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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Ally

Need quick advise re knees

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Hi all

Quick background - I have been using a Total Knee since October last year. Bought it 2nd hand from a man who hardly used it. He had gotten it as a demo. So it's 3rd generation, but nothing wrong.

My prosthetist has asked me to "model" an Endolite Mercury Junior knee for a conference on Friday. If I do, the knee is mine, gratis.

Endolite Mercury Junior Knee link

I had the knee fitted today. Took about 4 hours of prodding and setting and reading manuals - trial and error. Am supposed to try it out, get used to it, etc. I don't have much time to make up my mind here. A guy from the UK is going to tweak it tomorrow and hopefully the settings will be right. I either walk away with this thing on Friday, or I say no thanks, give me back my total.

However, I am so sore tonight that I can't do much on it. Am worried that I will make a wrong decision.

My question to the forum is this (and I won't base my final decision on this, but I need all the information I can get)

Which knee would you take if you had this decision to make, and why.

I have noticed a few things...

1. I like the look of this Endolite knee (I don't use a cover) - call me girly, but it is an up-side

2. The Endolite has no lock, sitting down is easier and feels more natural

3. The Endolite hydraulics make me feel more stable - the Total Knee would collapse if I wasn't careful while standing

4. It is quieter than the Total Knee

5. It feels like a smoother step, but am not sure

However...

Although I was able to walk at a good pace earlier when I had space, now that I am home, I find that I can't walk slowly or take small steps, the leg seems to stiffen and not follow through fast enough.

Another "problem" I foresee is that the socket I am currently using will have to be changed at the bottom to accomodate the Endolite knee. So it's not just a case of off with the old, on with the new. There will have to be significant changes (they will have to move the attachment bit at the end of the socket that the knee fits into way over to the right because of the alignment). So if I decide to take the Endolite and they have changed the metal bit at the end of the socket, it's not that easy to go back to the Total. *Sigh* I'm driving myself nuts.

Perhaps I am going into fright mode too quickly here. So very tired. I have forgotten how scary it is to get new components. Have to build a whole new relationship of trust with this contraption....LOL

One thing I definitely would like from any new knee is that it expends as little energy as possible. I get physically tired so quickly (and no, it's not JUST age!)

But seriously, does anyone have any definite views on both these knees....and please don't leave me with "it's ultimately up to you, what's best for you" argghhhh, just tell you like one above the other.....Please??? Please God for an easy way out for once :lol:

Thanks so much,

Ally

PS - I will settle for a list of pros and cons and a "what's best for you" blah if I have to :)

PPS - What does everyone think about the Endolite knee that's computerised?? Spotted one at the pros' office.....maybe if I beg they will donate that one instead.....just a thought....

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Hi,Ally im six years on the total knee 2000 same knee i started on and i manage fine why change something thats not broke you could be worse off, as for energy i asked that question to my doc at the limb centre he said all above knees amps will get tired. Not much help sorry.

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Thanks for the quick response Paul. Appreciate it.

Why change something that's not broke? I guess you would only do that if there was a big improvement. And that's what I am hoping to hear. Someone say - hell yes, go for it.

In all honesty though, the prosthetist didn't say 'hell yes', he said 'well yes' LOL

He did say it was a more robust and stronger knee. He didn't actually say the words, IT'S WAY BETTER. He said, it depends on you........ *sigh*

No commitment....typical male. :lol:

I haven't had a problem with my Total Knee. Except when I am not careful to make sure it's in a locked position when standing. Then I do the macarena for 2 seconds to keep upright. This Endolite doesn't go WOEF and collapse, it kind of eases down and bit and warns you first. I like that at least....

Thanks again Paul,

Ally

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Ive collapsed when walking with the Total knee not locking out proper but never just standing I have a habit of staying on the eel.

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Big thanks Marcus. Much appreciated.

Endolite has indicated that should I not get along with this new leg, they will offer me something else....so all will not be lost if I don't take the Mercury Jnr leg...I hope.... Doing a (really) bad imitation of Kate Moss on the runway isn't exactly my idea of fun.

Ally

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Don't suppose you can coerce your prosthetist into donating the whole thing, foot knee and socket? That way you'd have the best of both worlds - a flash new knee that you coulk get used to slowly as well as your old faithfull and relatively trusted leg.

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That was sort of my thought. Do you have to completely give up the old to get the new.

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Ally

I have edited your discription on this post and deleted the other one for you so no need for both posts hope you don't mind me doing it. If you need a post to be edited in the future just let me or one of the moderators know and we can help you.

Hope you get all the help you can with the question.

((((((((HUGS)))))))))))

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Thanks Brenda.

And thanks everyone elso too.

Ok, here's the thing. If I decide to take this endolite knee, then I will have to wait until August for the MAS socket, and we will fit the endolite knee to that. The endolite doesn't fit onto the socket I currently have.

