wow, this has been absolutely crazy. Thank you for all the kind words, and thanks to the Fredvegas people for checking in! Also, I am 23 years old for those of you who have been asking.

Edit 2: Thank you so much Reddit!! Because so many of you have contacted UNYQ to try to buy me a prosthetic cover, UNYQ has started a Crowdtilt fund! The company will match anything that Reddit contributes. You guys have already donated enough to tilt the fund, which is so awesome! Thank you to you crazy amazing people, and to UNYQ!

Comments: 1850 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

WastedKnowledge1638 karma

Good to see you in such positive spirits, OP!

Just curious, did your insurance company foot the bill?

rightfooted847 karma

Yes, they did. I am super lucky

Smurrrphh1271 karma

Did the surgeon have a hilarious reaction when he/she saw the awesome tattoo?

rightfooted2091 karma

Apparently he got the picture of my tattoo in an email while he was at a conference in London. He showed it around and it somehow became the hit thing at the conference

NikitaNinja959 karma

You're clearly creative, have you been thinking about possible Halloween costumes? If so, what's top of the list?

rightfooted2030 karma

Me as a surfer, my girlfriend as a shark. Complete with the surfboard and the bite cut out of it

AustinTheMiller862 karma

You seem to stay very positive and keep a fantastic sense of humor through this ordeal and I applaud you for that. This may be a little too personal, but how scared were you going into the procedure? Was imagining life without half of your leg a scary thought for you? I know that it would be for me.

rightfooted1281 karma

Right before the surgery, I was definitely freaking out a bit. It was such a "no turning back" decision. But as soon as I woke up from the surgery and looked down, I knew I had done the right thing

wildkarrde727 karma

Damn, it looks like you're taking it really well. Are you interested in one of the vanity prosthetic limbs that would totally make you look badass? Some photos here -

rightfooted716 karma

I am definitely looking into UNYQ limb fairings. Those things look awesome

HazyHunter801472 karma

You seem like a really fun guy, you gonna mess with people and pretend like your foot fell off in crazy situations sort of like "Arrested Development"?

rightfooted787 karma

Furrrr. Suurreee. It is one of the biggest things I look forward to

countinuityerror12163 karma

I had a professor with a prosthetic leg. He said his favorite bar trick was to bet someone $20 he could balance an open beer on the bottom of his foot. When someone took the bet, he took his leg off, turned it upside down and put the beer on it.

rightfooted142 karma

yes. Yes. YES. YYEESSS!!!

TREEF1DDY413 karma

Did they actually amputate along the dotted-line tattoo?

rightfooted614 karma

Nope, I got the one low enough that they would chop it off completely

thewakingforce385 karma

What did they do with the foot?

rightfooted743 karma

They took it away, I was not allowed to keep it. I did ask the doc to dissect it and take pics of the inside. So I got to see how messed up it was

thewakingforce339 karma

Op plz deliver we would love to see the pics

rightfooted859 karma

This is looking at the front of my ankle, with my leg pulled back. On the right side you can see the rough bone with no cartilage. NSFL

Jisamaniac72 karma

Can you explain what I'm looking at? I clicked the link and not entirely sure what is what.

rightfooted182 karma

You are looking at the top of my ankle bone and the bottom of my tibia. Imagine sitting on my toes looking back at my ankle. Then the ankle is cut open, and the leg is pulled back

mnfats383 karma

How you feeling post op?

rightfooted797 karma

I am feeling pretty good. Phantom pain is definitely a thing, and it is not the most fun thing.

geekygirl23411 karma

Grab the mirror!

rightfooted593 karma

I am using the mirror! It doesn't make it go away completely right away, but it definitly has been getting better every day

amayain362 karma

Dumb question- for those of us not familiar with phantom limb treatment, what does the mirror do?

rightfooted666 karma

You place the mirror between your legs, so it looks like the reflection of your good foot looks like the amputated foot. I then work on moving my phantom toes at the same time I move my toes on the good foot.

I hope that actually makes sense.

exorthderp93 karma

Can u explain what phantom pain is? Is it your nerves like freaking out?

rightfooted235 karma

It feels like my foot is still there. It also changes as I heal. It used to feel like my toes were crazy clenched and cramping, it has now transformed to feel like I am getting pokes from big needles in my foot.

nemesmith357 karma

Are you noticing any "phantom limb" sensations?

rightfooted492 karma

yes, right now it feels like big needles going into my foot

originalsinner702245 karma

Does it feel like you can still wiggle your toes?

rightfooted475 karma

Yes! It is so weird. I can feel myself moving my big toe when I concentrate on it

PhiNeurOZOMu68352 karma

You seem like an awesome guy! Have you ever thought of getting a prosthetic that had a bottle opener like those at the bottom of sandals?

rightfooted1121 karma

That is a great idea! Never thought of that.
I actually would like to get a leg with a USB port that converts the kinetic energy from me walking into electrical energy to charge my phone.

StripedSweater13316 karma

Hey, sorry to hear about the amputation, but it looks like you're gonna be just fine with your great attitude!

