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cwrm4

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Everything posted by cwrm4

  1. cwrm4

    plane journeys

    Regarding coping with the heat, try to find an "excessive perspiration roll-on antiperspirant" product to apply to your skin to reduce the inevitable sweating under the liner. In the USA, my favorite product is Certain-Dri (http://www.certaindri.com). Apply it at night before you go to bed, and after a couple days you'll be amazed at the reduction in sweat collection in the liner.
  2. Finally some "official" news about the new C-Leg, though unfortunately doesn't appear to be available until 2011 http://www.wramc.army.mil/NewsAndEvents/me...spx?Id=438& Dec. 8, 2009 -- Staff Sgt. Alfredo “Freddy” De los santos lost all but four inches of his right leg to an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan. During his rehabilitation, he found learning to walk again difficult with existing prosthetic technology. With his previous prosthetic knee, the C-Leg, De los santos was able to walk, with discomfort, using two canes. That was until two weeks ago, when he was fitted with the new X2 microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee. Now, he can walk up and down stairs and steep inclines, jump, step over hurdles and walk backward — all without support. The medical research project that spawned the X2, executed by prosthetics maker Otto Bock, was funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in support of the Military Amputee Research Program and administered by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center. De los santos is one of 30 wounded warriors at Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medical Center, Texas, being fitted with the X2. John Warren, the Walter Reed prostheticist who works with De los santos, said the shortness of De los santos’ residual leg makes the advanced capabilities offered by the X2 ideal for him. “Freddy has to work extra hard to stabilize himself within the socket,” Warren said. “So having a knee that’s helping him, at least freeing him up to an extent where he can focus on what his limb’s doing inside the socket, to place his steps and make everything smooth.” The X2’s microprocessor sensors measure multiple factors and perform complex analysis to determine the appropriate position and motion of the knee. This can be particularly useful when a wearer is standing at rest. Continual resting total body weight on the intact side of the body puts great strain on the intact knee, hip, back and shoulder, which can cause further health issues for the amputee. Adele Levine, the Walter Reed physical therapist who works with De los santos, said when standing still, most of us shift our weight back and forth, one foot to the other and most above-the-knee amputees are always standing on their intact side. She noted that after standing on the C-Leg for six months De los santos is already experiencing knee pain. “That’s sort of a glimpse into the future, she said. “With this leg he’s been able rest his intact side. In just one week of wearing the X2, his knee pain completely went away. Just this simple thing alone is worth its weight.” Marine Gunnery Sgt. Marcus Wilson wore a C-Leg and in three years has had two surgeries on his intact knee. He said the relief with the X2 was almost immediate. “I don’t have any more knee pain, I don’t have any more hip pain, because everything is evened-out now. “In basic mode, when the knee joint detects there isn’t any movement, and they flex the knee a little bit and they bear their weight on it, it locks up,” Warren explained. “But as soon as they move again it detects the motion and frees the knee up, so they can walk.” “The new leg is like being in heaven,” De los santos said. “When I got this leg, it’s like I went from night to day. I can pretty much do everything now. I went to Busch Gardens, and I was walking all day long. I got on all the rides. I only take it off when I go to sleep.” Levine praised the extra stability provided by the X2. “If you have to think every time you put your foot down, ‘Am I going to step on a rock? Is my knee going to buckle?’ You can’t do much except focus on your walking. The X2 helps with that.” Wilson, who hopes one day to run in a marathon, agreed. “Having something that is completely worthwhile and user-friendly, that’s the key,” he said. “Just go about your day-to-day activities and the knee does what it’s supposed to do, and you don’t have to think about it.”
  3. cwrm4

    Shave Hairy Stump?

    Do NOT shave the stump...the slight irritation from hair folicles being pulled is a small trade-off for the protection and "toughness" the hair provides for the skin. This is why boxers skip shaving for a few days before a fight. You can use extra lotion to minimize the irration. Also, be sure to "roll" the liner on gently (instead of pulling it on) so the hairs don't end up under tension underneath the liner.
  4. cwrm4

