Best Foot Forward

Before retiring and moving to Florida from Long Island, Roger Giordano experienced a life-changing medical challenge. It happened more than a dozen years ago, when a small infection between two toes took on a life of its own.

Roger Giordano, longtime patient of David S. Goris, CPO, at Sonlife Prosthetics and Orthotics, is fitted with new fiberglass foot.

Roger is able to stay active
with his new foot.

Roger, who is 72, has diabetes, which made it harder for him to fight the infection. He was hospitalized for a period of several months as it spread. A series of operations failed to stop the progression, until finally his lower leg was removed.

Since then, he has relied on a below-the-knee prosthesis.

When he retired from his job as a motor vehicle operator for the United States Postal Service, Roger and his wife, Betty, relocated to Florida.

“I needed to find someone to help me with my prosthesis after we moved. I asked my doctor for recommendations,” recalls Roger.

His doctor gave him a list of professionals who specialize in prosthetics, and Roger chose David S. Goris, CPO, at Sonlife Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Lots of Choices

Roger has entrusted David with his prosthesis care since 2005. His latest need was for a new foot for his prosthesis. He noticed recently that the old foot was showing signs of deterioration, such as a hole in the lining, which is normal over time.

People who wear lower-limb prostheses have a wide range of choices for prosthetic feet – ranging from feet designed for everyday walking to those for niche sports like rock climbing.

Many prosthetic feet are lightweight with a spring-like response because of technical advances, and they come in a variety of materials, including fiberglass, carbon fiber or combinations of physical springs with carbon fiber.

With so many choices, there is no one-size-fits-all prosthetic. A key part of satisfaction is selecting the right foot based on individual needs and lifestyle.

When talking with patients, David listens carefully to information about their activity levels, wants and needs before making a recommendation.

“As prosthetists, we have access to any type of foot and any component that’s out there. Our job is to stay up on all the new advancements and be able to share with patients about how a specific foot will work for them,” notes David.

Roger stays active around his home through tasks like cutting the lawn with a riding mower and finishing woodworking projects. He doesn’t normally use a cane, but prefers to use a scooter or wheelchair when shopping or on a family excursion where he would have to walk long distances.

David suggested Roger try a carbon fiber foot that is lighter than the fiberglass foot he was used to wearing. Roger found that it didn’t have the give he preferred. He tested another foot made of fiberglass, which seemed to have more flexibility when his heel or toe struck the ground.

“Roger tried the fiberglass foot and said, This is my foot! It made him feel comfortable and confident,” notes David.

Over the years, Roger has been appreciative of the care he has received through David and Sonlife. He relies on David’s knowledge, accessibility and genuine concern.

“There’s really no one like David. I tell you, he’s fabulous,” raves Roger, who keeps Sonlife business cards in his wallet in case he meets anyone who needs an excellent prosthetist.

“If I’m in a store, I’ll meet other amputees, and we talk about where we got our legs. I’ll ask, Are you happy with who you’re going to?” continues Roger. “If they tell me, No, I’m in a chair all the time, or something like that, I’ll pull out a Sonlife card and hand it to them.

“I hear people talk about their care, and they don’t get one one-hundredth of what I get at Sonlife,” he adds. “David takes very good care of me.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz.
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