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Wondercat

Going downstairs

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Hello all. I am a fairly new LBK and in general my walking is pretty good aside from a limp that sometimes seems worse than others. At the moment I walk with a stick as this seems to save me when I leg gets sore or tired. Anyway, I can go upstairs very well and I think I've mastered that side of things. It's going down the stairs again which presents a problem. Standing at the top of a flight of steps can seem pretty scary and I tend to almost hop off my prosthetic foot which makes the descent seem really jerky and adds to the fear factor! I could do without smashing my face up or impaling myself on my walking stick if I fell! Does anyone have any techniques for going downstairs more smoothly? Is it something that comes with time? I am not sure about the brand name or model of foot I have but it is almost convex on the base (like a rocker) so it feels as if very little of the base of the foot is touching the ground. When "rolling" over the step on the way down it feels as if there's not much purchase on the floor. Are there more responsive feet or is this something that is common with all of them?

Thanks very much for your advice.

Wondercat x

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All I do is straighten my leg into a completely straight and locked position. Go down with that and my stick and follow with my good leg. I take things slow and make sure I feel secure before I do. My stairs are really narrow and things could go really wrong if i fell. The more I do it the more comfortable I feel. The first couple of times I got someone to stand in front of me so I couldn't see the height; which i think is the hardest thing to get past. Hope you work this out!!!

Bex xx

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I have a very short bk and have never felt comfortable going down stairs. If there is a rail sometimes I do it although not so smoothly. If there are only 3 or 4 steps I'm a little more secure. For the most part, I go down like a little kid. May look odd, but so much safer :smile:

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Downstairs is a challenge! I take it one step at a time, leading with my prosthesis. My prosthetics tech, who became an amputee in childhood, can do downstairs step-over-step, but he says it's kind of a "controlled fall" and doesn't recommend it for most folks. I know that, when I've tried it, the "hopping" with the prosthetic side is mighty unnerving!

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I remeber first time at the top of a down escalator was 'FUN'

Actually I've managed escalators quite well but must admit I wouldn't fancy trying them in the rush on the tube. People get manic and I think I'd be trampled!

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I remeber first time at the top of a down escalator was 'FUN'

My first time was "fun" too, I got off the train at waterloo then followed the crowd to the tube signs not realising there was an escalator there, being stuck in the middle of loads of people i didnt have much choice and get on luckly i didnt have a problem. When i decided to go to london i didnt really think about the tube having lots of stairs and escalators, ah well i know now :laugh:

I can go down stairs but not very smoothly, im an above knee with a bad knee and foot drop which makes it a bit harder. I have to do one step at a time while holding on to the rail, i cant keep my balance right not holding on, with a bit more practice i think i should get there.

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Hello all. I am a fairly new LBK and in general my walking is pretty good aside from a limp that sometimes seems worse than others. At the moment I walk with a stick as this seems to save me when I leg gets sore or tired. Anyway, I can go upstairs very well and I think I've mastered that side of things. It's going down the stairs again which presents a problem. Standing at the top of a flight of steps can seem pretty scary and I tend to almost hop off my prosthetic foot which makes the descent seem really jerky and adds to the fear factor! I could do without smashing my face up or impaling myself on my walking stick if I fell! Does anyone have any techniques for going downstairs more smoothly? Is it something that comes with time? I am not sure about the brand name or model of foot I have but it is almost convex on the base (like a rocker) so it feels as if very little of the base of the foot is touching the ground. When "rolling" over the step on the way down it feels as if there's not much purchase on the floor. Are there more responsive feet or is this something that is common with all of them?

Thanks very much for your advice.

Wondercat x

Hi Wondercat

I think this is something that will come with time and practice and the more confident you get on your leg. If I can remember my early days, at home I had rails down both sides of my stairs. I started out on pylons which were fixed straight with rocker feet and whilst on those have some memories of coming down backwards. Also you will find that all 'stairs' are slightly different, and some are easier than others, but I think a lot depends on the limb you are wearing and what you learn about what you can do with it. My 'feet' are pretty basic, but they do feel very solid on the ground and I can sort of feel through them and where they are, but even as someone who has worn limbs for many years, I have tried different types of prosthesis and had to 'relearn' how to do stairs, one type of limb I tried just didn't work for me on stairs as I couldn't 'feel' where I was putting my feet - if that makes sense.

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I'm bilateral AK and use mauch knee units which are advertised as being able to walk down stairs normally, forward step over step... although I've never had the courage. I go down sideways using one cane and one hand on the railing, step by step. However my basement stairs are narrower and I had railings installed on both sides and just leave spare canes at the bottom. I can go down frontwards step over step, or it's even faster to just swing both legs out and drop to the next step while holding both railings. Going upstairs, in both cases I walk step over step with one cane (or two in one hand) and one hand on the railing or in the case of the basement just holding the railings.

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Mauch knee and electrics good for left right "normal" descent.

hand on both rails and swing leg forward is swift when not using sophisticated knee

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It will come in time. My office at home is upstairs. I go up and down multiple times in a day. As long as I'm not having a badlegday, I can go up and down just as a normal person would. My foot, the PS II, has spring to it and I just kind of bounce down on it. At first I put half the foot on the step and half off which is what I was taught to do. It makes the roll over the edge of the step a little smoother.

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'Neal' did you use the same system when you had on a sleeve? Since I am still learning, I feel as if my knee is very stiff. BTW how is your wife getting along...didn't she have surgery.

:smile: ann

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'Neal' did you use the same system when you had on a sleeve? Since I am still learning, I feel as if my knee is very stiff. BTW how is your wife getting along...didn't she have surgery.

:smile: ann

I don't know which system you are referring to Ann. The sleeve does hinder knee movement a little. It's the only reason I keep looking for something better. I like the Seal-in liner, but feel insecure by the end of the day. I've added a sleeve for better security. I will probably go back to the vacuum system after the first of the year.

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'Nea;' was talking about your vacuum system.

:smile:

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i echo all the other advice, i have 2 hanrails at home & come down always with the false leg first!

alternatively come dwn backwards!

maggie

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As a BK it's much easier and at home and on most stairs (asuming it's not a bad day) I can come down normally foot over foot however if the stairs are particularly steep or especially uneven outdoor stone steps I need to go down one step at a time leading with my bad leg. If for any reason there is not a rail to hold on to I will use the one leg at a time for safety.

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