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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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showtime1k

DIY alignment

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I know of people who have done all sorts of things to their prosthetics...I'm sure someone has taken a crack at alignments. I'm just not one of them. I've become very good at figuring out how to describe alignment issues, and I sometimes can make pretty accurate guesses at where/how adjustments might be made...but I've never wanted to deal with the consequences of a bad attempt at a DIY alignment.

I tend not to recommend DIY jobs, but I'm also (a) fairly cautious and (b) satisfied with my CPO. But I'm sure one of the more adventurous DIY-amps here will venture an opinion! :wink:

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I've adjusted my own bka alignment. I wouldn't recommend messing around with it, if you can get good service from your prosthetist. But my first leg was so painful, and I was desperate to make it work, so I had my allen wrench out within 30 minutes of getting home.

Before you do anything, do some research. Understand how the pieces you're going to be manipulating fit together. You'll be loosening one screw, and having to tighten the opposite. But you'll temporarily have to loosen one screw at right angles to those to be able to move the piece freely. Changing the angle at the ankle may require a compensatory change at the bottom of the socket. Make sure the connections are tight before you bear weight. Small adjustments at a time. COUNT the number of quarter-turns you're making, so you can return those screws to the same position if needed. Don't make a change and then have to walk a long distance--short distances first.

All in all, it's probably a bad idea, but occasionally appropriate. Good luck.

Steve

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I adjust mine frequently and was taught to do so by my leg doc. Last week while on business in Atlanta, I had two major breakdowns happen at once.

1. My 2008 C-leg died, just froze up like c-legs do when they go out to pasture.

2. My temp test socket came loose from the aluminum connector (connects socket to c-leg) not the screws but the casting wrap itself.

- Home depot 7,3 miles from hotel.

- I always bring another knee with me, in this case my 2013 c-leg.

- Off to The Home depot to buy Fiberglass resin, cloth, hardener and quick dry epoxy.

- I took the socket off the old c-leg and applied fiberglass cloth and resin to fix the socket issue. While doing this I was charging my working c-leg. Took off vacuum pump from the non-working c-leg and connected to the working c-leg. Changed the foot out and adjusted length to match the old set-up.

- After 2 hours the resin was set and I was able to reassemble a "whole" leg. The main adjustment for a c-leg is to put the shoe on and draw an imaginary line straight down the middle of the socket and insure that line goes to the second eyelet of your shoes. That will insure that the toe off for a c-leg or any knee will not release too early.

- Now it's a question whether you need lateral or interior adjustments (left to right) . Lastly adjust the foot.

I would not recommend anyone tearing apart your set up and going to town.. if you have a back up you can play around, or if you have a leg doc that is willing to teach you;

If I had no clue what i was doing I would have had a terrible experience being so far from home. As it turned out , I only was out of commission for 6 hours

I did get some strange looks as I smelled like resin and mineral spirits while going through the TSA at the airport. Now if my leg doc can separate the socket from the connector.

Having some knowledge about adjusting prosthetic components is critical for travelers.A three prong hex-head bicycle tool is a must.

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