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Topics - Steve C

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General Discussion / Christmas list
« on: September 27, 2011, 06:53:08 AM »
Dear Santa,

I've been good this year so I want one of these...


A Prosthetic Limb That Lets Amputees Ride Bikes
A concept by Art Center student Seth Astle wins the U.S. portion of the James Dyson Award.

A prosthetic limb and bike pedal that allows amputee cyclists to experience a full range of motion has been named as the U.S. winner of the James Dyson Award. Interestingly, for the second year in a row, the winning design is bike-related--last year's finalist was the Copenhagen Wheel.

Cadence is a concept by Art Center College of Design student Seth Astle, who wanted to focus on helping below-the-knee amputees. Since about 47% of amputees are below-the-knee amputees, he knew his solution would be able to help the largest potential audience possible. As he began his research, he learned that although many below-the-knee amputees are able to use custom limbs designed for particular sports, there were many shortcomings when it came to prosthetics for cycling.

Most protheses are extremely rigid around the ankle and foot, which is great for walking or when you want to stand up straight, but difficult when trying to bike. Biking requires a fluidity of movement, that push and pull of muscle strength, which helps you gain momentum while pedaling. To mimick that muscle power, Cadence uses an elastomeric band which can collect energy while riding. As the foot rotates around the pedal, the stored kinetic energy helps bring the foot and leg back up to the top.

The Cadence concept also allows the rider to clip into the pedal, allowing for a more efficient ride. A split toe in the prothesis helps them see where to connect the foot to the clip. And the locking mechanism is made just for amputees, with a clip that's freed with a backwards motion rather than a pivot of the leg, which is dangerous for amputees. But perhaps most attractive to cyclists is that the prosthetic's form looks more like the high-tech equipment that they're using. The sleek shapes and bright colors are more akin to a shiny racing bike or an aerodynamic helmet.

Astle has already won a Gold IDEA award for his concept, which will also be featured in a display at the London 2012 Olympics. You can see the nine other U.S. finalists at the James Dyson Award site. The global winner will be announced on November 8, 2011.

General Discussion / Knee problems
« on: September 23, 2011, 08:19:19 AM »
I have had a problem with my knee and my prosthetic leg. It started when I was shoveling topsoil (then wheelbarrow it up a hill) a few weeks back. Even though I wore my 'work leg' (the one that is too big and so has loading of padding) I still found it very painful at the end of the day. I couldn't even wear the leg in the evenings.
What it appeared to be the problem was the right edge of my knee cap. I found that spot problematic when I was wearing my new (less padding) leg but it always seemed fine with the old one. No so anymore. I thought that when I finished with the topsoil and the leg had some time without physical labour that it would be fine. Yesterday I did a bit of labour but for only a few hours and sure enough that spot acted up again.
It seems that that the right edge of my knee cap is a bit swollen pretty much all the time now.

Has anyone had this happen to them and what can be done about it?

General Discussion / amputee actor: Robert David Hall
« on: September 23, 2011, 08:12:08 AM »
I found an article about actor CSI actor, Robert David Hall. Inspiring...

Robert David Hall, who is in his 12th season playing the quirky coroner Dr Robbins in the hit TV crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, has a long-standing acting credo: always work as hard as you can to prepare for a role and then play around during the actual performance. CSI, which is syndicated internationally, is watched by more than 27 million viewers a week in the United States alone.

In Washington last week Hall described to me how thorough his preparation can be. While Hall was observing an official autopsy, the real-life coroner wanted to test how squeamish the actor might be. He asked Hall to assist him in weighing the corpse’s body parts in plastic containers.

The first thing Hall wanted to tell the coroner was that his assistance in the autopsy was, in fact, illegal. But the second, perhaps more important, point was that it is hard to spook a double leg amputee, who lost one of his limbs through gradual amputation after an 18-wheel truck crushed his car, causing its gas tank to explode, and left more than 65 per cent of his body burned. It is a miracle he survived...

more here

General Discussion / Woman Catches Prosthetic Leg While Fishing
« on: August 28, 2011, 07:03:49 AM »
Woman Catches Prosthetic Leg While Fishing On Lake Ida

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (KSAX) – Three years after a Morris woman lost her prosthetic leg on Lake Ida, a Wisconsin woman fished it out and returned it.

