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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Tint

Plie microprocessor knee

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hey bud. i just went to a plie course here in america. actually it was the plie 2. and they had me be the "model" who walked on it for them although i had 0 experience before this time. the plie 1 sucks, it costs 11,000$ and the gait is decent but i hated it as it was pneumatic and not hydraulic based. the plie 2 however was A-MAZING. it is hydraulic and has stance control, water resistant, you can RUN ON IT without it overheating like the rheo and cleg. and the batteries can be bought from a local radio shack here in america. the cost of it was 17,300$. now keep in mind if you live in america that 17,300 is actually going to be higher after the overhead and everything from you prosthetist. however, if you have insurance here for the most part they will get it for you. i love my plie 2 but i do most of my crazy activities on a 3r60. im young enough that the plie2 just really is not needed. im very stable on the 3r60 and have not fallen with it one time in almost a year. and i def. dont go easy on myself or life. hopefully you will get this reply as its kinda an older topic but i just happened to have probably the perfect answer as i just tried them both out. feel free to ask more questions about either of them or email me at poker22only@yahoo.com -wade

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hey bud. i just went to a plie course here in america. actually it was the plie 2. and they had me be the "model" who walked on it for them although i had 0 experience before this time. the plie 1 sucks, it costs 11,000$ and the gait is decent but i hated it as it was pneumatic and not hydraulic based. the plie 2 however was A-MAZING. it is hydraulic and has stance control, water resistant, you can RUN ON IT without it overheating like the rheo and cleg. and the batteries can be bought from a local radio shack here in america. the cost of it was 17,300$. now keep in mind if you live in america that 17,300 is actually going to be higher after the overhead and everything from you prosthetist. however, if you have insurance here for the most part they will get it for you. i love my plie 2 but i do most of my crazy activities on a 3r60. im young enough that the plie2 just really is not needed. im very stable on the 3r60 and have not fallen with it one time in almost a year. and i def. dont go easy on myself or life. hopefully you will get this reply as its kinda an older topic but i just happened to have probably the perfect answer as i just tried them both out. feel free to ask more questions about either of them or email me at poker22only@yahoo.com -wade

Thanks for the info Im determined to find a better knee than the C-Leg so we can all stop being screwed by otto bocks ridiculous price :)

To tell the truth I only really appreciate a reliable yield for slopes and stairs

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The price for the C-Leg isn't really that bad. OK, spares (such as chargers) are WAY over the top but £17,000 for a knee that works every time in the way you expect it to, that is worry free for 5 years is well worth it. When you look at how much cheaper knees cost compared to how long they last a C-Leg can actually work out cheaper.

I've killed a mauch knee in less than three months. At £1500 a time that's £6000 a year over five years thats £30,000, a full £5,000 more than an entire C-Leg with foot, charger, socket and service plan.

The other bonus of a C-Leg is the loaner unit if you do get a problem, I've never seen that with a cheaper knee unit, although you could argue that you're more likely to find a cheaper unit readily available on a shelf at some prosthetic centers. I will agree that is isn't fair that healthcare providers (be that the NHS or insurance companies) don't look at the long term cost benefit when prescribing limbs and I will also agree that trying to find what amounts to £100 per week in order to fund a C-Leg privately is out of reach for a lot of people and that is wrong, no question.

But look at it from the other side, Otto Bock have spent a lot of money developing their product to be as good as it can be. It's better than almost anything else on the market which is why it's the market leader despite its age and despite other manufacturers producing newer products with more advanced technology. R&D is not cheap, top class engineers and software developers with a medical background are few and far between and they have the power to command top class salaries. It's not like Otto Bock have developed this product and are now just sitting back and collecting the cash, they continue to develop new products and are due to release the C-Leg's successor very soon. If it was easy/cheap to produce these products there would be more of them on the market.

Don't get me wrong, I used to have two C-Legs because I needed one programmed specifically to cope with the work boots my employer required me to wear but when it reached 5 years old last September I simply couldn't justify the expense and now I manage with one which severely restricts my activity. And yes I would love a cheaper solution that worked either as well as or better than a C-Leg, who wouldn't want that (Other than Otto Bock share holders obviously) but the fact is nobody seems to be able to produce such an item and when you look at the figures over the life of a C-Leg it actually works out pretty reasonable.

Having said all of that, I'm VERY interested in the hydraulic plie largely due to it's water resistance (I work out doors a lot of the time and it concerns we working in the rain in a muddy field using a C-Leg) but also it's removable battery which would allow me to have one battery charging while I'm using the other giving me the ability to work the sort of hours I need to without the restriction of finding a mains supply.

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I still dont feel that they can justify the expense. I can buy a brand new car for the same money which is much more technologically advanced and will have incurred far greater development costs. They recouped their development costs many moons ago. They charge because they can, if someone matched the product Im sure the price would come down. Otto bock charge £2700 for a shin tube on the C-Leg, its just an alloy tube with a strain guage!

