AFTER walking for the first time in 15 years, Marny Cringle is making slow but significant steps.
Ms Cringle, 42, had pioneering surgery a year ago to enable her to wear a prosthetic leg.
It followed a long search for a medical solution.
The Bolwarra Heights resident’s leg was amputated in 1996 when, while living in London, a tube train hit her.
Her femur, or thigh bone, was too short for a prosthesis.
After years searching for a solution, Ms Cringle found Sydney orthopaedic surgeon Munjed Al Muderis.
She had procedures about a year ago that used rods to lengthen the femur from 10 to 18 centimetres.
Another rod was implanted and an adaptor, for the prosthesis to attach to, was fitted to the leg.
“And I just walk,” Ms Cringle said.
Muscle wastage during the years her leg was not used, has slowed Ms Cringley’s progress.
“Because I haven’t been able to walk for 15 years, I’ve had problems.”
It was hoped that at the one year mark, Ms Cringle would walk with both feet.
She presently relies on two walking sticks, having progressed from crutches, and hopes that in another year she will walk unaided.
“I’m still progressing, going well,” she said.
“I just have to be patient.”
Dr al-Muderis said time would tell.
“All the operations have been done,” he said.
“It a matter of her body building up strength to walk again.”
Dr al-Muderis said he strongly believed Ms Cringle would have a good outcome.
Ms Cringle is sharing her experience with others as vice-president of information and support group Newcastle Amputees and Associates.
Marny Cringle with her prosthetic leg. Picture: Peter Stoop