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SusanN

Should I dump my Rheo and stick with my Total Knee?

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I've been an RAKA for 34 years, but until I lost a major amount of weight I was unable to use a prosthesis successfully until about a year ago. I got a Total Knee with a Talux foot and suddenly became very mobile--not running marathons or climbing mountains, mind you, but I've been able to walk long distances without a hassle, am off my crutches and only use a cane occasionally, and in general have been a very happy camper.

I've heard vague wonderful things about computerized knees giving me even more freedom and flexibility, so when I found out my insurance covered the Rheo, my prosthetist and I decided to go for it. I'm the first Rheo in Georgia, which means the prosthetist is learning along with me, and there is also no amputee to visit in person to get some hands-on tips. The socket fits beautifully, but to put it bluntly, the Rheo feels like I'm pushing a boulder with every step (plus it's ugly as hell and has very limited cosmetic possibilities). I'm 149 pounds and have been told I have pretty good muscle strength despite my lack of using a prosthesis all these years. Today while wearing the Rheo I had to use a wheelchair for the first time in a year because it was just too exhausting to get the leg to move down a long hospital hallway.

My understanding is that the Rheo will give more stability (I haven't been feeling unstable on the Total Knee and it rarely buckles on me). The only problem I have right now with the Total Knee is steep inclines, but I figure them out when I have to. The Rheo will let me walk in a stair-over-stair pattern, but, again, that's just not been a big problem. Another advantage with the Total Knee is that's is more hassle free--no worrying about remembering to charge it or keeping it away from water.

I guess I need some motivation as to why I should spend a whole of time and energy I really don't have to get adjustments to the Rheo to see if it will work for me.

The big question is, what's the Rheo going to do me for that the Total Knee won't?

My trial period is ending soon. I hate to be ungrateful, and I know there are many amputees who would love to have a computer knee, and I may never get this insurance coverage again. I hate to quit on it prematurely but I'm not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Advice, please.

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Hi Susan & welcome to the forum! :D

I'm afraid I can't help you with advice about your knee, as I haven't had either the Total knee or the Rheo. However, from reading your posting, it sounds as though you're not happy with the Rheo. In my experience, if you've given something your best and you're still not happy with it, then ditch it. It's just my opinion...

Take care

Lizzie :)

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Hi Susan,

Wow I'm really suprised to here that "it feels like your pushing a bolder." In that case it sounds like the rheo needs a computer adjustment. But anyways, like Lizzie said, just ditch it. I've tried probably half the knees on the market but I walked with the total knee for 6 years before moving to a mauch for the last 5 years. (which I wear out very consistently, I'm still under warranty and on my third hydrolic :) Anyway if the total knee works for you and doesn't limit you physically in ways it shouldn't, stick with it. I could go on and on about the crappy knee technology thats going around, but I'll lay off for now. I say if your not competively active, just stick with the basics. GOOD LUCK.

Nicole

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hello susan,

that sounds not good...i agree with nicoler, that there is an adjustment necessary. maybe you can get direct help from ossur?

maybe your leg is now too much secure? do you have got a palm for the adjustments? save the actual settings somewhere and the try to change something. when i was on a tradefair here for this stuff, i asked the "model" about all this stuff and he showed me what he could change via his palm. at that time i was really yeallous, because i am not allowed to do this with my c-leg.

difference to a total knee? in my opinion the total knee is a fine knee, but......not stairs down in a normal way, slopes and uneven terrain are not so easy to handle. i could do all things with my total knee, but i have fallen often, whne i tried too much....c-leg makes it easier and rheo has nearly the same function as i found out. you have something between "locked and flexing" knee.....

ciao thomas

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G'day Susan,

I'm a BK so not much help here. I have to be happy with my knee :lol:

Just wanted to welcome you to the forum.

Cat

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Hi Susan,

Sorry, I don't really have anything to add about the Rheo. But I think (if it where me) I would try some more adjustments. If it is to be tossed anyway, no harm in trying. In the end, if tried and true works best, stick with the total knee. I hope everything works out well for you. Please keep us posted. :)

Oh! And welcome to the forum. There are good vibes a plenty here!!! :D :D

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Hi Susan

I've been on Total knee now for over 4 years and have tried many other knee's. I own a Mauch unit as well, I have tried many times to make the transition onto other knees. It takes hours & hours of setting up and months of hard work to change your thought patterns.

I'm still stuck with Total which allows me to function. Sensor legs are still in there infancy, I had trials on one which made me unstable.

As there others have said if it works then why try and fix it?

Good luck what ever you decide

PJ :)

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......maybe its also helpfull to have this information.....

it took me some time to walk with the new leg after the change from the total knee. most important was the confidence in the new knee. another thing that i had to get used to, was, that these monocentric knees don´t make the leg shorter, when they bend.

one year later my technician made his "master" and i was his "model"...with the total knee...i didn´t forget how to walk with it, but i really prefer the c-leg.

the rheo is much heavier as the toatal knee.......that mybe a disadvantage.

susan...what foot do you use with the rheo?

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......maybe its also helpfull to have this information.....

susan...what foot do you use with the rheo?

Thanks for the very good advice, everyone!

Thomas, I have a Talux foot, which seems to have a nice spring to it.

I e-mailed my CP that I wanted to return the Rheo. He replied that he fully understood and there's no problem in returning the Rheo, but he still feels I'm a good candidate for a microprocessor knee, and he has a C-knee he's willing to let me use for a couple of months to try out before I completely give up on being "bionic." Sounds like I have nothing to lose there. I'm hearing more positive comments about the C-leg and I'll give this some serious thought.

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Hi Susan,

Great job on the weight loss! I'm also a long time user (31 years) but have not had the opportunity to try out any of the microprocessor knees and doubt that I will for a long time. It is great that you are offered the choice to compare knees and if nothing else, you are helping with your CP's education which will help others eventually.

Good luck.

Jodi

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@susan

the c-leg is not so heavy and has less problems with the cosmetic......also when you might use it without cover, it will look more "designed" B)

one thing that i remember that these bionic legs are not made to be used with sticks or crutches....you have to bring full weight on the leg and have to trust in it.....or you will walk with a stiff leg.

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Hi Susan,

sorry I can't help as I'm BK, but wanted to welcome you to the forum.

hope you get sorted out soon, I know how difficult it is to turn away from a tried and tested leg that's 'OK' and change to something that should be better but might be worse.

Good luck x

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