Dating after arm amputation
A neighbour was coming in at the same time, and once we’d stopped laughing – despite it being agony – he helped me up.’ Any amusement quickly dissipated when, a couple of hours and a few painkillers later, Matthew’s foot was severely swollen and couldn’t bear any weight.
He adds: ‘Prosthetic technology is advanced – we’re not talking about peg-legs now.In many cases you can’t tell by looking at a person walking that they have a prosthesis.’Matthew’s ordeal began in February 2010 as he was arriving home from work.‘It was icy and there was no street lighting around the back of my house,’ he remembers.‘I was stepping out of the car with a shopping bag in one hand, and I didn’t see the edge of the cobblestones.‘There was a sharp pain and a pop in my ankle, and then I was flat on my back.‘It’s seen as mutilating but despite the fact we now know more about joints than we did hundreds of years ago, there are limitations to what we can achieve in terms of fixing or replacing them,’ admits Mr Mannion.‘For patients such as Matthew, chronic lower limb pain has an awful effect on quality of life.
‘He is a man in the prime of his life with a family who is now essentially wheelchair-bound and unable to work.
We could keep operating on him for years attempting to fix the problem, but I’m not convinced it would reduce his pain significantly or improve his mobility.’ Mr Mannion says this is not an isolated case, and he is now treating a handful of patients with similar chronic problems in the same way.
Matthew Smith dreams of walking: striding through a park hand in hand with his wife Sarah, carrying their five-year-old daughter on his shoulders.
Then he wakes up and remembers the years of pain that have meant that such a simple pleasure is out of reach.
Three years ago, Matthew, 37, sprained his left ankle after slipping on a cobblestone.
What seemed an innocuous accident set in motion a chain of events that would mean he would be left permanently disabled.