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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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kam

New prosthesis!

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It doesn't seem that long ago, but in late September I started to have a new BK prosthesis made - to replace one we'd been working on for over a year, that had never quite worked. I've been wearing an old (15 year old) prosthesis with a Carbon Copy II foot, supracondylar suspension and a pielite liner, since my "good" prosthesis (iceross liner, Flex Foot) was never comfortable enough to wear all day. We were replacing the "good" prosthesis, since the "old" one had developed cracking at the sides of the socket (not easy to repair). See Here we go again... for the beginning of the story.

The good news is that just before Christmas, I took delivery of my new prosthesis. It uses an iceross liner, and a comparable foot to my "old" prosthesis (not sure of the exact model, but it's a multi-axial foot, probably Blatchford). The better news is that the new one works well. Of course, I would prefer an adjustable heel height foot / ankle, and the leg has a foam cosmesis that must be worn with a knee-high stocking, but the proof is in the walking, and this one works.

So, what did we do differently? The 15 year old prosthesis doesn't have the "standard" cut-out for the knee - instead, it goes straight across, enclosing my knee. The technical term is "KBM" or "Knee bearing Muenster". This works for me because I don't have a patella (legacy of knee surgery to stabilize a chronically dislocating patella), and my knee doesn't extend fully (it has a slightly larger passive range of motion than active). With the KBM style, I can take a bit of pressure above where my patella would be (a bit like using a PTB strap). The iceross is an improvement since it means it stays on better. I've decided that the stability of the multi-axial foot works better for me than the bounciness of the flexfoot, at least at the moment. I just returned from 4 days camping (in a tent, rough ground, temperatures in the mid-high 30C's), and I had no problems with the leg (no blisters or falls).

Next step is to take the old socket from the prosthesis with the flexfoot and attach a rampro ankle and old foot to it so I can be more mobile getting in and out of the water; the kids at the camp were a little surprised by my "pirate" leg (which has no foot), see Going to the beach for a picture. But at least I could walk into the water, and go canoeing and sailing.

- kam (sweltering in Sydney; it was 44C today, but we just had a southerly change, so it'll be 26C tomorrow).

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