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X2 is obviously the best microprocessor knee out no question. but since it is only for military right now its out of the question. after that there is no question the plie 2 is the best. not just cuz it costs half of the cleg. but because it offers 101% stance control like the cleg can. water proof. you can RUN on it without it overheating. you can have several charged batteries with you and it comes with a car charger. it has a kneeling pad on the knee with a non slip grip. you can wear any foot you want with it without worrying about warranty. and it is the lightest micro processor on the market.

after the plie2 it hands down goes to the rheo 2 next. the new rheo is made for much more active patients like myself.

lastly its the cleg. the cleg however is probably the absolute best knee when it comes to old people who are 55-80 who need maximum stability as it is probably the most stable overall. but for double the price the stability is not double as well. but rather maybe 5-10% better. ive been on the cleg, rheo 2, plie 1, plie 2, smart adaptive, 3r60, kx06, 3r42, mauch. and no question plie 2 is the best. well actually ive been on a knee better than the plie 2 but im not allowed to mention anything about it as its in beta testing. the best mechanical knee available to date is the 3r80, but because im a knee disartic it would stick out too far thus the 3r60 is my favorite.

keep in mind for every person this could be different. im just giving my view and i feel it is a strong view as i am lucky enough to have been on all 4 of the major microprocessor knees.

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oh and the cleg has 4,500 backup units/donor legs in case your knee breaks down and otto bock brags about that a lot. call plie and ask them how many plie 2 donor/backups they have. last i checked they were up to 3,100 and counting. so there is def. not a short supply on either side.

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I've killed a mauch knee in less than three months. At £1500 a time that's £6000 a year over five years thats £30,000, a full £5,000 more than an entire C-Leg with foot, charger, socket and service plan.

Surely that's not £1500 a time, they would be dealt with under warranty?!

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Surely that's not £1500 a time, they would be dealt with under warranty?!

Not according to my local NHS limb centre who deemed it to fail because it was being used beyond it's design parameters. That use being walking over rough terrain, up and down ramps and stairs whilst carry / lifting heavy boxes and being used for extended periods of up to 46 hours (but, call me cynical if you like, I'm sure RSL make more money form making a new leg than they do for repairing one).

Tint, the comparrison to a car is unfair, car maunfacturers sell millions of units, have massive competition and make mulitple models from many common base parts. Prosthetics are made in limited numbers and have a small market. £2700 is over the top for a shin tube especially as when I had to replace the one on my last C-Leg I was charged £700 until I argued that I hadn't asked for it to be replaced, the leg was working perfectly fine with the old one and, as it was the final service, I was only going to be getting another 12 months use out of it. Then Otto BOck waived the fee. Perhaps you should have a word with your prosthetist. To use your analogy, my BMW cost £50,000 to buy yet is only worth £500 when weighed in for scrap also, when you buy a Fiat 500 you don't expect it to look, drive and feel like a Bentley.

Don't forget, although the component parts may be cheap you're also paying for the tooling and labour to turn those raw components into a usable product, along with the testing and certification, this is something that is VERY expensive. In addition to that Otto Bock will have one hell of a public liability insurance bill that has to be paid for out of their product sales which is the main source of income for the company.

I work in lighting for concerts where we use custom computer control systems, people often complain about the high price of such products when the components are so cheap. Having worked for a manufacturer in the past I know how much it costs to get a new product to market especially when sales are expected to be relatively low. I've seen many very large companies go bust simply due to the massive cost of developing new products compared with reletively low and infrequent sales (Otto Bock may have a lot of customers on C-Legs but they only get to sell them a new product every 5 years). In order to keep developing new products you have to keep top people employed on a permanent basis and you need to continue to develop new products. As a customer you will be lucky if you ever get to see 50% of the products in development purely because so many never make it beyond the testing stage yet they all have to be paid for somehow and this is what Otto Bock do with the proffit they make on sales.

At the end of the day you don't have to buy a C-Leg but as you say yourself it difficult to find something else that's better.

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Surely that's not £1500 a time, they would be dealt with under warranty?!

Not according to my local NHS limb centre who deemed it to fail because it was being used beyond it's design parameters. That use being walking over rough terrain, up and down ramps and stairs whilst carry / lifting heavy boxes and being used for extended periods of up to 46 hours (but, call me cynical if you like, I'm sure RSL make more money form making a new leg than they do for repairing one).

The only thing there that may affect warranty I would have thought, was the weight issue. If you are heavy and the boxes you carry take you over the warranted weight limit, then I can understand, but the lenght of time you are wearing it?! and the terrain?! surely these aren't restricted by the warranty are they? They may say that, but have you seen the warranty statement with that in it?

Seems odd to limit the user of a relatively high activity bit of kit...

By the way, I agree with all that other stuff about development etc...wink.gif

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The only thing there that may affect warranty I would have thought, was the weight issue. If you are heavy and the boxes you carry take you over the warranted weight limit, then I can understand, but the lenght of time you are wearing it?! and the terrain?! surely these aren't restricted by the warranty are they? They may say that, but have you seen the warranty statement with that in it?

Seems odd to limit the user of a relatively high activity bit of kit...

