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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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Grum last won the day on July 1 2012

Grum had the most liked content!

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About Grum

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 07/15/1979

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    Norwich UK
  • Interests
    Motorbikes, lighting (as in I'm a lighting designer for bands), music and cooking.

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    Stupid car driver
  1. Hi Jane, I've never been skiing but do ride moto-x which means wearing similar style boots. Mt moto-x boots finish about 6 inches below my knee and use similar clips to ski boots. I found the easiest way to get the boots on was to open all of the clips unto give myself as much room as possible then slide a plastic bag over my foot before putting the boot on. It's amazing how much the plastic helps the foot slide in to the boot. If that doesn't help then you might find you have to cut the tongue of the boot to increase the size of the opening for your foot. Ordinarily this would be a problem as it would ruin any waterproofing however does it really matter if your prosthetic foot gets a bit wet?
  2. I've got the Triton but, as an above knee, I struggle to feel energy return in any feet. However, I do have a LOT of experience walking on rough terrain and I can absolutely recommend the Triton for that. The deep split in the foot helps to keep as much contact with the ground as possible and it really helps when you're changing direction and generally doing anything other than walking in a straight line on a flat surface. Otto Bock aren't exactly known for their feet but having tried a few of theirs, this is my favourite so far.
  3. Grum


    Worth pointing out that you don't NEED to use Otto Bocks LASER alignment tool. They recommend using their patented LASER alignment tool for all of their lower limb prostheses but none of my legs have been set up using one and on the one occasion I did stand on one it showed that my alignment was spot on. LASER alignment can help but knowing your craft is much better. A garage full of the best tools in the world wouldn't make my wife any more able to rebuild the engines on my motorbikes. Bock's LASER alignment system is incredibly expensive and if the same job can be done with a little skill and a length of string then I know where I'd rather the NHS money was spent.
  4. Grum


    I have one and nobody at my centre is able to set it up for stairs or walking. So now it sits on a shelf at the centre. If you have a prosthetist that knows how to set it up it can be a great knee but if they're not familiar with it then forget it, much the same as any other knee really.
  5. Thanks for the offer Cale Sadly it's nothing to do with being able to use the features correctly, I was trained how to use the Genium by Otto Bock's own Physio who came over from Germany to train British Physios how to re-hab Genium users. The problem is down to the way you initiate stair mode causing me fall over when carrying heavy objects (around 50 to 60 pounds) upstairs and not using stair mode. As I move my prosthesis back before bringing it level with my sound limb stair mode engages and my prosthetic foot doesn't end up where it needs to be. Also, when I move my prosthetic foot behind me when I'm about to kneel down it again engages stair mode, breaks all resistance in the knee and I fall on to the knee. I also had to turn off the OPG as it made me walk slower than without it and made me more prone to falling over when walking on un-even ground. Maybe OB could add the ability to turn the stair mode on/off into the remote that way I could use it when I'm at home and switch it of when I'm at work. That said, the battery life is amazing. I just wish the battery technology was able to be put into the C-Leg.
  6. Hi Cale, Thanks for the reply. Otto Bock here in the UK managed to get me a replacement Genium within two days while they have a look at mine. I just hope this doesn't happen too often, I've had this leg less than three months and wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary if its going to be this temperamental and NOT go into safety mode when it does fail then its going to become the most expensive door stop in history when I go back to the C-Leg. It's already let me down with the way its new features work meaning that I've had to switch them off if it proves to be unreliable too then I'll have no choice but to give up and go back to something I know works.
  7. Hi Karen, Otto Bock were more than a little surprised themselves. I have to say that after a full night on charge the safety mode kicked in and I was able to walk although the battery showed only 96% charge after 8 hours. The leg has now gone back to the service centre and I am on a loaner however at the moment I still have no idea what caused the problem or how long it will be before I get mine back. I just hope it's a one off as I've had to turn off almost all of the extra features it has over the C-Leg and if it turns out that its not able to put up with my lifestyle I'm going to be more than a little angry at shelling out £20k more than a C-Leg for little more than longer battery life.
  8. Hi folks, Just wondering if there are any other Genium users on here and if so have any of you experienced the Error Code 131? Too late at this time of night to speak to anyone here in the UK but I have called the US service centre and spoke to a technician there who said its normally a terminal problem. The real worry is that the safety mode hasn't even kicked in and I've been left with a completely free knee which, whilst I can walk on it, is a little less than ideal when I try and walk over anything other than completely flat ground.
  9. Grum

