Jeff Moore is a robust, outgoing and strong man - all qualities that allowed him to keep his spirits and hopes high as he underwent approximately 35 surgeries over a period of 14 years to make repairs to his injured leg.
In 1984, while serving in the Air Force, Jeff suffered a knee injury and was transferred to a hospital at Travis Air Force base where his knee was essentially rebuilt. He was put in a cast from his hip to his knee with hinges that went down to his toes and laid in the hospital for 8 months. Afterwards, he was assigned to duty in Europe but was sent to another hospital for evaluation when the pain returned and he was unable to perform his duties. The medical staff was unable to determine the cause of the pain, so he was given physical therapy twice a day for 7 months until he was discharged from the Air Force. “I was going crazy, sitting in that hospital doing nothing and not getting any better!,” remembers Jeff.
After his release, Jeff explored more options for his medical care. A knee replacement was suggested, but he decided he wanted to get on with his life and didn’t want to undergo another major surgery. For the next 14 years he had one to two surgeries per year to clean out scar tissue and make repairs to his knee when the pain became unbearable. “I’d live with it as long as I could, and then I’d go in for another surgery,” says Jeff. “It was an ongoing nightmare.”
At age 38, tired of living in pain and still unable to walk, Jeff underwent his first knee replacement. Unfortunately, it remained inflamed for two years and because the doctors were unable to determine the cause, they performed a second knee replacement a year later. In addition, because of his poor gait his spine was affected and he underwent two fusion during this time.
Determined not to give up and find a way to get back on his feet again, Jeff scoured the internet looking for solutions. He saw a story about POA patient Chuck Yerry, and how he was going back into combat after having an above knee amputation. Jeff told his pain management physician, “Look at this guy! He has an artificial leg and is more able than me!” His doctor agreed that the pain was preventing Jeff from living a normal life, he also did some research on amputation and outcome. Satisfied that it was the best alternative available, together they spoke with an orthopedic surgeon who concurred with the decision to amputate his leg.
Jeff Moore had his leg amputated in February 2007. His first socket was an ischial containment/pin liner system with a hydraulic knee. “I was never comfortable in that leg. It was so restrictive and painful to sit in,” recalls Jeff. Later he tried a MAS socket design, but found that to be equally uncomfortable. His prosthetist saw POA’s NPS socket system on the internet and attempted to make one for Jeff, but he was not successful. His limb volume continued to fluctuate, and he went through more than 12 sockets in a year! The pain was so bad he was taking narcotics to numb it. He and his prosthetist were at their wits end. He asked the VA for assistance, but they just offered to pay for wheelchairs and ramps. “That is unacceptable,” Jeff remembers telling them. “I decided to start looking on my own, and about 8 months later found POA on-line and decided to go out to Orlando and see what could be done.”
Jeff was fit with an Echelon foot and Plie’ microprocessor knee. Within a week he was walking around our office in comfort, and with a confident stride. A few weeks after that he was back home in Oregon, chopping and carrying wood for his fireplace and exploring the many trails surrounding his property. The shape of his limb has changed tremendously in the past few months due to muscle use and growth. Jeff is now in the best shape he has been in since he was in the service.
On a recent trip to POA, Jeff visited our strength training facility, where he learned adaptive exercises and training techniques (see video on this page).
“I have no words to describe how it feels to have my life and future back. I no longer rely on drugs to control pain, and am able to work out and do many activities that I haven’t been able to do for years. The talented staff at POA treat me like family. My life is good!”