But then, when I eventually start to use the Endolite at the end of the year, what if I don't like it? The MAS socket will be made to fit the knee.

They are only "donating" the knee, I am using my socket and my foot.

Well, I am off to see the UK guy now about fine tuning the settings on this knee. By the end of last night I felt like I was dragging my leg around. That can't be right.

Does endolite make a flex foot where you can change heel height? That would blow my hair back..... :P

Thanks again everyone. This is such a stunning forum.

Ally

(not ally-cat today, just scaredy-cat)

:)

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HI Ally,

I'm pretty new at all of this AK for 18 months. I've had a total knee but am now using a knee without lock, which is very free moving, but not an endolite. I guess for me the advantages of not using the total were that the swing is much easier on the one I have-less energy expended on the swing, very easy to break, but without the safety factor. I guess it comes down to how secure you feel. This took a bit of getting use too, but has been worth it. I've only had one fall in 5 months and I'm not as tired at the end of the day.

Good luck, there's not right or wrong answer just what feels best for you, and also the physical impact on the rest of your body.

Mel.

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Hi Ally

I haven't tried the Total Knee so can't really offer any advice on that, other than I've heard from a lot of amps its bril. If you find the knee is fine for fast walking and a lot of activity but too stiff for home use it might just be they need to loosen it up a bit for you.

I know what you mean about learning to trust a component and we all go through it, but the human body is quite amazing at adaptation. Have you tried walking on it for a few days? You might feel more confident if you had longer with it. I know time is not something they've given you so its tricky.

I would get them to loosen the knee up a bit and then do some more walking/home activities.

Sorry I can't be much more help.

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Mandy, and everyone, you have been of tremendous help.

This is my 2nd day on the endolite, and I am so sore, I don't think I could even get to my car without walking like a complete cripple.

Am taking a drive out to the prost. this evening - he has got to do something about this.

I am REALLY chafing on the inner groin area. Not even a gel is helping to relieve it. I think it may be a combination of bad or different alignment, and the weight of this new leg. Prost. will have to grind away a portion of the socket at the top. Can't bear ANY weight there, and not supposed to. But I think I have shrunk a bit since it was made (October 2004) and I have sunk down a bit. All the weight seems to come down on the inside groin area. OUCH dammit.

The UK prosthetist said that this edolite will take more energy to use in the beginning. That's all I need. And Mandy, I think you are right, they must loosen the leg a bit so it swings through easier. Or maybe I am too used to the Total knee flying forward....

Anyway, I will see how I feel after the end of tomorrow. Right now I am trying not to hate this new knee.

Thanks again everyone. To any newbie on this forum your responses are overwhelming and very encouraging.

Ally

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Hi everyone,

Well I got through the day ok. Spent over 3 hours last night with the prosthetist, got home after midnight. He ground away some of the socket around the inside and re-adjusted the alignment of the leg. So very tedious.

Am not too sure about this socket fit though. I was very sore at the end of today, not in the same place, right inside the groin area, but just below. It feels like it's really pushing hard against the musles at the top of my leg. I don't remember ever having that sort of pain with this socket before. I am hoping that it is just a case of me having to readjust, but I have my doubts. Maybe the alignment is out a bit. I will probably have to go back again.... :(

As for the knee, I started out the day feeling good about it. But as the day wore on, it started to feel really heavy and it tired me out properly. Perhaps this is because the socket was so sore, and I started to 'favour' the leg. By 5pm I was hobbling around.

One thing that is positive though, is that I really feel safe on this knee. When I got my total knee it took me a huge amount of time to trust it.

Ah well, weekend is here. Let's see how I get through to Monday. Maybe I will feel better tomorrow.

Ally

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I haven't been an amputee that long. 9-06-03 was the date of my accident that left me as an LAK.. My first knee was the Mercury Knee. I was curious about how other knees would work for me, so my prosthetist swapped out my mercury knee for a couple of different knees. I know one of the knees I tried was the total knee. I absolutely hated it! I fell like 4 times in 1 day.... It seems that the Mercury knee allows you to walk with out thinking about it as much.. I guess that since I started off with the Mercury Knee, that has stance control, extension control, & flexsion control, I am dependent on that stuff.. You give me a knee that doesn't have that stuff I am screwed... My next leg is supposed to be a C leg..

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3. The Endolite hydraulics make me feel more stable - the Total Knee would collapse if I wasn't careful while standing

4. It is quieter than the Total Knee

5. It feels like a smoother step, but am not sure

Hi Ally

I have used Total knee for 4 years as well as my J-leg, I have tried Adaptive and Mauch you will never beat Total knee for stability. It is heavier than a Mauch and does not have the capability that Mauch has with stairs and slopes.

I use a Total shock with my unit & a College Park foot which is superb.

I have a test leg at the moment fitted with a custom Tec liner socket, Mauch knee, Blachford pylon shock with a college park foot.