    Socket question

    I've had around 20 sockets manufactured in the last ten years and in that time every single one has had the inner socket a little longer than the outer. The reason of this is that the two components are doing different jobs. The inner interfaces with you (the wearer) and is made of a flexible (to some degree) material to cope with changes in stump shape during normal use. The top of the socket is cut to suit your body, the ends are normally flared (curved) to make it more comfortable. The outer is the support frame, it is purely structural and designed to transfer the forces from your body through to your prosthesis. It is quite common to have windows cut into the outer socket in order to make sitting more comfortable, relieve pain in problem areas (such as a point in the stump where the muscle is rolling over the bone) or even to reduce weight. Depending on the materials used the outer socket can be very minimal, have a look at the ISNY socket, its no different to a standard ischial containment socket other than the frame has been reduced in size as much as possible. It sounds like your prosthetist is making a socket that is perhaps beyond their current skill set, something that is sadly far too common. I experienced it myself with a prosthetist making five sockets before finally saying (in passing) that he didn't really make that type of socket very often and wasn't very experienced in doing so. Once I asked why he was doing work that was "out of his scope of practice" he stopped wasting my time and found a colleague that was correctly trained to make me a socket. A good socket is comfortable to wear all day long, you should be able to put it on in the morning, go about your day as normal and take it off when you're done for the day. Whilst not regularly I have, on many occasions, worn my prosthesis for longer than 48 hours covering a days use, 24 hours of flying, several hours waiting in an airport before finally arriving at my destination just in time to start a days work. It's not a good idea to do this but it should be possible and if your socket has been made correctly it is. Good luck getting your leg sorted and let us know how you get on.
  10. Grum

    3R60 Tech question

    Patent laws only cover commercial interests so believe it or not its totally OK to manufacture your own parts even if they are patent protected but they MUST be for YOUR use. Might be worth looking for a motorcycle suspension specialist, most knee units are very similar internally. If you find a friendly one then they MIGHT be willing to help you out. Not sure which manufacturers have distributers near you but you want to look for names like Ohlins, Maxton, Showa they're all good manufacturers and a national distributer will have factory trained technicians who deal with high performance suspension systems all day long. They'll probably be able to tell you in seconds the type of fluid you need and will no doubt laugh when they see how little of it you need. The only issue you might have is finding replacement seals as these could well be custom sizes. Either way, good luck and keep us posted.
  11. Tried the Rheo and didn't like it. The fact that in less than five years yours has broken is a big worry. The service package you get with a C-Leg would mean that any manufacturing fault would be fixed. I've had two C-Legs and have just taken delivery of a Genium. Personally I cannot fault the C-Leg, the only reason I went for the Genium is because of the extended battery life although after just a couple of hours walking on it a noticed a massive difference going back to the C-Leg. I still have, and regularly use, my original C-Leg and have no problems with it. Before others on here call me mad for replacing a product that is in perfect working order, my work takes me all over the world for extended periods and I need the back up the world wide garruntee gives me if it weren't for that I'd still be using my 1st C-Leg that is nearly 8 years old now. Is it worth going private? Personally yes, I simply could not do my job with the type of knee the NHS is able to supply in my area (my limb centre had to apply for special funding for a simple Mauch knee). The big advantage you get going private is a much better service as well as access to whatever components you choose. Prosthetists are craftsmen and as such the better they are at their skills the more they can earn, simple ecconomics mean that the best craftsmen will be found in the private sector as this is where they can earn the best money (although this does not mean that all private prosthetists are amazing nor do I intend to imply that all NHS prosthetists are useless). When you get a private limb, if it isn't right you take it back immediately, you don't have to wait for the next available clinic. Yes, it's true that socket comfort is primary but it simply is not true that the latest knees are no better than traditional technology. The Genium was only put on sale in the UK at the end of last year yet Otto Bock have had patients using them for over FIVE years already that is how much research goes into theses devices before they are put on the market. To say that they are no better is like saying that a BMW M3 is as fast as a Formula One car it just isn't true. That said, like the cars, what is most suitable varies from person to person depending on what you're going to use them for. After all, an M3 won't win the Monacco Grand Prix no more than an F1 car will help you do the school run. What you need to do is look at what you are going to use the prosthesis for and how much you're going to get out of it. Also, look at your local limb centre and see if they have the staff that are able to meet your needs, I've been a patient of my limb centre since 2004 and have yet to receive a usable prosthesis and it's only been in the last six months that they've even employed somebody that have experience setting up a knee that is able to go down stairs in fact it's so rare for them to have a patient that needs to use stairs that they do not even have a set of steps anywhere within the centre and have to use an outdoor fire escape attached to the building across the road. Whether you go for another MPC knee or a more traditional mechanical knee personally I believe that you will be better off going private and knowing that the components used are what you want rather than what the NHS can afford. It's all down to personal preference and what is available to you within your part of the NHS but personally when it comes down to where I spend my money I'd rather live in a small house and be able to experience the whole world than live in a castle that becomes my prison.
  12. Grum