    C-Leg vs Rheo knee

    I do not believe the Rheo is available with a knee disarticulation version, so, if you have a long residual limb, the Rheo knee pivot point will be further down than you can get with a C-Leg (in relation to your "real" knee). As a knee disartic myself, that and the 2nd mode (which I use for driving and other tasks) convinced me to go with the C-Leg. The swing phase of the Rheo does appear a bit more natural, in my opinion, but probably only noticeable to a trained eye.
  5. In defense of Otto Bock, the last TEK liner I received from them has worked flawlessly. The outer coating is different than before, and the material is a little firmer. After 3 months of use, it looks brand new. Previously, after a month of use I would have lots of tear-out in the liner around the edges of the socket. Generally, I would return it after 3 months under warranty (after it split open), then they would send me a new one, which would last three months, then I buy a new one, then return after 3 months, then buy one after 3 months, etc etc. So, so far so good with the newest one. Hopefully it is not an anomaly. I am however upgrading soon to the LimbLogic as my Harmony HD has been a source of constant trouble for me as well.
  6. cwrm4

    Harmony vs LimbLogic

    Well, I just ordered the LimbLogic system after 4+ years of wearing the manual Harmony, so I'll so be able to give a report soon! When the manual Harmony system works, it's great. However, that's not all the time. Additionally, I drive and fly with my legs, and, after a while, the Harmony will lose vacuum, no matter how tight the "seal" is. With a relatively short residual BK limb, this makes my leg "loose", which makes operating the pedals somewhat awkward. My only two concerns with LimbLogic are: 1) noise, though I understand if they place the suction line inside the foot the noise is greatly reduced. 2) if you get a pinhole leak in the sleeve, it will run constantly, unless you shut it off, and then you'll have zero vacuum when walking (with the manual Harmony you at least get a "pump" on each step, even it the vacuum does quickly bleed off). Charging each night isn't a big deal for me, as I already have to charge the C-leg (and you only forget to do that ONCE!). I'm anxious to see how it goes. I would like to get back into automobile racing, but have been afraid to because, if my BK leg is loose (no vacuum), it is difficult for me to brake quickly during high lateral (turning) g forces. I'm hoping the LimbLogic system will provide enough continous support to keep the leg "glued" to my residual limb. Regardless, when my Harmony system is working correctly, the prosthetic really feels like an extension of my real leg.
  7. I am fairly short below the knee - about 7cm, and I use Harmony vacuum system. I have no problems with stability when the vacuum system is working correctly. My understanding is that a pin-lock system or just sleeve system is not going to provide much stability when your limb is that short. I would investigate using one of the vacuum systems on offer (Harmony (manual or electric) or Ohio Willowwood)
  8. Just to check...you are using a spray (alcohol + water) on the liner before you put on the leg? The new socket material probably won't be as slick as the clear plastic.
  9. I was on my company's UnitedHealthcare PPO and they paid for 100% of my C-leg and Harmony leg (I had already met the $5000 prosthetic deductible that year).
  10. Excellent news Tomer. Your experience is a great example of why someone should never accept anything less from their prosthetist than a perfect fit.
  11. Tomer - good to hear your leg man is going to have another attempt with the socket. I have always has problems with the fabric peeling off. I do "pull" the liner over the edge of the socket, as I find this helps protect the "family jewels" from getting "caught". (I don't cut the liner). What I have found is that the "medicated" coating on the liner will start to wear off just about the time the fabric peels off and I start to get holes/tears where I fold the liner over the outside of the socket. After about 6 months, especially in the heat, I will start getting light rashes on my skin. When I replace the liner, the rash goes away the next day.
  12. cwrm4

    Loss of suction!!

    If you have wood floors, or tiles, one trick I used was to always sit in the same chair and then always align the foot the same way with floor boards when I put the leg on. After a while you can do it by "feel" alone.
  13. cwrm4

    My walking gait feels "odd"

    Go do a couple sessions on a treadmill, and everything will feel normal again. Since the belt on a treadmill turns at a constant speed, it will force your gait to even back out.
  14. cwrm4

    C-Leg Issues

    I would make sure that your prosthetist is not over-torquing the two cap screws that "clamp" the pylon to the C-leg. He should be using a torque wrench, calibrated in inch-pounds, or Newton-meters, to do this. Also make sure the wires didn't get pinched and are causing a short.
  15. cwrm4

