Sunday, October 5, 2008

Making a Leg PART I: Casting

Daddy Prosthetist is in the process of making a new leg for Elias so I thought it'd be fun to chronicle the process here on the blog.

The process involves several steps. The first step is to cast the residual limb. However in our house, we're very casual in the terms that we use, so rather than using the technical term of residual limb, we say, "Mr. Stumpy".

I should note here that Mr. Stumpy is like his own entity. We say things such as, "Put Mr. Stumpy in your shorts" or Elias may say "I hurt Mr. Stumpy!" We love Mr. Stumpy.

I digress.

First Step: Cast Mr. Stumpy

Elias puts on a special little outfit made out of cotton stockinnette (that's a real word). At this point Daddy Prosthetist affectionately calls him Huck Finn.

Daddy Prosthetist (herein referred to as DP) then smooths out all the wrinkles on Mr. Stumpy's stockinette and makes it as tight as possible.
DP then dips the casting tape in water and begins to wrap it around Mr. Stumpy. This part makes Elias a little nervous because he's afraid it's going to hurt or something. Of course it never does.

The water sets off a chemical reaction with the casting tape and becomes rigid as DP smooths it all with his hands.

After about 5 minutes, the cast becomes rigid enough that it will maintain the perfect shape of our friend Mister Stumpy. (Notice Elias' fan club at the end of the table. Two of his cousins are visiting for a week so they got to tag along).
The cast is now ready to come off. DP cuts off the Huck Finn outfit at the top of the cast then slowly begins to pull the cast off. If it gets stuck it may be necessary to use bandage scissors at the top of the cast to loosen it a bit.

Wha la! A finished replica of Mr. Stumpy!

Stay tuned for the next installment of Making a Leg.


Erin said...

So did he go Thomas the Train this time? Elias is so cute - handsomest boy ever!

Lisa E. said...

Very cool Elias! We miss you...come see us! Love, The Embree's