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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
gsalmons

knee/prosthetic movement advice needed!!

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Hi - I'm a RBK amputee and I've been wearing a straight forward NHS prosthetic leg now for 4 years with very little problem. I came off worse after being left for dead after a hit and run with a boy racer! However, I'm wanting to get riding a sports motorbike again and although I've sorted a thumb rear brake system, I would like any advice on giving my knee maximum movement!

I use a silicon sleeve and find this quite uncomfortable when I try to bend my knee - I'm due to see my prosthetist soon and could do with a basic idea of what I need please.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

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Not sure what advice to give you (someone will know)........just thought I would welcome you to the Forum :biggrin:

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You'll probably want a dedicated riding leg as what you want won't necessarily be supportive enough for everyday use.

The rear wall of the socket needs to have a very low trimline to allow the knee to bend backwards more than 90 degrees comfortably. Sleeves come in a variety of thicknesses. The thicker ones are generally more durable, but do hinder knee movement some. Try a thinner sleeve to see if this helps. You could also switch to a pin system or seal-in liner so that a sleeve isn't necessary at all.

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Ask your prosthetist to consult John Montague, he's a UK rep for Otto Bock, a motorcyclist and also a below knee amputee (I think on the right) and very helpful bloke all round.

I know that over the years he's tried various things form custom legs to altering the set-up every time he gets on the bike. Last time I spoke to him he was carrying around a seperate foot and shin tube which he connected to his socket when he was riding before swapping to his walking "rig" when he got where he was going.

I think that the best solution he found was to reduce the length of his shin tube in order reduce the ammount his knee had to flex. This meant that the socket was still firmly held on whilst being comfortable at the same time and he was still able to move around on the bike.

The only problem you might have is convincing your NHS prosthetist to allow you adjust your own leg. Some people are so concerned that you might fall over and sue them that they just won't allow you to make these kinds of changes yourself, other people are intelligent enough to makes sure you know what you're doing and then just get you to sign a disclaimer of somekind. You will need to buy your own torque wrench for this but it really is an easy job of undoing 2 screws, swapping the tubes over and doing them back up to the specified torque, it shuldn't take more than a couple of minutes.

I'm an AK so have different (but similar) problems with riding my bikes. One thing I will say is that you want to avoid having a seperate "bike" leg as you'll end up only using it if you're going out for a ride, if you're riding somewhere where you're going to walk then you'll wear the walking leg and end up being uncomfortable (I know one person who used this as justification for getting a bike leg, suggesting that the discomfort was so distracting that he found it difficult to concentrate on the road. This got his prosthetist so scared of being sued for "causing" a possible accident that suddenly they found the budget for a specialist leg).

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