What are you looking forward to the most in these upcoming months? 6 pairs of socks now lasting for 12 days?

rightfooted371 karma

Looking forward to running again. I feel like I will break into a sprint at random a lot

lightlysaltedtarako313 karma

What time are you going to bed?

rightfooted267 karma

Good question. This is so much fun, I have been sitting on my butt watching tv the past week or so. The interaction is great. And it is nice to see all the support!

rightfooted278 karma

I didn't see your username until just now. Touche.

lightlysaltedtarako291 karma

Hahaha good night motha fuucckkaaaaaaaa

deliciouspancakes44170 karma

both of you should go to bed! even cody and shasta are sleeping by now!

rightfooted146 karma

Ladies and Gentlemen, my girlfriend has finally made her lovely appearance!!

Imhereforthebooze234 karma

Do you have an artificial limb already picked out?

rightfooted442 karma

I really want a running blade, those things look crazy fun

panker1315 karma

Careful with those blades. They've been linked to accidentally shooting your girlfriend in the middle of the night.

rightfooted888 karma

Well I will only have the one blade. So I will only be half as crazy.


How long till you can get one and be on your feet....errr... foot again?

rightfooted218 karma

I start getting fitted for a new leg as soon as the sutures are out, which should be in about 2 weeks

Lasereye219 karma

I'm assuming the pictures she posted included you doing some awesome events before you had the foot taken, so if that's correct, what was the most fun thing you did that you hadn't done or got to relive?

rightfooted428 karma

The most fun thing I did before the surgery was go skydiving with my girlfriend

MasterShakeHalen86 karma

Did you happen to catch Beck and Outkast at Firefly.... I thought they killed it.

rightfooted195 karma

I was in the VIP section for Outkast, it was amazing.

StarFoxN64202 karma

So... Was that the firefly music fest you were at in those pics your sis posted? Looked like it, hope you had a blast in Delaware if it was!

rightfooted326 karma

Yeah! Firefly was awesome. There was an employee there who heard my story and gave me and my lady free VIP passes for Sunday, which was amazing

GangstaHoodrat158 karma

How did you manage to remain so positive throughout the whole ordeal?

edit: Spelling.

rightfooted257 karma

I have an AMAZING support system. Between friends and family, it is easy staying positive. I also keeping looking towards the future when I will be able to run and play sports again

iliketuurtles153 karma

How long did it take to make the final decision?

Was your doctor/family supportive of your decision?

rightfooted267 karma

I visited the top doc at Johns Hopkins, and he basically said it was amputation or fusion. That is when I chose amputation. My family has been amazingly supportive. I am the luckiest guy to have them.

beulerplate124 karma

What do you mean by fusion?

rightfooted242 karma

Fusion would be screwing all the bones together so that my foot would not move. It had a 50/50 shot at taking the pain away, and it would have been a year-long process

pop_and_lock227 karma

I'm an orthopaedic surgeon and I have been dying to know more about how you arrived at this decision. Thank you for posting this. I can't imagine what you've been through with that ankle. Based on your attitude, I'd be willing to bet anything that you're going to have an amazing outcome. Best of luck to you.

rightfooted297 karma

Thank you very much! To arrive at the decision, I kind of looked at my entire life on a timeline. I drew out how long a ankle replacement would last, how long a fusion would last, etc. It basically came down to either going through surgeries for a good portion of my life to replace the parts that I break in my ankle, or have one surgery to end them all and be as active as I want on a prosthetic.
After 6 years of watching every sport I loved being taken away from me because of my ankle, the idea of taking my ankle away and getting the ability to play all those sports again was almost a no-brainer. On paper it was the logical thing to do, it just took me a little bit to get past the emotional piece. After that, I was good to go.

VanderLegion114 karma

When did you first find out you had PVNS? I had (have?) it in one of my knees. I've had surgery twice now to remove it. The first time it was pretty bad and the had to do an incision on the back of thanked. The second time they were able to do it arthroscopically. Havent noticed any issues sincere second surgery fortunately. Hoping they got it all and it won't come back again, but well see. Never had radiation for it.

rightfooted139 karma

I found out I had PVNS 6 years ago after a wake boarding accident. They went in to clear out scar tissue and found the tumors. I am happy to hear that you have not seen it come back! I hope it stays away!

VanderLegion66 karma

It came back the first time(hence the second surgery), but I'm hopeful it won't come back again. Found out about it in the first place when I finally went to the doc cause my knee kept hurting for no discernable reason. Got lucky both times. The first time I was on my dad's military insurance still so the military paid to fly me down to get the surgery. Second time, had noticed my knee starting to swell up and hurt occasionally again after a couple of years. This time, my wife was working at an orthopedic doctors office, so I got the MRI (to see that it had indeed come back) and the surgery for free. Just had to pay for the OR and anesthesiologist basically (and had my own insurance to help there). The second surgery was several years ago and I haven't noticed any issues yet, so I'm hopeful, but I know the odds of ot coming back are high. I need to go get another MRI again soon probably to check up on it...