It happened over the Fourth of July weekend; Beth Krohn went fishing while at her lake home on Lake Ida. She was out on the lake for about an hour when she felt a snag, but when she started to reel in her line, she quickly began to realize she caught something and it wasn’t a fish.

“It kept coming up and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh!’” Krohn said. “I hope it’s not a dead body. We got it up and it was a prosthetic leg.”

Pam Riley is from Morris, but she also has a lake home on Lake Ida. She lost her prosthetic leg three years ago while swimming. She never thought anyone would find it, but always laughed about “what if?”.

“What would anybody think when they see a part of a leg,” leg owner Pam Riley said. “They probably wondered where the rest of the body was.”

After Beth caught the keeper that morning, she called a few places in Alexandria hoping to find its rightful owner. She ended up calling Advanced O and P in Alexandria; turns out she reeled in the leg right in the nick of time.

“We told (the receptionist) we found this prosthetic leg,” Krohn said. “She started laughing and said she was going to put me on hold. She said the lady who lost was there in the office and she wanted to talk to me.”

Krohn and Riley met up later that day in the Walmart parking lot in Alexandria to exchange stories and body parts. Krohn said she will tell this story for years to come because even though her catch wasn’t one for the wall, she said it was definitely a keeper.

“How can you top that?” Krohn said. “It’s like going deer hunting and shooting the biggest buck of all.”

General Discussion / Horse back riding for amps?
« on: August 15, 2011, 07:35:14 PM »
I'm thinking of learning to ride a horse. As a BKA are there any pitfalls or adaptations I would need to think about? For instance: stirrups, should they be modified to make it easier to pull my foot out in case of emergency?

General Discussion / Dakar Rally: Wounded soldiers' challenge
« on: August 01, 2011, 03:41:30 PM »
Dakar is one of the toughest rallies in the world
You would have thought that sand, dust and specialist off-road vehicles would all have painful memories for Captain Anthony Harris.

In 2009 he was injured in an explosion while travelling in a Jackal armoured vehicle in the treacherous Sangin district of Afghanistan and ended up losing the lower part of his left leg.

But after being fitted with a new prosthetic limb, he is now ready to get behind the wheel of another all-terrain vehicle - this time to race through the deserts and dunes of South America in the toughest off-road race of all, the Dakar Rally.

Anthony Harris (r) - with Gavin Harvey - hopes to regain his competitive edge

In 2013 he will be part of the first team of disabled people to take part in the gruelling, 6,000-mile endurance race.

The rally used to take place between Paris and Dakar but has now been transferred to South America for security reasons.

However, it remains one of the greatest motoring challenges in the world.

Only about 40% of the teams taking part complete the race, which covers vast stretches of wilderness between Chile and Argentina.

Capt Harris, who serves in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, is relishing the challenge.

He says the Dakar Rally will give him the chance to get back that competitive edge, along with the rush of adrenaline and a sense of achievement.

"The one thing I felt really strongly about is that I didn't want the last exciting thing I ever did in my life to be that day I got blown up in Sangin," he says.

Capt Harris is not alone. His co-driver will be Corporal Tom Neathway, of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.

Cpl Neathway is a triple amputee who lost both his legs and an arm while on patrol in Helmand, in southern Afghanistan.

Adventure and skills
A skilled army sniper, he triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) when he moved a sandbag in an Afghan compound to take up a firing position.

But he has not let his disability stop his taste for adventure. He has already been skiing and recently bought himself a Porsche with some of the money he received in compensation.

Many participants emerge injured from the gruelling race
Other members of the team include Sergeant Gavin Harvey, who also lost both his legs to an IED.

As a serving member of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, his skills as a mechanic will be vital to maintain the specialist 4x4 vehicle as it speeds through the rally's dunes and deserts.

It is hoped that the Project Mobility team will also get the support of Paratrooper Ben Parkinson, who lost both his legs and was left in a coma when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2007.

The team say the skills he can offer are "relentless determination, stamina and being stubborn" - qualities learnt from fighting back against the odds. He's still recovering from brain and spinal injuries.

Project Mobility hopes to raise half a million pounds, some of which will pay for the two specially adapted off-road vehicles.

Adapted vehicles
The QT Wildcat cars they will be driving in the 2013 Dakar Rally each cost £120,000. They will have a hydraulic chassis that can lift the car off the ground should it become stuck in the sand.

