Giving Up Isn’t an Option

In 2014, Sam Ritrovato lost most of his right leg to an above-the-knee amputation. The operation was necessary because of a raging infection that started in his knee. It was one of many complications that occurred after he was diagnosed with a disorder that affected his joints and the health of his bones.

Sam Ritrovato, patient of David S. Goris, CPO, at Sonlife Prosthetics and Orthotics, is fitted with new above-the-knee socket.

Thanks to a better fit in his
prosthesis, Sam is able to walk easily.

 

“My doctor tried to do everything to save my leg. If I hadn’t had the amputation when I did, I might have lost my entire leg and couldn’t have worn a prosthetic,” shares Sam, who is 53.

After the surgery, Sam was thankful that he could walk with the assistance of an artificial leg. His new leg included two artificial joints – an ankle and knee – and a socket that fit over his residual limb.

But the socket never fit well. Sam spent more time in an electric wheelchair than he did upright.

“I couldn’t walk much because it hurt. The socket on my prosthesis was hitting on a bone and constantly hitting my stump,” recounts Sam. “I was putting the leg on for a couple of hours, taking it off and putting it back on. It was excruciating.”

Sam, who lives in Citrus County, had his surgery at a major teaching hospital more than three hours round trip from his home. Afterward, he relied on a prosthesis maker located near the hospital.

When Sam was still having trouble with the fit of his prosthesis more than two years later, his doctor recommended another prosthetics clinic: Sonlife Prosthetics and Orthotics, which has offices in Spring Hill, Inverness and Bushnell.

No More Pain

At Sonlife Prosthetics and Orthotics, Sam consulted with David Goris, CPO, and knew in an instant he was in a place where patient care is the first priority.

“Mr. Goris works with you one-on-one. It’s not a big place where they rush you through the process,” notes Sam.

David asked Sam about his lifestyle and the activity level he wanted to pursue. He then set out to fabricate a socket for Sam that would fit perfectly.

“Everything is custom made, and we make sure that the fit is good and there are no pressure areas over bony prominences,” explains David. “We want to make the prosthesis so that it becomes part of him when he moves.”

David made a new socket, but the fit was too tight. A second new socket was tight, too. He told Sam not to worry. Eventually, the fit would be right.

“He assured me that he was going to work with me,” says Sam. “He told me that he was going to make it work, even if he had to make ten new sockets. He said, I’m going to make sure that you’re not going to be in that kind of pain any more.

The third socket for Sam was more than just right. It was perfect.

“Words can’t describe the difference,” stresses Sam. “It changed my life forever. I can walk the whole day without hurting. I have no pain at all, from the moment I put my leg on in the morning until I take it off for bed.”

Being able to walk again expanded Sam’s world. He went to a Yankees game in St. Petersburg, where he walked over a mile. He’s been able to travel to Texas to celebrate the birthdays of his grandchildren.

He is grateful for David’s determination to make a prosthesis that fits perfectly.

“Mr. Goris is a man who really cares and wants to make sure that he does the best he can to help you,” assures Sam. “That’s what he did for me. He assured me it was going to work, and he was right. I’m so overwhelmed that I can walk again.”

FHCN article by Susan Hemmingway. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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