    Actually OBL you might not be correct about that. I had a fairly in depth look at the construction and use regs for invalid carriages in the UK and the only things a Segway fails on is the lack of a battery powered horn and a top speed of more than 8mph. The battery powered horn is easily solved by purchasing a battery powered bike horn from Evans Cycles and the speed limit can be addressed by changing a setting in the key. (thankfully you get two keys so you can set one for 8mph and leave the other unrestricted allowing you to do the full 12.5mph. With these simple modifications, as far as I can see, a Segway conforms to the regulations required of a Class 2 daytime use invalid carriage. If it's so simple why don't Segway do it themselves? Simple, during the development of the gyroscopic technology the inventor licensed its use for medical purposes to another company who use it to make some pretty amazing wheelchairs that can stand on two wheels and go up and down stairs. I'm guessing that the license agreement covers ALL medical uses including mobility aids. If so then Segway can't even suggest such modifications and must make sure that their products do not conform hence the 12.5mph top speed and lack of a horn. I used mine regularly last summer both on and around many different festival sites throughout the UK. Several times I was stopped by the police and all they ever asked was where they could get one or if they could have a go.
  13. Grum


    Hi Sue, I own an off road Segway and love it. It makes life so much easier for me when I'm working at music festivals all summer and can make the difference between eating and going hungry some days. The first time you get on one you'll buck around a little as you try and fight with it. The trick is to trust it completely and just step on and stand up. Ideally, someone will support it the first time you get on it so it won't move about too much. Once you trust it you'll find it's so intuitive you'll love it.
  14. Grum

    Genium Trial

    HI Gibby, Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, been touring around Europe and haven't had much time to get on a computer for the last four weeks. The trial was just short of two weeks but I'd decided on it within a couple of days. Two weeks seems to be the standard trail for any new leg I've tested, gives you enough time to get used to it and then actually use it in a normal setting to be sure its suitable for you.
  15. Grum

    Genium Trial

    So, by the end of the trial I came to the conclusion that the Genium probably isn't worth the extra money however I'm still buying one. I know that sounds a bit crazy but it will save me the extra cost in flights alone, at the moment when I fly long haul I have to have a business class seat in order to charge my C-Leg while I'm flying as when I land I have to go straight to work, often for 16 hours or more and by the time you add the flight time and the time I've worn it before the flight my C-Leg has been without power or hours. Most of the extra features won't get used, the remote will end up gathering dust in my wardrobe. The stair mode is great but slow and while I started out using it all the time to get the method down I found that it was quicker and easier to go up stairs with my sound leg. The genium is a great product but personally I don't think it's worth anywhere near what they're charging for it and if it wasn't for the battery life I wouldn't bother. While there are plenty of things it does that my C-Leg doesn't do I don't really think I'll use any of those features. The lack of true waterproofing is a massive let down, basically it can get a bit wet, think heavy rain in shorts, but you need to dry it out right away i.e. no different to a C-Leg.