Future HFOT Home Recipient JP McGuire Benefitting from Osseointegration Surgery
Getting ready in the morning used to be a struggle for former Army Sergeant JP McGuire. The traditional socket prosthetic he wore for nine years after losing his right leg in Iraq took some time to put on and often caused discomfort.
Now, thanks to an innovative surgery, getting ready and other activities are a breeze for JP. Last fall he became the seventh person to undergo osseointegration surgery at the Salt Lake City VA. The procedure consists of inserting a titanium rod into the femur that directly connects with the prosthetic. This eliminates the process of inserting the residual limb into the prosthetic and significantly reduces the amount of pain from the socket prosthetic.
The surgery whittled down the amount of time it takes JP to put on his prosthetic from 15 minutes to only a few seconds. Additionally, his new prosthetic significantly reduces the amount of hip and back pain JP used to experience. “Life for me is definitely 100 percent better,” he says. “I hardly every rely on crutches anymore and I can keep up with my kids,” he says.
The one major challenge of osseointegration, JP says, is getting used to using muscles he has not used in years. However, he says the benefits outweigh the side effects. “I do not regret my decision,” he says.
Homes For Our Troops is in the process of building JP and his wife Brittney a specially adapted custom home in Mechanicsville, Va. The home will feature more than 40 major special adaptations such as widened doorways for wheelchair access, a roll-in shower, and kitchen amenities that include pull-down shelving and lowered countertops. The home will also alleviate the mobility and safety issues associated with a traditional home, including navigating a wheelchair through narrow hallways or over thresholds, or reaching for cabinets that are too high.
Even though JP’s surgery has alleviated much of his daily discomfort, he says he will still greatly benefit from the specially adapted home. “There are times where I do get tired and need to be in my wheelchair, that’s where the home will be beneficial,” he says.
JP says he will not take the gift of the home for granted and plans to pay it forward and assist other Veterans. “The HFOT organization, donors, supporters, and volunteers are the real Heroes,” he says.
Learn more about Homes For Our Troops and JP’s story and HFOT at www.hfotusa.org/mcguire.