United Brachial Plexus Network, Inc. • Arm Amputation, Flail Arm
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Arm Amputation, Flail Arm

Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:28 pm
by RobN
I'm finally gonna go through with the surgery. After 7 years it is time to go faster. I am having some concerns with my doctor. As a result of abusing what I have left, my plate that fused my flail arm (right arm) is twisted, cracked, and the screws are coming out. In order to use a Body powered prothetic, something I am not so gung ho about, he wants to keep as much stump as possible and refuse the arm into one position in order to utilize my shoulder fuctions.

My concerns are when I am not using the prosthesis. Other than having a stump sticking out of short sleeve shirts, it concerns me to have this wing poking out and exsposing itself to whatever may want to smack it around. I know I have mentioned on here I like to Skate and Snowboard, I do. I also don't hold back. This concerns me because I will be riding without the P arm and if I take a fall, which I will. I could really do some damage to my shoulder with the screws and plate pulling and tugging. So, at what level or area have some of your amputations been. My doctor is suggesting right above the elbow.

I'm thinking that there are all levels of amputations and there have been breakthroughs no matter where the amputation begins. Am I right or just gulible? I know to discuss this with my prosthetic and doc, and have. I just know there is a collective opinion on this board that speaks from straight exsperiences. I would love to get emails about this subject.

Thanks for your time

Re: Arm Amputation, Flail Arm

Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:22 pm
by jennyb
Hey Rob
So you decided for the chop, eh? Me too, but it's turning out not so simple....long story.
Anyway, as ever I did loads of research among people who already had it done and also read published papers following amputees long term. It confirmed what I already felt-the majority of amputees never wear their prosthetics, we are talking high 90's percentage wise. I have a flail arm and am used to not having an arm to use, so I don't think I'd be strapping on a prosthetic just to tie my shoes or whatever, and I feel it will be such a relief to get rid of the flail arm dangling around that I wouldn't be too keen on attaching an artificial flail arm just for appearances sake. On the other hand (hahaaaa) I wouldn't mind being able to change the oil in my van, so maybe I'd use a prothesis sometimes. But not often enough to warrant more surgery....
One of the guys on the UK site had the chop, then had it redone as they didn't take enough off first time. He's posted recently, take a look over there.
I want to have mine chopped above elbow, the docs here want to do it below, but it's my arm and I'll decide. They do know a lot about surgery etc, but not many of them do long term follow ups and none of them live life with a flail arm. Heck, most of em never read other doctors papers or bother to read websites like this.
I do have some biceps which makes a difference. But for me, I wouldn't do anything just to enable a prosthesis, I just don't think I'd use it enough.

Good luck Rob, hope things go well. Let us know :0)
Jen NZ

Re: Arm Amputation, Flail Arm

Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:18 pm
by RobN
Well, I can see maybe using the arm for garage type stuff. I am really gung ho about this. http://www.prostheticarm.com/index.html
If anyone is looking for good advice it can come from this guy. I just want my doc to understand all my needs. after all they are mine.....

I would love to hear from TPBI amputees in my same boat. Thank you for your reply.

Good luck,

Re: Arm Amputation, Flail Arm

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 7:59 am
by jacko
As an amputee, I agree with your doctor. I first wanted it taken off at the shoulder, but eventually had it done mid-humerus. This means you can wear shirts properly, and it stops a jacket being blown off in the wind. It also means that you can carry a light rucksack.

Since I've had the amp, I've bashed my arm and shoulder a couple of times, and it really hurt, but it would've hurt just as much with the flail arm still there. I'm sure that the flail arm you have flopping around there at the moment is helping to damage your plate, whereas removing probably wouldn't make the situation any worse, and would almost certainly improve it.

I agree with Jenny about prosthetics. I never wear one. I couldn't care less about what people think when they see an amped arm. It's my life, it's my empty sleeve. I can do everything I want to do with one arm and a bit of ingenuity.

Good luck.

Re: Arm Amputation, Flail Arm

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:27 pm
by RobN
Going to repost here again. Wow, that was 10 years ago. I still have not had the resources to follow through with surgery, and I am really in need of some assistance.

I am hoping for some kind of source for support to help get this going. the strain and aches , and pain in my shoulder are un bearable.

I live in a remote area of NC, where The closest doctors are in Norfolk VA, 1.5 hrs to the north.

Any advice on resources in NC or VA would greatly be appreciated.

Thank you!


Re: Arm Amputation, Flail Arm

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:02 pm
by Master DIVER TOM
First :shock: You are doing Great!!! ;)
Try , try again, :shock: ;)
The shoulder pain is from gravity on the arm, Get Dans sling, the less weigh on the arm the better, rest your arm and shoulder on furniture that has arm rest, even a knee works to rest the shoulder and arm ;)
Meds :roll: , well it a quest .
Change med often so you dont get hook, by increase the amount of dose :roll:
Shoulder pain we all have by post no matter when it happen. :shock:
I live in Nc to 28673 ;)
Just thinking, WE all do great by are trys by post ,enduring more pain in are trys, its tenacity ;) :shock:

Re: Arm Amputation, Flail Arm

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:44 pm
by Weldernut
I to am in NC. Wake forest Baptist hospital is where I was taken. Dr. Li is willing to do my amputation but I am currently contemplating the DREZ. before going through with the amputation. injured 2yrs ago


Re: Arm Amputation, Flail Arm

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:36 pm
by Master DIVER TOM
From Tom,
Lake Norman 28673,
Dont amputate yet, Please,
Prostates have weight to,
I want to meet :shock:
Brith Erbs and only good arm ripe up driving a semi 25 years,
I AM here,

Re: Arm Amputation, Flail Arm

Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:15 pm
by Master DIVER TOM
Please look at these post before you consider a arm Amputation,
Some that post find please by Amputation, Others Do not. The answer really relies in what you need to do. Ever one is Difference,
I hope this helps, This subject is hard to do, Ether way or outcome.