Author Topic: Orion vs Rheo  (Read 4587 times)

Offline SpeedN

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Orion vs Rheo
« on: March 06, 2012, 06:45:20 PM »
I'd be interested to hear from anyone with experience using either the Orion (Endolite) or Rheo (Ossur) knee.  I've used a Rheo (first generation -- blue cover) most recently; a Mauch SNS prior to that.  Likes/Dislikes?  Problems?  Noise?  Battery life?  Endurance?  I'm fairly active, early 40s, R-AK since '95.  I've been evaluating both and would appreciate any feedback from others.  Thanks!

Offline Dolphin

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Re: Orion vs Rheo
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 06:03:20 PM »
Have you tried the Freedom Plie2 microprocessor knee?  I love it

Offline SpeedN

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Re: Orion vs Rheo
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2012, 07:54:39 AM »
Thanks for the response. I did not try the Plie2 as my prosthetist was suggesting the Rheo and Orion.  I ended up doing a multi-week test on the Orion and second generation (grey cover) Rheo; I had a first gen (blue cover) Rheo previously. In case it helps anyone in the future, here are some notes I took:

Walking
The Rheo has a very smooth walk. Transitions from slow walk to fast walk are smooth.  My analogy is that it feels like a continuously variable transmission on a car where there are no gears to change. Continuing with my car analogy, the Orion feels like it shifts between three or four gears. Initially, when I started to walk faster, it felt like there was a step or two of "lag" between my desired pace and the Orion.  I got used to this and was able to ignore it after some time. Where the Orion shines is that its "top gear" let me walk quite fast, faster than the Rheo.

Stairs
Both allow step-over-step (down) with ease as they should. I had an instance with both where I took my first step down a set of somewhat atypical stairs and the knee had no resistance. Happened with both of these knees, as well as with my first gen Rheo so I think it is operator error.  I used to go down step over step with an SNS as well so it could even be something in my gait pattern that is a holdover from walking with the SNS (I have several quirks from the SNS days). 

Slopes
Both were good. I'd give the Orion a (very) slight edge.

Noise
The Rheo was silent (true for the first gen Rheo I had as well). The Orion makes a few whispers periodically, but you'd really need to be in a quiet, tiled room while wearing shorts to notice.

Adjustments
The Rheo is a closed system (no user adjustments). The Orion has some tweaks the user can make. Further, an observant user can also make the same adjustments a prosthetist makes if they pay attention while their prosty is doing the work.  ;>

Battery Life
The Rheo could go a couple of days (~2+) without a charge. The Orion went an impressive 6 days. If the battery dies on the Rheo you've got an expensive door hinge, but it still allows you to walk.  The Orion goes stiff by default **but** there is an adjustment you can make to allow it to have less resistance if the battery dies.  This is less of an issue with the Orion because of its longer battery life.  Note that I told my prosthetist that I would not evaluate knees that lock straight (full resistance) in the event of a dead battery. It seems like this would never happen, but I ended up with a dead battery on my original (blue cover) Rheo on more than one occasion. This was not always due to a failure to plug in; this knee had some issues. I would not want to be in a situation where I had a knee locked straight and needed to walk.

Charging Process
Neither gets a passing grade here. The knees were designed by engineers working in a bright room with the knees held firm in a vice at eye level.  That is **not** the real world. I want to be able to plug in my knee in the dark in one try. I want to be able to know when my knee is fully charged and later how much charge my knee has. I want this feedback via the knee, not an indicator on the charger (that may be plugged into an outlet under a bed or behind a curtain). I want a charger that shuts off when not plugged into the leg (so no additional power is being wasted as it sits there in the wall during the day). I want the charger to plug in at the top of the knee because I have a protective shealth that goes around the knee to save my clothes from rubbing on the prosthesis; I don't want to have to remove that to plug in a knee.

Plugging in the Rheo is (barely) okay but you have no idea much charge is left in the knee while wearing it. The charging port is in the middle of the back which, as noted above, I don't like.

With the Orion, you can tell how much charge you have at any time and the charging port is on the top. However, plugging the charger into the knee is a disaster. The plug is about the size of a micro USB (and may well be; I don't know) at the end of 90 degree dogleg. The port is behind a rubber protective cap.  You've got to move the cap while plugging in the knee. If you miss and get it in part way, you get a nasty set of beeps from the knee. If you get it right, you can't tell for about 15 seconds until the light on the charger (not the knee) changes color. One nice feature of the Orion is that it comes with outlet plugs for different countries so no need for an adaptor plug when travelling abroad.

Come on prosthetics manufacturers....you can do better than this.

Weight   (from their specs)
Orion: 1.35 kg = 3 lbs
Rheo:  1.52 kg = 3 lbs 6 oz

Flexion (from their specs)
Orion: 130 degrees
Rheo:  120 degrees

Everyone has a different set of criteria and set of preferences, so I'll not say which knee I picked. I had one that I thought sure I'd pick but ended up changing my mind by the end of my tests.  I hope this helps anyone looking at these knees.

Offline Jersey1132

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Re: Orion vs Rheo
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2012, 07:28:06 AM »
Five years ago I tested both the Rheo (blue) and C-Leg for 2 weeks each and ended up with the C-Leg.  This time I'm going with the latest Rheo...I love everything about it except for exactly what you brought up - the charging.  I'm the same way...plug it in when it's dark.  But, I think this new version improves so much with walking I'm willing to give it a go.  Coupling it with a Proprio foot seemed like night and day to me vs. the C-Leg.  I didn't have the opportunity to test any others, but I can't imagine the functionality could be that different. 

Offline Dolphin

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Re: Orion vs Rheo
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2012, 06:45:24 PM »
Sorry to post so late.  I also do not like plug in options, evidently not designed by users.
I have tried many knees and I chose the Freedom Plie.  It works with a re chargable removable battery and you can always carry an extra1  or 2 if you are camping but it comes with a Table top charger and it is easy to put in charger and to put in the leg. (also has cigarette adapter)   The battery goes in the front on top, protected by a cap that seals tight for the water resistance.  I love the versatility and ease of use and how well i walk with it, it is also lighter and smaller.

I always do the research first  and then try the ones I am interested in before making such an important decision that I have to live with for a while.  My leg to me is my a car to most people, I need it to live a normal life.