    C-Leg Issues

    The first thing I would do is have your prosthetist switch out the pylon (which contains the load sensor). It is very easy to do, and most prosthetist will have a spare around. It doesn't necessarily have to be the correct length just for testing this problem. When your leg is flat on the floor, you may be putting unusual stress on the sensor and "confusing" it, or it may have a bad connection.
  16. Who is your prosthetist? Did you go through TIRR? I am also in Houston and have figured out who knows what and who doesn't in town...PM me if you would like to talk further. Based on the research I did, for my use the C-leg was the clear choice, with the Rheo a close second and the Endolite a distant 3rd.
  17. No, you won't damage the rings by putting it on "dry". However, I've often found you get a much better "feeling" of fit if you use the spray...but occasionally when I don't have any spray handy I just put it on dry. If the liner/socket is truly tight and well-fitted it should be a good bit more difficult to get all the way down in the socket when putting it on "dry" vs. "wet". If the socket is just as easy to get on dry as it is wet than that would be a clear indication of too loose a fit. I will say that, since going to the 5-ring liner nearly a year ago, I have never - not once - had the socket "pop off". (I did occasionally have this problem with the old single ring liner, particularly when sitting down on a hard surface.)
  18. To keep it from popping forward when sitting you must have tight fit around all 5 rings when standing. However, if only 1 or 2 rings have a tight fit, it will feel fine when walking, but it will pop forward when you sit. This was the big problem with the previous single-ring seal-in liners...they tended to pop-off when sitting even though they worked great when walking. You need also check to ensure that the Ossur liner is a very tight fit on your leg...if it is too large it will tend to fold slightly and go out of round. When you stand an gravity pushes more of your body mass down towards the the end of your limb, the leg will enlarge slightly and fill-up the liner. However, as your skin/fat transitions causing your leg shape to change as you transition from sitting to standing, you will get an air channel which will cause the lose of vacuum. Therefore, make sure the liner is a good tight fit against your skin when sitting and holding your leg at 90 degrees to your body. If you have some looseness, try the next smaller size liner. Also try using the straight vs. conical versions of the Ossur liner. If you have a clear socket you need to see all 360 degress of the tip of all 5 rings evenly folded over against the socket. BTW I have this set-up.
  19. Unless you have really significant volume changes daily with your leg, that is an indication of poor socket fit. Your socket is too loose where the rings are on the Ossur liner. The socket may be "not round" which causes the liner rings to kink. You should ask your leg man to modify or remold the socket. However, to tighten it up you can take a prosthetic sock, cut the closed end off, and slip it over the liner between the rings and the top of the liner.
  20. cwrm4

    Active Vacuum Leaks

    If you do get a leak, I have found that a wetsuit repair kit (found at diving stores) works wonders on sealing up any holes and prolonging the life of the sleeve.
  21. cwrm4

    Discontinued Liner

    Not sure what the Dermo is, but the Stabilo has been replaced with the Iceross Stabilo X5. The new liner has 5 hard rubber triangular "ridges" as opposed to the single triangular flap of the old one. I have found the new design to be far, far superior to the old design in terms of staying securely attached. The material is the same. The new one feels a bit softer but I quickly got used to it. If you want to eliminate the "slimy" feeling just wipe it down several times with rubbing alcohol.
  22. cwrm4

    Finding someone as an amputee

    Not in the least. Sure, there are a few women out there who are not going to date you becuase of your "condition", but would you really want someone so vain anyway? Quite honestly, even though I'm a bilateral, since my accident I've haven't had the slightest problem attracting women and have now quite happily ended up with a stunning, wonderful girl from Australia (in fact she's a former model). Plenty of people around here will try to help you feel sorry for yourself. Don't do it -- just live life exactly as you did before. Being strong-willed and confident is what will make you attractive to the ladies.
  23. cwrm4

    suction fit

    thnx 4 that i shall try it You should really use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol instead of denatured (surgical spirits) alcohol, for two reasons: 1) if a child or someone accidentally drinks surgical spirits, it can cause blindness, and 2) denatured alcohol may degrade the rubber on the liner seals over time.
  24. cwrm4

    suction fit

    I think he may be referring to the spray you use to help slide the leg over the liner. I use a 50/50 mixture of water and rubbing alcohol. This is essentially what the Ossur spray is. Between the liner and the skin on my BK side, I use Convatec Sensicare 2. This is the same stuff that Otto Bock sends out with every new TEK liner. http://www.nextag.com/CONVATEC-Sensi-care-...141/prices-html I have found it as low as $4 a tube shopping around on the net.
  25. cwrm4

    OTTO BOCK HARMONY E-PULSE LEG

    If you have blisters on the end of your limb, it usually means there is a gap between your skin and the liner. I had the same problem. Putting a gel distal pad in the bottom of the socket corrected the problem, as it helped to keep the liner pressed tightly against the end of my residual limb. A fair bit of grease/cream on your leg helps also.
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