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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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Hello All.

Havent posted for a long time.

My privately funded Rheo knee died a couple of months back; just heard it is not economic to repair it. I have been offered a new Rheo at a 20% discount. I haven't got the funds.

Very poor considering that I have had it for less than 5 years and has only been used no more than 50% of elapsed time.

My NHS Mauch has worked admirably without issues over the same period.

My NHS socket on the Mauch is not as smart looking but just (possible more) comfortable.

OK the performance of the Rheo is better than the Mauch but is it worth the cost? Is it worth paying double for a "C"? I have no diect knoweldge of the ever increasing intelligent knees that are on the market.

Where I am now after a few years of being an amputee is that socket fit is all and technology is secondary. I would like to have a new intelligent knee but cannot justify the cost. I guess the same logic goes for prescribing within a PCT. I guess expensive components are only for those on an insurance payout.

What are the thoughts of others regarding benefits of "going "private"

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Sorry to read that your Rheo has packed up.

I don’t have a great deal to offer, but for a couple of years I was driving the Endolight smart adaptive. during that time I had lots of faults with it , I am not saying it was a bad leg or anything , it just wasn’t the RIGHT leg for my outdoors activities , when the NHS took over responsibility for it they refused to fix it on cost grounds so that was the end of my time with an micro leg.

I now drive the kx06 which is basic but brilliant for me. And when it breaks it’s a simple fix...

I did look at going private and even started to save up the silly money that they wanted, in the end I decided there is nothing I could do any better on a micro knee at this stage of my life and spent the money on an extension on the back of my house something that benefits all my family and will last for ever rather than five years or so.

If I had money laying about there is nothing I would like more than going private to spend a LOT of time trying out ALL the micro knees before I bought one just to see what one I BELIVE is the best for me. Rather than get what you are given.

But that’s not going to happen .and I have to say that I am happy with what I have got.

I wish you well in whatever you choose, but I think that reading between the lines you have all but made your decision.

Regards …………….Mick

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Hi All,

Mick's input about getting a knee that works helped me so much when I was new to this club.

It is so easy to think the big bucks equipment will give better function but I found there can be merit in using established tried and true technology. At least that is what I have found after trying out different knees and feet. I do plan to check what is available next year when the warranty expires on my Endolite KX06 knee but a high tech knee and its accompanying high price tag, will have to offer a big improvement to upgrade from what already works for me.

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I agree, fit of the socket is first... hardware secondary, and I would much rather have an extension on the house than shell out big bucks of my own money for a leg that will be out of warranty in 5 years.

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Tried the Rheo and didn't like it. The fact that in less than five years yours has broken is a big worry. The service package you get with a C-Leg would mean that any manufacturing fault would be fixed.

I've had two C-Legs and have just taken delivery of a Genium. Personally I cannot fault the C-Leg, the only reason I went for the Genium is because of the extended battery life although after just a couple of hours walking on it a noticed a massive difference going back to the C-Leg. I still have, and regularly use, my original C-Leg and have no problems with it. Before others on here call me mad for replacing a product that is in perfect working order, my work takes me all over the world for extended periods and I need the back up the world wide garruntee gives me if it weren't for that I'd still be using my 1st C-Leg that is nearly 8 years old now.

Is it worth going private? Personally yes, I simply could not do my job with the type of knee the NHS is able to supply in my area (my limb centre had to apply for special funding for a simple Mauch knee). The big advantage you get going private is a much better service as well as access to whatever components you choose. Prosthetists are craftsmen and as such the better they are at their skills the more they can earn, simple ecconomics mean that the best craftsmen will be found in the private sector as this is where they can earn the best money (although this does not mean that all private prosthetists are amazing nor do I intend to imply that all NHS prosthetists are useless). When you get a private limb, if it isn't right you take it back immediately, you don't have to wait for the next available clinic.

Yes, it's true that socket comfort is primary but it simply is not true that the latest knees are no better than traditional technology. The Genium was only put on sale in the UK at the end of last year yet Otto Bock have had patients using them for over FIVE years already that is how much research goes into theses devices before they are put on the market. To say that they are no better is like saying that a BMW M3 is as fast as a Formula One car it just isn't true. That said, like the cars, what is most suitable varies from person to person depending on what you're going to use them for. After all, an M3 won't win the Monacco Grand Prix no more than an F1 car will help you do the school run.

What you need to do is look at what you are going to use the prosthesis for and how much you're going to get out of it. Also, look at your local limb centre and see if they have the staff that are able to meet your needs, I've been a patient of my limb centre since 2004 and have yet to receive a usable prosthesis and it's only been in the last six months that they've even employed somebody that have experience setting up a knee that is able to go down stairs in fact it's so rare for them to have a patient that needs to use stairs that they do not even have a set of steps anywhere within the centre and have to use an outdoor fire escape attached to the building across the road.

Whether you go for another MPC knee or a more traditional mechanical knee personally I believe that you will be better off going private and knowing that the components used are what you want rather than what the NHS can afford. It's all down to personal preference and what is available to you within your part of the NHS but personally when it comes down to where I spend my money I'd rather live in a small house and be able to experience the whole world than live in a castle that becomes my prison.

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Thanks all.

and OneBlue - good to hear from you again!

Had a 2-week trial on a 2nd hand C and was very impressed. Went out to France on on survey for a week and was very impressed on all fronts. Climb ladders, crawl in bilges ++.

Compared to the Rheo the C is better. period. Noticed it most on down slopes. If I had the money I would go fot it; I havent and there is no insurance. I hear the Genium is better....

In the UK I guess there is a post code lottery. I am surprised Grum had to to fight for a Mauch (I think they are advanced rather thans simple in the mechanical hierarchy!). When I lost my leg If I had been Portsmouth based I could have ad a C!! I tried a number of knees and thought the Mauch was the best for me: control, stairs, free for cylicng, locked for ladders. I rejected the endolite ip.

My NHS service has been brilliant from day 1.

Just been given a water aciivity leg with a water reisistant verion of the 3R95 and an ankle that can rotate 90 degrees. So can get under boats when on a drying mooring (work); sail and dive.

...and with Grum's last point, yes I would sell the house to escape the castle/prison to go private if I had to; fortunately the NHS has delivered. i was working in Turkey and Spain last week; UK and Sardinia this week, Italy and France the week after.

and best to all

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