The cars can also carry 380 litres of fuel, essential for the 500 miles they'll have to cover in a single stage, as well as spare tyres and water.

Meanwhile, the support team will also have to worry about the dirt and dust that could get into the soldiers' prosthetic limbs.

Alec Savery, the support team director, says the back-up team will have its work cut out.

He says that people come back injured from the rally even when they are able-bodied, so "these guys are going to take a hammering".

But their determination to take on the toughest off-road race of all should not come as a huge surprise, given the way they have fought to overcome serious injury.

The team also hope to leave a lasting legacy. Some of the money raised will support a fully staffed garage to help other injured soldiers learn new skills for the future.

The reality is that not all those injured in Afghanistan will be able to continue their lives in the army.

General Discussion / Painful skin graphs
« on: July 20, 2011, 04:51:30 PM »
I dropped off my new leg to have the socket thickened so that they can take more off the inside for a better fit. I had been wearing it pretty much all the time as I cracked my socket on the old leg (again), but that I repaired with new fibreglas the night before. As I dropped it off they gave me my new liner and sleeve that I had ordered for the old leg. The liner seemed a bit tight but it was new and a tougher version so I expected it and I wore the old leg home. My old leg used to be the comfortable one but now I find that the skin graphs on the back of my knee are killing me. It makes it very painful to walk.

I assume its a matter of time before the leg gets used to the old leg and the new liner but are there any tricks to ease the pain until then?

General Discussion / Clive Cussler
« on: July 12, 2011, 04:56:05 PM »
I hadn't been reading for a while and decided to get back into it. I started off easy with a Clive Cussler adventure novel. They're good if a bit formulaic. I picked up another and the hero of this book (and this series of books which are part of 'The Oregon Files') is a BK amputee. He mentions it from time to time in the dialogue.

Strangely enough he always seems to have a perfect socket. Must be a novel...

General Discussion / Brief Rant
« on: July 07, 2011, 12:51:23 PM »
My newest leg has never been right (painful doing most anything after a while. I think the sock is just too thin). I've probably waffled on about that for ages. A few weeks ago my prosthetist and I were meeting up to solve it. He suggests thickening the outside the socket and then grinding some space out of the inside so that I can wear some cotton socks. My old leg was cracked (but repaired. I've mentioned this before) but the sleeves and socks are nearly useless as they are all ripped up from wear and tear. After weeks of trying to get new ones ordered I just said 'order what you can' instead of the original socks and liners. He tells me that things are nearly there but when I call to check he gone away on holiday for most likely a few weeks. I was passed onto another in the office who supposedly has ordered what I asked for. It should have been a few days to get them in but I have a nagging suspicion that they are waiting for him to come back in order to give me what I've ordered. In the mean time I have a leg that is painful and another that is falling apart (and has a new crack in it). I can blame him for taking holidays, I'd want him to but the timing really didn't work in my favor.
Rant over.

By the way, I found out what the squeaking is I think. The foot is molded from carbon fibre. At the back of the foot, the foot touches the outer rubber cosmetic covering. Initially there was a tough canvas sock over that the foot but the rubbing against the rubber foot has worn through it. So now the carbon fibre when it makes contact with the rubber foot gives a loud squeak. I was able to stuff some cloth between the two but it get gets pushed out by the motion of walking. At least I know what the problem is...

General Discussion / Squeaky foot
« on: June 28, 2011, 08:45:29 PM »
I have a Freedom Innovations Sierra as my foot. The thing is making a brutal squeak with every step. It makes it with the shoe on and off so it must be within the rubber foot covering. Does anyone know of a way I can I can fix this?

General Discussion / Warning over Facebook amputee devotees
« on: June 11, 2011, 07:25:46 AM »
As if we don't have enough to worry about...

Windsor woman warns over Facebook amputee fetishists

Charlotte Fielder says she has been targeted by so-called "devotees"
A Windsor campaigner has warned of the dangers of social networking after being targeted by men who are attracted to amputee women.

Charlotte Fielder, who was born missing a hand, has been awarded an MBE for her work helping people who are "limb deficient" with the charity Reach.

After signing up to Facebook, she found her profile image had been copied and posted on a pornographic website. Her image was subjected to obscene comments by men attracted to amputees.

The image used was one of Mrs Fielder fully-clothed.

