Skeletons in the closet? I have legs in mine…

Skeletons in the closet? I have legs in mine…

I posted this same post in the national resources list in the forums but thought I’d share it here as well. ¬†If you’re anything like me, you probably have several old prosthetic devices, liners, sleeves, and socks lying around in the back of your closet or dresser. Due to possible legal considerations, prosthetic limbs and components are generally not reusable, so what the heck do I do with them? I hated the thought of throwing them away, so I did some digging to see what other options I might have.

One option which was suggested to me was selling them on ebay. I’m not particularly wanting to make money off of them, but I hate them just lying around. Thinking maybe someone could get some use out of them or the parts, I checked to see what the guidelines were for ebay. From their policy overview page:

“We don’t allow sellers to list any drugs or medications that require a prescription from a licensed practitioner (such as a doctor, dentist, optometrist, or veterinarian). We also don’t allow the sale of most prescription medical devices.”

Notice it says “most” medical devices”. If you follow the above link, there are certain ways you can go about still selling them on ebay, just be sure you follow all the guidelines and read through the details and requirements.

Having had to try to “make do” with a prosthetic leg that caused me all kinds of issues for several years, I would much rather my old prosthetics be put to good use than go to a collector. So, the other options I found were to donate them. From VetsFirst Q&A:

Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics

55 South Washington Street, Suite 11
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics has teamed up with Physicians for Peace with the goal of collecting old prosthetic parts and shipping them overseas so that more amputees will have greater access. They will accept prosthetic donations at all their facilities in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

    The Barr Foundation

c/o Extra Space Storage
3090 NW 2nd Ave Suite 758
Boca Raton, FL 33431

The Barr Foundation
c/o Custom Silicon Fabrication
324 Divisadero St.
San Francisco, CA 94117-2209

This fund pays for materials and fitting of a new prosthesis after the prosthetist has established that there are no other sources of funding available. The Barr Foundation also accepts monetary, used and new prosthetic devices and components, and will acknowledge all donations with our donations nonprofit federal tax identification number for your tax purposes. Please call or e-mail the Barr Foundation for further information.

Bowman-Siciliano Limb Bank Foundation

100 Spanish Oak RD
Weatherford, TX 76087

This foundation collects and distributes all forms of prosthetic limbs to those in need and collaborate with other foundations to assist in countries outside the U.S. and prosthetic labs across the U.S. They raise funds to provide transportation, lodging and prosthetic limbs and services to those in need.

Limbs for Life Foundation

218 E. Main St
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
405/605-5462 or 888/235-5462 (toll-free)

Thanks to the World Limb Bank, the Limbs for Life Foundation is able to collect and distribute used prosthetics and prosthetic components as well as unused socks and liners free of charge to amputees in Third World countries. Parts are used to create prostheses for their recipients, reducing the costs for the prosthetist.

Limbs of Love

1000 S Loop West STE 150
Houston, TX 77054

Limbs of Love uses the volunteered time, skills and resources of medical professionals and manufacturers from the Houston area in an effort to improve the overall quality of life for amputees, primarily in Texas.

Physicians for Peace

500 East Main Street, Suite 900
Norfolk, VA 23510

Physicians for Peace is an international, humanitarian, nonprofit, medical education organization dedicated to building peace and international friendships in developing nations with unmet medical needs and scarce resources. Donations of medical supplies and equipment are greatly valued.

The Prosthetic and Orthotic Component Clearinghouse

MedShare International
c/o P.O.C.C.
3240 Clifton Springs Road
Decatur, GA 30034

The POCC was launched in July 2007 as a collaborative project between MedShare International and the U.S. National Member Society of ISPO (US-ISPO). The aim of the Prosthetic and Orthotic Component Clearinghouse is to provide a mechanism for people to make tax-deductible donations of new and gently used prosthetic and orthotic goods while in turn affording non-governmental organizations (NGOs), P&O practitioners, and developing world schools and facilities access to these badly needed supplies.

Standing With Hope Program

Attn: Barton Wilson
5115 Harding Place
Nashville, TN 37211

Standing With Hope
914 Waterswood Drive
Nashville, TN 37220

Standing With Hope does faith-based prosthetic outreach in West Africa. They accept socks, liners, and other prosthetic supplies as well as used prostheses.

Volunteers for Inter-American Development Assistance (VIDA)

6251 Hollis ST
Emeryville, CA 94608

VIDA is a nonprofit medical relief and development assistance organization based in Emeryville, California. Since their founding in 1991, they have provided nearly $40 million in medical aid to 11 countries in Latin America. They are currently attempting to acquire prosthetic limbs for landmine victims.

Local Prosthetic Facilities

Some local prosthetic facilities sponsor periodic trips to Third World countries to provide prosthetic services. They may collect used limbs and prosthetic components for distribution through these programs. Contact your local P&O facility to find out if they have special programs and how you can donate.