Bone anchored prostheses surgery

My Story
In September of 2009 I got into an automobile accident that changed my life. On the 27th my vehicle went over a guard rail and down an embankment, while driving just west of Fairbanks, Alaska. On October 2nd I started my truck on fire and was found after two passersby saw the smoke. I was burned and my legs were frostbitten so badly that on October 19th they were amputated. I woke up six weeks later at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, with no recollection of the accident. When I finally made it home to Fairbanks I had learned how to walk again on traditional prosthetics, needing only a cane for assistance.
Problems with Traditional Prosthetics/Why Surgery
I was happy that I could walk, but I have had a love/hate relationship with my prosthetics over the last four and a half years. The problem has always been the interface between my flesh and the carbon fiber, plastic and aluminum of my prosthetics. Currently, the sockets are that interface, my stumps slide into them to connect my legs to the prostheses. The sockets have to fit perfectly or there will be discomfort, pain and skin breakdown, sometimes to the point of bleeding. My legs are constantly changing; socket adjustments are required constantly. Sweating is also a concern, dampness results in chafing and slipping of the socket. Even to the point of the prosthesis suddenly jolting me to the point of falling or, worse, coming completely off my leg.
I no longer need a cane, and I strive to be an active person. Living in Alaska demands a prosthetic that can withstand a lot of abuse. I’ve managed to break one playing volleyball with friends, I’ve lost one descending a tree and socket slippage on uneven ground commonly results in me hitting the ground (imagine ice).
There is no good way to connect the hard prosthetic to the soft tissue of my stumps. In countries around the world osseointegration has been the answer that amputees have been waiting for. Osseointegration directly connects a titanium rod to the bone at the end of the leg providing a direct, secure connection to the prosthesis.
Because of bureaucratic challenges, this type of surgery will not be offered in the United States for the foreseeable future (some estimates put it at over a decade). Even then I don’t know if it will ever be covered by insurance since it is an elective surgery.
The Surgery
The surgery will cost $100,000, which will cover everything: doctor’s fees, the hospital charge, rehabilitation, etc., except roundtrip plane tickets to Australia. The surgeons at the Osseointegration Group of Australia, based in Sydney, are convinced that my surgery will be a success, as soon as I can raise the money.
The surgery will be completed in one segment with a rehabilitation period of about 2 months, mostly confined to the hospital. During my time in Australia I will learn to walk again using my new skeleton. As I learn to walk a new ability will develop called osseoperception. With a new hard connection between the ground and my skeletal system, my brain will start sensing vibrations through my titanium rods, which will give me a more natural sensation of my prosthetic legs.
The advantages are immediate: all former problems will be reduced to not having ankles. I will get back my knee’s full range of motion and will be once again comfortable in the sitting position.

Fellow BelowKnee Amputee Walking 8 Weeks Post-Op

Anything Helps
Thank You
Jason Land

Donations

  • Barbara Santora 
    • $100 
    • 65 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $40 (Offline)
    • 67 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 (Offline)
    • 68 mos
  • Friends and Patrons of the Carousel Cocktail Lounge  
    • $530 (Offline)
    • 68 mos
  • Mary Rice 
    • $100 
    • 69 mos
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Organizer

Jason Land 
Organizer
Fairbanks, AK
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