She said many women amputees she knew had been contacted by so-called "devotees". Mrs Fielder, 47, said she joined Facebook in 2008 and used it to keep in touch with people she helps.

When speaking to a female athlete from the British Paralympic Team she discovered her image had been used for pornographic purposes.

She said: "The same thing happened to this Paralympic athlete. She said it almost ruined her career, because people kept using her images for these devotee websites.

"Most amputees want nothing to do with devotees, because they see us as objects."

Mrs Fielder said in her experience most female amputees had experienced their photographs being used by "devotee" websites.

She said: "There are men who target women with limb deficiencies, because it's their primary sexual attraction."

Mrs Fielder said most of the men who contacted her were based in the United States. Many pretended to have missing limbs and tried to contact her as friends on Facebook.

She said: "Facebook have told me to block them, but they just come back with a different name."

Mrs Fielder said she was particularly worried about the effect it might have on young women who were struggling to come to terms with the loss of a limb while growing up.

She said: "I'm a 47-year-old woman but younger girls aren't aware. These men are out there, they lie and pretend to be limb deficient to make friends with people.

"Teenagers with limb deficiencies have enough issues. It'd be like growing up with the biggest spot in the world on your nose.

"When I was young I'd always keep my stump in my pocket."

A spokesperson from Facebook said it had a policy that people should only add people they knew as friends.

It said people could adjust their privacy settings to prevent images being viewed.

General Discussion / Ordering new sleeves and liners
« on: May 29, 2011, 08:09:22 AM »
I am trying to order new sleeves and lines from my limbfitter. It appears that his supplier doesn't have ready access to what I want as he's having a hard time getting them. Can I buy direct from the company or do I always have to order through the limbfitter themselves. I think I remember something about having to have a reseller number or something like that...

Also, the liners I was hoping to get were the Alpha Max (they are the ones I am using now that I got from my old limbfitter years ago) and the sleeve I was hoping to get was the Alpha Original. Can you suggest another type of sleeve/liner combination that would be just as good?

I have tried a sleeve (I can't see a manufacturer name on it) Its flesh coloured outside with a black inside with a little diamond pattern giving it grip, that I was given as a replacement by the limbfitter while he is fine tuning my 'new' leg. A handy sleeve, while it lasts (which isn't very long)

General Discussion / Crazy looking prosthetic leg
« on: March 22, 2011, 09:33:17 AM »
I found this on the net. It would certainly turn some heads!  :o

General Discussion / Cars... Manual, automatic, or modification?
« on: February 23, 2011, 09:06:47 AM »
I was just curious to what sort of cars people were driving.

General Discussion / First Bionic Arm Given To British Soldier
« on: February 20, 2011, 08:31:04 AM »

A soldier who lost his arm in a grenade attack in Afghanistan has become the first military amputee to be fitted with a bionic arm.

Pic: BFBS. Corporal Garthwaite uses his chest and back muscles to control the arm

Corporal Andrew Garthwaite of the Queen's Royal Lancers lost the limb in September in a rocket-propelled grenade attack that killed another soldier.

The 23-year-old was fitted with the device at the Queen Elizabeth and Selly Oak Hospitals in Birmingham.
He told the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS): "When I first got hit and was in the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital I was thinking 'oh God this is it, I can't ride my bike again'

"I was thinking of everything I couldn't do. But then the prosthetist came from Headley Court to measure me for a new arm.
"He said: 'We've got this new arm which will work for you and in the future there's an operation called Target Nerve Reinnervation you will be able to receive - it won't be as good as a normal arm but it will be the next best thing.'
"That put a bit of light in my face. Now, since I've got the first stage of it I'm a lot happier."

Corporal Garthwaite before he lost his right arm

Cpl Garthwaite controls the arm's movements by using muscles in his chest and back.
His pectoral muscles can be used to pick something up and his back muscles to put it down again.
He says he has had to learn to be careful with the pressure of the hand, which can easily smash an egg or be painful for anyone he shakes hands with.
But he told BFBS he had adapted well to his new arm and is still going through rehabilitation.

Cpl Garthwaite's progress will no doubt give hope to the hundreds of other military personnel who have lost limbs fighting for their country.

He said he was honoured to be the first person in the military to get this arm.
"It's great - I mean I'm gutted I lost my arm but I'm just thankful there's something out there," he said.

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