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Messages - Dolphin

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In my opinion / Re: Prosthetic vs the real thing
« on: May 11, 2011, 06:21:43 PM »
Just a few comments,
I do think weight is crucial, slimming down will help you get along better and be healthier.  I do not know if you wear socks but as you are losing weight you could add more socks.  I also think that if you talk to your prosthetist, they would be willing to work with you to get to a healthier state.  I will admit the key to stay in a good fit is staying within 5 lbs either way.  But if you want to lose weight that would be awesome and actually the new socket should be covered due to residual limb changes.

Also as far as MPC knees go, I do not have to plug in (and mind you I have two to worry about), mine run on batteries "the Freedom Plie'2"  also they are water resistant so I do not have to worry about the sprinklers or rain.  Read my posting under MPC knees.

If you any other questions post and Ill try to help.  Been through lost of bad times to get prosthesis that are awesome.

General Discussion / Re: Cracked socket
« on: May 11, 2011, 06:12:41 PM »
I have had old wooden sockets, (they cracked easier) the polypropylene is not as durable as carbon fiber.  I have been wearing carbon fiber sockets for years and they are ultra light and very durable.  As far as flexible, usually the outer sockets is not but I do have a flexible brim (softer) on the top of one of my sockets. I think carbon fiber and titanium are some of the greatest things to happen to prosthetics,
in addition to microprocessor knees.

General Discussion / Re: No introduction section?
« on: May 11, 2011, 06:06:04 PM »

Go check out the microprocessor knee information on this website, I added a lot of information.  Also I know a lot about different feet, but a lot of it depends on your activity level. weight and what you want to do with it.
Feel free to post any questions you may have, I have lots of contacts and can try to get you information, I do know as feet are concerned most manufactures will let you try them for a certain amount of time and return if you do not like them.  Knees are different your prosthetists can contact the rep for what ever knee you are interested to come in and try a demo on you.  Unfortunately the trial period is not as good as on feet.

Hope this helps.

I have some comments and questions for Genki_rockets regarding your post about microprocessor knees.  Your postings include several inaccurate statements and I feel it’s Important to let others know the facts.

Have you used all of the knees you comment about?  If you have, which version of each knee did you test and how long did you try them? Also my question would be who did the alignment, because if the alignment is not right as the knee manufacturers suggest, the knee may not operate as it is designed.  I would also question who did the programming because that is also key to the microprocessor knees.  Unless you tried them for a significant amount of time how could you make a judgment by just walking a little bit in someone’s office? 

I currently use bilateral Plié 2.0 knees and have used the C-Leg and the Rheo. I am very happy with the Plie. It definitely does not have the same software, hardware or sensors as the Rheo knee.  It’s a completely different system.  The RHEO uses a magnetic based fluid, while the Plié is a hydraulic system controlled by the microprocessor.  Some of the original developers of the Rheo also created the Plie to make a better knee and to address many of the negatives of the Rheo knee.  The Plié 2 reacts very quickly to gait changes and responds within 10 milliseconds, I believe it is the fastest control cycle time of any MPC knee.  This gives me the ability to stay in stance phase longer if I need to, and changes speeds very smoothly to even tiny steps, all of this helps me smooth out my gait and reduces the amount of energy I use.

The Plié 2 is not more difficult to walk with than any other knees,  I actually find it easier and it takes less effort.  I had the original and the new Plie 2.0 with advanced stumble recovery, it is great when you need it, hopefully you won’t,  but I have been pleasantly surprised when it has kicked in.

Your question what does “Plié do with the data”?  It is used for advanced stumble recovery capabilities. “The data is gathered to provide input to an advanced algorithm utilized by the microprocessors to control stance, swing and stumble recovery parameters.  These are then customized for each user’s unique gait patterns, providing confidence that stance resistance will be there over a broad spectrum of activities” (I borrowed this from information that is readily available).  I can tell you that my settings are very different from other amputees on the Plié.  I have seen the numbers.

The Plié 2 is also, low profile and ultra lightweight which is helped by the hydraulic cylinder being inverted, bringing its center of gravity closer to the knee.  To me, when it is on, it feels much lighter than the other knees.