rightfooted29 karma

My PVNS would come back 6 months after the surgery. If yours has been gone for several years I would think you have a good chance of it being gone for good. Good Luck!

bionku109 karma

It's so neat to see someone so positive with your position, just know it's okay to be bummed as well. One a side note, have any good puns or plans for your new setup?

rightfooted176 karma

I am most excited about what I will be doing for Halloween. I will be dressing as a surfer and my girlfriend will be a shark

Dogboydan103 karma

Holy Shit! You're the first actual person I've seen that also had PVNS. And I though I had it bad! I'm a 28yr old who just had a total hip replacement in January due to PVNS. Half my doctors didn't even know what it was! How long did you have to deal with the symptoms of PVNS and have you met anyone else that had it? I had it for about six years and I also got to the point where it was bone on bone so I feel your pain. Got to the point where even going to get groceries was exhausting due to the massive pain. I just want to say that your humour and optimistic outlook are awesome as I know how hard it is to stay positive with the constant pain! Hope the phantom pain goes away soon so that you can also get back to living your life pain free!

rightfooted85 karma

It is so cool to see someone else with PVNS! It is so rare, I have never actually met another PVNS-er in person. I dealt with the symptoms for at least 6 years. Thanks for the support!

stinnett7674 karma

How long did you live with the pain before making this decision? Did you decide on amputation because of the better prospects for mobility on a prosthetic leg versus a fused ankle or was it more about eliminating the pain for certain?

I have constant pain from a crushed ankle a couple years doctor says a fusion may be in my near future. I wonder if I will be making a similar decision.....

Thanks for sharing.

rightfooted115 karma

I lived with the pain for around 6 years. I decided on amputation because it was the only decision that I saw that would allow me to keep my active lifestyle.
Good luck with your ankle! I am sure you will make the right choice either way!

polyfionicspree66 karma

Why Sorry Mom? Is that the one in Fredericksburg?

rightfooted186 karma

It is the one in downtown Fredericksburg. The tattoo artist, Ryan, was awesome. He did the tattoo for free!

mmaireenehc60 karma

Any plans of getting another witty tattoo?

rightfooted202 karma

"One foot in the grave" is the front-runner, but I am definitely open to suggestions!

AJEMT56 karma

How long has it been since the operation? Any ragrets since? Like do you miss your foot? I can't imagine missing a part of me that I've always had. Thank you for doing this AMA!

rightfooted105 karma

Thanks for asking! It has been about two weeks since the surgery. I do not miss my foot because it caused me so much pain.

MDVYN55 karma

What is the first thing you want to do after you get your prosthetic that you haven't been able to do because of the pain?

rightfooted142 karma

Run as fast as I possibly can

3clipse50 karma

You've said you're having phantom pain - are you finding it worse, better, same as the pain you were having before?

rightfooted126 karma

To be honest, right now it is about the same. The weird thing is sometimes I can feel the pain I used to del in my ankle as phantom pain. The main difference between my old pain the the phantom pain is that the phantom pain is getting better everyday. My old pain got worse every day

biernas43 karma

Hey you're a brave dude! What has helped you the most to have a positive outlook given this whole ordeal?

rightfooted68 karma

The crazy amount of support from friends and my family

downvotethiscontent40 karma


rightfooted71 karma

Definitely, especially with the great prosthetics out there

Dangerous-Dugong31 karma


rightfooted66 karma


Noirony22 karma

I have mildly poor ankles and the... it's really only discomfort, usually, can be maddening. Was that any part of your inspiration for the saw jokes and tattoo? As in, "cut this b*** off before I do it myself"? They seem to have some seriously amazing prosthetics now. All the functionality, very little of the pain, hell, I'm almost sold. Do you feel a "ghost"? I hope these weren't too ghoulish or triggering in any way. Best wishes for a comfortable and maximal healing.

rightfooted33 karma

Yeah, I still can feel my ankle and foot. But I have been told that this will go away when I start getting fitted for a new leg

Oasio20 karma

Whenever the nurses came back from getting his medication, he'd put on this beard and say, "What took you so long? I've been waiting here forever!"

That beard joke is hilarious. You're sense of humor and good spirits in light of such a difficult situation are inspiring.

If this doesn't get buried, how did you manage the uncertainty and any fears?

Thanks for sharing!

rightfooted17 karma

Thanks, I loved putting the beard on and messing around.

I tried to get as much certainty as I could, i.e. "I WILL run again." "I WILL play sports again." and focus on those. I was still scared and uncertain, but it did help to focus on the things I would be able to do afterwards.

MrSlowrolla1 karma

Firstly, you seem like an awesome dude, taking this all in your stride and really making the most out of it.

When you look down where your foot used to be, is it weird to see nothing? What happens if you try to move your foot around? That would be so mind blowing.

What do you have planned next? What type of prosthetic are you going to look for?

rightfooted3 karma

Thanks! It is not too weird to see nothing where my foot used to be. Although sometimes I do forget and try to scratch my other foot with the foot that is no longer there! I can move my foot that is no longer there if I concentrate. It is pretty weird.