I am looking at the benefits of this compared to my Total knee,Total shock, College Park foot.

You make a comment that your total knee makes noise! If it does then there is something wrong with it. My set up is completely silent apart from me sounding like a bull elephant but that’s because I weigh 14 and a half stone. :D

I think you should look at the set up of your whole leg not just the knee!

Good luck with your choice

PJ ;)

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Hi, Im on the Total knee 2000 no noise comes from mine had it from day one, with walking it requires concentration for the heel strike im happy with mine.

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Hi Ally:

Do you have to completely give up the old to get the new

I thought I would step in here and offer my own experience to date. I have found that any change to the leg makes a huge difference.............once managed.........it is extremely hard for me to go back to the previous configuration.

I started off on mauch units...........did very well with them...............qualified for C leg units...........experienced that adjustment...........use them totally now.

Went back to the Mauch units while playing around with my wee leg configuration..................and couldn't walk past two steps!!!!........ended up giving the Mauch units away.

ED

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Hi Ally

How are you doing? It sounds like the change in alignment has shifted where you are taking weight on your socket. Get your pros to check it out as bad alignment can cause all sorts of problems, including back and joint pain in your other leg!

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Hello everyone, back at last. Lost my internet connection for a while.

A lot has happened with the knee story.

We just couldn't get the alignment right with the Mercury knee. Tried and tried, ground away a hellava lot of the socket at the top on the inner groin area, to no avail.

I must say though, I was a bit disappointed as I had gotten quite used to the Mercury and felt a lot more stable on it than the Total knee.

So we decided that until I get the MAS socket, we would revert to the Total, and then stick the Mercury onto the new socket. Hells bells - I took one step on the Total knee after the Mercury and I nearly did the can can. It was SO loose and easy to throw forward! LOL. But I am back into the 'swing' of using the Total now, and I haven't fallen yet.

One comment the English prosthetist made about me using the Mercury (and remember I had to demo the knee after using it only for 2 days) was that he was surprised how someone my age (gasp :blink: ) had adapted so quickly after using the Total knee.

Now that I am back on the Total however, I can see that the Mercury is definitely a harder knee to use. One needs to be a lot stronger - the Total knee is a nice lazy knee to use. But, I enjoyed the stability of the Mercury, so I will go back to that later this year.

As far as noise on the Total goes - it's not so much that its noisy, as that it makes a clicking sound after you swing through on a step compared to the Mercury that is dead quiet.

And that is where I am right now. Back on the Total knee, but keen to get back on the Mercury, even though it is a bit more tiring to use than the one I have now.

Nice to be back on the forum - am going to read through all the blat that I've missed over the last couple of weeks.

Thanks to everyone who posted regarding this - I really appreciate all the input.

Ally

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Hi all back from Italy, Tuscany in fact! :D

Ally your right what you say about Total knee being a user friendly knee, I have attached photo of my experimental leg in the office, Mauch knee with TTpylon.

Its harder to use, its lighter but requires a bit more effort.

I have the TT pylon now on my Total knee leg and its a super shock unit, have you a shock on your leg ?

My exprimental leg does not have my College park foot on board which is a superb foot 'Venture'.

Alley have you thought of trying the adaptive? If you are getting on well with a Mercury

Just a thought :huh:

PJ :D

Edited by Afet

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Hi Paul

Erm, no - don't have a shock thingey (how little do I actually know??)

Eish,

Ally

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Paul@plan-a...

I'm a bit confused about your leg, why have you got so much metalwork below the TT? You seem to have a 35/30 adaptor, then a peice of 30mm tube, then a 30 to pyr adaptor, then a pyr multiflex ankle. All this could be replaced by a 35mm clampable multiflex ankle, saving alot of weight?

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Hi Ian

Oh it's a bit of a bodge up to allow me to try different bits, I'm accessing the benefits of the Mauch against my totalknee. Riding a bike for intance and coming down slopes & stairs. The whole thing is experimental but not for every day use just yet. The adition of a TTpylon has been a good improvement on the total shock. :D

PJ

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Hi Ian

Oh it's a bit of a bodge up to allow me to try different bits, I'm accessing the benefits of the Mauch against my totalknee. Riding a bike for intance and coming down slopes & stairs. The whole thing is experimental but not for every day use just yet. The adition of a TTpylon has been a good improvement on the total shock. :D

PJ

That explains it then... I want a TT, hopefully will have one soon...

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Hi all

As you know I have been trialing the Mauch knee on my experimental leg, and have really got to like it.

I would'nt want to ditch my total knee just yet, but the Mauch has made a very good impression. Supported by the TT pylon the knee is light very forgiving and much better for off road/slopes than Total knee. :D

At the moment I have a standard foot on the Mauch set up, with a College park foot on board the leg could be awesome.

Anyone thinking of a change from Total knee should give the Mauch a trail

Waiting for the sun <_<

PJ

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