Ben Amis suffered a life changing injury when an accident at work in July 2015, left him with a crushed foot.

This case study provides an account of his rehabilitation journey since his amputation surgery and his plans for the future.

Accident at work resulting in below knee amputation

Ben was 30 years old when he was involved in an accident at work, where his foot was crushed by a work piece.

Immediately after the accident he was taken via ambulance to The Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, where an orthopaedic surgeon recommended amputation of the foot. However, during this assessment a plastic surgeon disagreed and offered a 50/50 chance of a viable foot. Over the course of 6 months, Ben had a number of plastic surgeries and skin grafts, however due to ongoing chronic pain he decided to have an elective amputation.

In October 2017 at the Queens Medical Centre, Ben had a Syme amputation, which involves amputation through the ankle joint following a foot trauma. In the months following this amputation, Ben had physio at the mobility centre, City Hospital, Nottingham and was walking relatively quickly.

Unfortunately, in the summer of 2018, Ben got an infected scar and was admitted back to the Queens Medical Centre. Within a few days, the infection was making Ben ill and a decision was made to do revision surgery to a below knee amputation. Again, he attended the mobility centre at the City Hospital for physiotherapy, where he received around one session a week and these were often shared sessions.

At this point in his recovery, Rachel Wilson, a case manager at The Independence Works got involved with his case and could see that Ben was frustrated with the speed at which he was progressing. Rachel, along with Richard Teare of Ringrose Law arranged for Ben and his mum to visit STEPS and he knew immediately it was where he needed to be for his recovery. “Myself and Rachel attended my assessment meeting at STEPS with their multidisciplinary team and the team from Blatchford. They left no stone unturned and I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else – I knew at STEPS I was getting an all-round attack on the problem!”

Residential Amputation Rehabilitation

Ben first came to STEPS in April 2019 for three nights residential rehabilitation, every other week, “I felt so humbled when I first came to STEPS, I felt so positive for the first time since my accident that I didn’t want to go home.”

During his time at STEPS, he has had (lots of!) physiotherapy, technical instruction, soft tissue work, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and psychological support. Psychological support prior to STEPS had been limited at the mobility centre.

Since arriving at STEPS, Ben has been able to reduce his pain medication, had a more positive mind-set to his recovery, lost weight due to the amount of exercise and improved nutrition and received a much better prosthetic through The Blatchford Group.

His rehabilitation has been varied, with the team at STEPS, alongside Blatchford constantly thinking of new and interesting ways to deliver his physiotherapy. Activities have included hill walking with Bill from Blatchford in the peaks, biking on e-bikes and climbing at The Climbing Works with Scott STEPS Senior Physiotherapist. “Over lunch one day I mentioned to Scott that I had done some climbing as a teenager. After that, he arranged for me to visit the climbing wall, and I did my physio on the wall instead of in the gym.”

A video of Ben climbing can be viewed here.

Ben’s confidence has grown so much since his time at STEPS and he is currently only one session away from being competent enough to climb independently and has a Focus JAM² bike of his own!

What next?

Ben has a few more sessions at STEPS but plans to keep visiting and having physio sessions as and where possible. STEPS have supported Ben with his transition home, helping him with physio sessions that he can do independently and at the gym. “There’s a pool at my gym, so I quite regularly go in there and go through the sessions that I have in the hydrotherapy pool at STEPS.”

Ben has been snowboarding and plans to climb Ben Nevis later in the year with family, friends, Scott from STEPS and Richard Teare from Ringrose Law.

A video of Ben snowboarding can be viewed here.

“STEPS is life changing and even that isn’t giving them enough credit! It came at absolutely the right time for me and has given me my life back.

STEPS gives people the opportunities and potential to achieve, and keep physio sessions varied.

I love being at STEPS and seeing how everyone else is doing too, it’s great to see other people progressing in their rehabilitation journeys. I will definitely be back to visit, and want to return with my mum and son to thank the team for not only changing my life, but also the life of my entire family.”