I am not sure when you refer to “Plié advocates saying it is not the most stable or more difficult to use” which version you are referring to,  because it does not sound like the Plie 2.  Any knee that is not aligned correctly will be unstable.  And I can speak from personal experience that neither one of those statements are correct.  In fact I find the Plie much easier to use, with its rechargeable batteries, small portable charger and it comes with a car charger which can come in handy, or just carrying extra batteries. It is very awkward if your battery dies at the airport and you have to plug yourself into an outlet, that is if you can find one not being used by a mobile device or game.

To any amputees that are reading this please do not pay attention to this statement that was made in this forum ” If you are such a good/strong walker that you could care less about stability or gait control, why even bother getting a microprocessor knee? LOL Any decent mechanical knee will do what Plie does”

I can speak from first hand experience, (once having a strictly mechanical knee, very old school) I would never suggest a mechanical knee to any one over an MPC knee, unless there was a specific task they had in mind to do with it.  It is very important to be concerned about your gait because it will affect your body over the long term and may cause significant damage to your body if you walk incorrectly.  As far as stumble recovery goes, you never know when it can save you from a fall that could be deadly or cause you to break a bone, I will say, I never thought I would like or want stumble recovery, but I have to admit it has kicked in exactly when I needed it.  I am very active, play golf etc. and love the Plie 2, on the other hand I know other people who love it just because it makes walking so much easier so you don’t have to be an athlete for it to be the right knee for you. and the fact the Plie is water resistant is a great advantage,  compared to a knee that I have to get undercover if there is a chance of rain or if I want to move my sprinklers. 

I also noticed that when they created the Plié 2 they (Freedom) corrected anything I felt was wrong or could be improved from the Plié 1, they listened to their customers.  It is nice to have a company that actually cares about those of us who use the product, not just the ones who sell it.

I have tried most of the knees you have bashed and depending on each individual’s situation the needs may vary.  It is not fair as a forum, that is suppose to help amputees, you seem to be providing feedback that is only negative and nothing that  helps amputees to understand the products (pros and cons) and real life experience.   I can assure you the Plié 2, from my perspective is awesome and is definitely worth a try.  I have many years of experience being an amputee and gone through many of the different products.  If an amputee is interested in any of the knees, I suggest you look them up on the internet on the manufactures page and then talk to your prosthetist, who can then arrange with their rep see if the knee (whichever you are interested in) can be tried for a short period of time before you make a decision.

I would hope this forum is a means of sharing experiences and not a manufacturing bashing forum.  Thanks for reading.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie amputee, have some questions
« on: April 18, 2011, 09:31:57 PM »
To not so newbie by now amputee.  You need to research and interview prosthetists just like you would if you were employing them. I would also ask about current technology.  As far as length of limb, many knees have adapters that attach the knee that may make it closer to your residual limb, sometimes even a 3/4 in diff can help.  I know as far as microprocessor knees  the Freedom Plie 2 has a knee disartic version which shortens the upper part of your prosthetic limb.  The best advice I can give any amputee is: first the socket has to fit without hurting, if it hurts (and it should not) than that is your first problem. I would never accept a leg when the socket hurts, once the socket does not hurt it is critical that it be aligned correctly. The first question I would ask is, who modifies the cast and when they did the casting did they take into account any bony areas and the need for muscell expansion?   if not you will hit on the bone and have cramps where the muscell cannot expand. Another question I would ask, is  do they fabricate in house or send out to central fab, we are people not cars, if the person that sees you has no part in the rest of the process I have not seen too many successes.  Also it is your responsibility to communicate with your provider so they understand what your problem is, they are not mind readers. I would also document every visit and what they do and I would not sign any authorization of payment unless, you have no pain and you can walk comfortably.  If you are still having issues and they have already billed your insurance then you need to follow up with you insurance provider so that you have the opportunity to go someplace else.
Hope this help, I have gone through this to many times I have learned through the school of hard knocks,  bad way to learn.
By the way I would never wear a quad socket in my life again, not the way the body was designed.
Hope this helps.

General Discussion / Re: Cracked socket
« on: April 18, 2011, 08:58:09 PM »
I would make sure your sockets are made of carbon fiber, they are much stronger.  Also once you have a socket that fits well, your provider should be able to duplicate the socket, of course alignment might take a little time.
Glad everything is working out.

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