By the way, I agree with all that other stuff about development etc...wink.gif

In fairness I haven't seen the warranty and the limb center I'm talking about also doesn't bother to send back donning sleeves that only last six to eight weeks despite them having a six month warranty. I suspect that either they don't want the hassle or they'd rather just sell a new one. Having said that, I've only had to have one repair on either of my C-Legs in over six years, and that was on the newer second generation model, the original is still going strong (although I only use it occasionaly these days).

I think they were reluctant to put in a claim because the chasis was rather battered, it was the older alloy type they made that was finished in black. By the time I'd used it for three months there was hardly any black left! Using it while riding moto x bikes and working* was the cause but that's what I did with my old (original) leg so any replacement should be up to the same tasks. I'm not sure about then but even now the current version only comes with a 24 month warranty which I seriously doubt Ossur would honour if you were going through them at the rate I did.

*I work in an environment where there are a lot of loose cables on the floor to trip over, poor lighting to hide those trip hazards and then sometimes the weather decides to add some more fun by covering a truck loading ramp with rain. Falling over in a muddy field be it on a moto x bike or just walking through a festival site can cause dirt to get in to important parts of a knee the mauch just seems (in my experience) more prone to failing in these circumstances.

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*I work in an environment where there are a lot of loose cables on the floor to trip over, poor lighting to hide those trip hazards

You want to see if you can find a good lighting engineer...laugh.gif

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Thats disgusting that they tried to charge you while it was under warranty and exactly my point, that the company is concerned with making money!

The £2700 was from a post I remember on this site, someone had bought a second hand unit and was quoted the figure to provide the shin tube to suit his height.

I am privileged enough to afford to have a C-Leg, however my annoyance stands with the fact that many amputees struggle with sub-standard components as a result of these prohibitive and unreasonable costs. I see what you're trying to say with your car analogy, however it does not cost 20 times more to manufacture a Bentley over a Fiat 500, so as you have illustrated you pay for the name and status that is provided with the bentley. The point i was previously making was concerning the development costs of technological components, there are many general products which have far greater technology than a C-Leg with much lower cost. I absolutely assure you that if someone introduced a knee which matched the C-Leg for a lower price, then they would magically be able to afford to reduce its price

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The trouble is Tint, people buy the Cleg because it's the most expensive, not because it's the best. There's a belief that if it's expensive it's the best. It's a shame

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The trouble is Tint, people buy the Cleg because it's the most expensive, not because it's the best. There's a belief that if it's expensive it's the best. It's a shame

Hi Ian yes thats true - that was my thought when I bought mine

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The trouble is Tint, people buy the Cleg because it's the most expensive, not because it's the best. There's a belief that if it's expensive it's the best. It's a shame

Hi Ian yes thats true - that was my thought when I bought mine

I completely disagree with you. how can you determine that something is "the best" or not when the alternatives are relatively new? the fact is, C-Leg has been in the market since 1997 and proved itself as a solid reliable MPC knee. basically, it's the "safest" option available. When I bought mine, I knew for certain that i can't go wrong. A safe investment.

How can you compare a new product (Plie) to one with over 10 years of market experience? only time will tell what's really best.

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The trouble is Tint, people buy the Cleg because it's the most expensive, not because it's the best. There's a belief that if it's expensive it's the best. It's a shame

Hi Ian yes thats true - that was my thought when I bought mine

I completely disagree with you. how can you determine that something is "the best" or not when the alternatives are relatively new? the fact is, C-Leg has been in the market since 1997 and proved itself as a solid reliable MPC knee. basically, it's the "safest" option available. When I bought mine, I knew for certain that i can't go wrong. A safe investment.

How can you compare a new product (Plie) to one with over 10 years of market experience? only time will tell what's really best.

Hi Tomer,

My point is that many people could just as easily survive very well with other products, not necessarily MPC knees for instance. We are all different and may have different requirements, different abilities etc. so no knee is best for all.

If you are happy that's fine for you, it doesn't necessarily follow that what's good for you is best for everyone else.

And I wasn't referring to the Plie specifically, there are other knees out there.

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The trouble is Tint, people buy the Cleg because it's the most expensive, not because it's the best. There's a belief that if it's expensive it's the best. It's a shame

Hi Ian yes thats true - that was my thought when I bought mine

I completely disagree with you. how can you determine that something is "the best" or not when the alternatives are relatively new? the fact is, C-Leg has been in the market since 1997 and proved itself as a solid reliable MPC knee. basically, it's the "safest" option available. When I bought mine, I knew for certain that i can't go wrong. A safe investment.

How can you compare a new product (Plie) to one with over 10 years of market experience? only time will tell what's really best.

Hi Tomer,

My point is that many people could just as easily survive very well with other products, not necessarily MPC knees for instance. We are all different and may have different requirements, different abilities etc. so no knee is best for all.

If you are happy that's fine for you, it doesn't necessarily follow that what's good for you is best for everyone else.

And I wasn't referring to the Plie specifically, there are other knees out there.

ok, point taken. i thought we were comparing MPC knees..

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