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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum

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I am also interested in this knee but wont be ready for one for another month. Will be watching the thread.

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I have one and nobody at my centre is able to set it up for stairs or walking. So now it sits on a shelf at the centre.

If you have a prosthetist that knows how to set it up it can be a great knee but if they're not familiar with it then forget it, much the same as any other knee really.

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Hi I have been using a 3r80 now for a tad over 12mths. I had a 4bar hydraulic set up prior that let me down and allowed me to fall, and fall hard. I havent fallen with the 3r80 yet, which I think says it all really. This is more good luck than management really ....I will explain.

Its got to be properly aligned.

Get your dsc to get Otto Bock to come to set up and try the limb with you-they also show your prosthetist how to align, alter and properly maintain the knee's geometry. I got this for mine but unfortunately the prosthetist really wasn't interested and I'm sure she was of the idea she knew it all already. A laser is meant to be used to achieve Otto Bocks alignment, together with a special plate the amputee stands on to asses weight pressure and stance charateristics. All these ensure perfect alignment and adjustments, unique to the amputee. Needless to say my prosthetist is unable to achieve an alignment for me. The laser and pressure plate have never been used since the Otto Bock visit (I don't even think they have the equipment). My prosthetist has even tried using the 3r60 manual--not once but twice--- to adjust it and pulled off the rubber side discs of my limb, looking for the extension assist and flexion assist screws! She is totally unable to adjust the limb and align it properly. She leaves me with a rough alignment which is relevant to other knee set ups and I alter the settings of the rest myself (totally without consent but its the only way to ensure I can use the leg). To date this has been adequate but I know it isn't anywhere near right.

However I can comment on the knees features and how it basically works. It is FANTASTIC.

It allows foot over foot down stairs, walking on slopes/ramps foot over foot, has a stumble recovery feature and stance yield. Basically, as you put full weight into the knee it yields slowly under pressure--but doesn't 'give' on you. It is like your tensing your calfs and quads to bend down from the knee. You can stand without worrying about keeping your leg locked back to prevent it releasing under you--the yield holds and prevents it. On slopes you 'ride' the hydraulics. Where other knees collapse if you were to bend it under full weight the 3r80 doesn't. With practice you learn to trust the knee to the extent you just walk on slopes as if you had a real leg because you know it will yield and allow you to recover your step if you stumble.

These features work a treat but it has to be set up right and your socket completely comfortable. I use a iceross suction socket (my new one is a joke and is going back on Tuesday, where I finally put my foot down and tell her enough is enough, I want the leg setting up properly with Otto Bock again and I want a new socket, preferably not taking 10 weeks to make then not fitting me anymore).

I recommend the 3r80 to anyone but make sure you have otto bock come to see you and demand your prosthetist is present to learn their unique alignment method. Also make sure they have the equipment to do it, or you will be going back and forth every few weeks to have adjustments made.

Good luck with it.

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Worth pointing out that you don't NEED to use Otto Bocks LASER alignment tool. They recommend using their patented LASER alignment tool for all of their lower limb prostheses but none of my legs have been set up using one and on the one occasion I did stand on one it showed that my alignment was spot on.

LASER alignment can help but knowing your craft is much better. A garage full of the best tools in the world wouldn't make my wife any more able to rebuild the engines on my motorbikes.

Bock's LASER alignment system is incredibly expensive and if the same job can be done with a little skill and a length of string then I know where I'd rather the NHS money was spent.

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I walked very actively with the 3R80 for more than 15 years, from the older version to the newest one which is now waterproof. I've also tried many other knees, electronic ones like the PliƩ and the C-leg, and hydraulic ones without electronic assistance like the 3R60 or KX06 from endolite.

The major difference between electronic and non electronic knees is the stumble recovery. The 3R80's stumble recovery works well during walking as long as you have a complete "walking cycle": The hydraulic assistance is activated when putting weight on the heel. Some unusual steps like stumbling upon a stone or small obstacle, small steps during shopping for example or very slow walking can lead to falling because the heel has not been activated enough. This won't happen with a PliƩ or C-leg who assist you whatever the situation is.

Among hydraulic knees I also felt a huge difference between monocentric (3R80) and polycentric knees (3R60). The first one has only one axis, the second one has 2-3 axis which gives a very comfortable sensation of smoothness and safety, it doesn't stumble as easily as the monocentric ones.

So what's the best? well that's the 1000 dollars question.

I would say:

-if stumble recovery is a priority then go on for an electronic knee

-if you don't like electronic knees (battery issues can be a real hassle) then the 3R80 is definitely a good choice as well as the 3R60. I must admit that after many tests I was really seduced by the 3R60 which seems incredibly resistant, smooth and safe, I almost never stumble with it.

BUT I totally agree with DEETS, if the knees are not properly aligned you will experience hell. Especially the 3R80 who needs a real well done alignment to control the stumble recovery assistance.

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Hi All,

While I'm not due to change equipment now hearing about the different options is very interesting. Everyone is so different as are their needs so learning what others think is great. Thanks for your perspectives.

Jane

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