Prosthetic Inside

Yesterday I was mentioning how amputees often use their unique anatomy to get great tattoos that only their body is truly suited for — here’s another superb example, Jason’s tattoo done by Yancy Miller of World of Body Works in Lafayette, Louisiana. Of course this is a design that has been done on plenty of people with complete limbs, but a mechanical anatomy tattoo is somehow much, much more effective when its design echoes the prosthetic limb right next to it!


I’m With Stumpy

I absolutely love tattoos with a sense of humor, and it seems like amputees really have what it takes to sell a good joke tattoo. In this case, as featured on the US Marine Corps flikr page, ‘U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Redmond Ramos, a corpsman, displays a tattoo that reads “I’m with Stumpy” showing his sense of humor Nov. 14, 2012, during the first Wounded Warrior Pacific Trials at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu, Hawaii. Ramos deployed with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, to Sangin, Afghanistan in 2011 where he stepped on an IED, resulting in the loss of his leg. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth)’

im with stumpy


Memorial Amputation

The very oldest example of religion that we have documented is in the form of a voluntary amputation found in a Polish archeological site dating back about 30,000 years — Blake wrote about this for BME back in 2003. Even today there are African, Australian, and other indigenous cultures that practice small digit amputations as a way of coping with mourning and the loss of a loved one. There’s something very instinctual about it in the human experience.

A friend of mine, an experienced cross-spectrum practitioner, recently did this amputation on a customer who had lost his mother, and wanted to do this amputation as a tribute or memorial to her. The procedure was fairly simple, although not as simple as the hammer-and-chisel that many people resort to. He used a number 11 scalpel to peel back the skin, leaving enough skin so that when he removed the bones there would be enough left over to create a flap to cover the wound to speed up the healing. Doing the procedure this way also leaves a more comfortable result, because the amputated finger has a little more “padding” on the end.

It’s a fine line between love and hat

Putting aside the fact that Veal amputated part of her finger, she’s someone who just loves to have fun with her modifications.  So when her dad jokingly suggested that she get “Love” and “Hat” tattooed on her knuckles (below her “High Four” tattoo), she went out and got it done.

Matt and Lester from Holy Cow in the UK did the tattoos, Veal did the amputation, and her niece did her nails.

Frozen extremes

We get a lot of requests for amputation stories, so today we’ve got one, but be warned, this one is pretty intense.

While I don’t know the reasons behind it, Tegumai_B decided to remove his lower left leg.  Typically the types of amputation we see on ModBlog are small digit removals, which are done at home.  However with the loss of a large potion of a limb, Tegumai_B needed the help of doctors.  Of course, going up to a doctor and asking them to remove your limb probably won’t work, so Tegumai_B used his own method of getting his leg amputated.

To start with, he spent most of a day with his foot surrounded by dry ice.  To see what happened next, you’ll have to keep on reading.

Continue reading

An Amputease

On the first of March, I posted pictures of a pinky finger amputation in conjunction with Self-Injury Awareness day. As with anytime, we post amputation pictures on Modblog, people had questions and wanted more info then they could get from the pictures alone. Luckily, for all parties involved, when I posted these pictures and asked for  more information in hopes the submitter would see this post, he happily obliged. Much like my interview with Jenya, this one is short and simple (hence the amputease title), because of the language barrier from their native tongue, Russian, to my hillbilly English. Fortunately, both of them are FAR more fluent in English then I am at Russian.


For the interview, keep on keeping on.

Another one for Self-Injury Awareness Day, or is it?

The post below this is one about today being Self-Injury Awareness Day. That is why I am posting this now rather than tomorrow, even though today’s modblog plate has already been filled up. The words self-injury in this context brings up one of the oldest arguments in the body modification world which is modification vs. mutilation. Obviously, a lot of the deciding factor is in the eye of the beholder. Seriously, ask around enough and you will find plenty of people who think that a standard navel piercing is a mutilation. However, I think most modblog readers, even those that are not fans of navel piercings, would never consider one to be a mutilation. However, there are some other modification we cover on BME are not so black and white.

No one modification is responsible for more modification vs. mutilation arguments then the voluntary amputation of healthy and viable body parts. That is why I couldn’t overlook the coincidence of a photo submission of a finger amputation (amputation submissions in general are extremely rare) on Self-Injury Awareness day.

In my many years of involvement in this community, I have met and talked to a lot of amputees. Some of whom had the most sane justifications for their choice to amputate a part of themselves. So justified, in fact, that there was no question it was a modification and a sane decision for them. Others I met were a little bit more questionable in their level of mental stability, but still managed to make me feel like this modification was the right choice for them.

Then there is a small minority, people who I might dare call insane, who hate themselves and are slowly cutting away bits of them selves in a hateful fashion. Those people obviously fall into the mutilation category.

So to me, amputation and pretty much any body mod for that matter is neither modification nor mutilation 100% of the time. It is the owner of these mods and their decision making process that, to me, determine whether something is a modification or a mutilation, or to keep with the theme of the day, a modification or a self-injury.


So I ask you, the modblog readers, where do you draw the line between modification and mutilation?  To answer that question, see unwrapped photos of this amputation and learn what other non-major (but far sweeter) holiday today is, keep on keeping on.

Continue reading

Meet Alan Macias

Back when it was much warmer I posted some pictures of Alan Macias. At the time, he didn’t have an IAM page and I had nothing to go off of when writing the post except for my take on the pictures. Since that post, Alan has made himself an IAM page.

When I stumbled upon his page his description answered a few of my questions and gave me a bit more insight to his life, but it definitely left me wanting more.

I had a motorcycle accident. I was in the hospital for a year. I had about 40 operations to put me back together. I had nerve damage to my left shoulder, my non-functioning arm had to go. My tattoos are decoration first and then they tell the story of me last. I am not shy about being naked in public because I know everyone is the same and most fear being judged, another word for peer pressure.

After finding him and reading that, I felt obliged to send him a message and see if he wouldn’t mind answering a few questions for me. Luckily for me and the modblog readers,  he happily obliged.


For a deeper look into the life of Alan Macias, keep on keeping on.

Continue reading