Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Prosthesis’

The Bee’s Knees

Hello everyone. I’ve been quiet for a while trying not to jinx my streak of staying out of the hospital for the entire month of August.  Well, mostly.  One trip to the ER for a crazy-rapid heart-rate, but after three hours of waiting, I grew impatient and signed myself out.

About a week ago, however, I recieved something worth noting.   The prosthetist upgraded my legs to the “X-2”, which are articulated knees with a microprocessor made by the prosthetics company, Ottobock.  They are similar to the civilian “Genium” knee made by the same company.  Articulated? Microprocessor? X-2?  Yeah, it sounds like a lot of mumbo-jumbo to me too.  Those words sound more like ones you’d hear in reference to Robocop.  If you are now asking what Robocop is, dust off a VCR and prepare to have your mind blown. If you are wondering what a VCR is, find someone with gray hair and ask them.

Instead of me describing what all that jargon means, below are some links where others do the work for me.  What is important to take away from this, is that I am now working with the best knee you can find (for now).  The knee senses shifts in my body weight over the foot and loosens at the right moment to swing more naturally.  It can control descent for sitting down or stepping off a curb, and aesthetically looks a little more normal.  I wish I could say it is easy to use, but that would be far from the truth.  The swinging knee feels more natural than wobbling on the stiff predecessors.  But without the legs being locked, if I shift my weight at the wrong time, or my step is a little off, the “free swing” could be triggered when I don’t want it to.  This causes the knee to give out under me, and with no “real” leg muscles and nerves, it’s hard to resist or correct.  Once it gives out, I’m pretty much riding it to the ground.  A lesson I learned the hard way a couple times, but luckily escaped with a sprained wrist. (my sense of luck is a little skewed, I know)

Links About The X-2/ Genium Knee:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/us/19prosthetic.html
http://www.ottobockknees.com/knee-family/genium-bionic-prosthetic-system/

The X-2s also raised me up another 60mm.  I understand it’s America, and we haven’t a clue as to what a millimeter is, so my height was increased about 2.5 inches. I stand tall around 5’10” or 5’11” now.  No more increases at last!  Lots of practice to follow, but for the next week or so, I am taking them on vacation. Any walking I do will be limited due to the caution I must have so as not to hurt my arm.  Thanks for keeping track of me and for all that you do for my family and me.  Until next time, Go Yanks! Go Pats!

Greg

PS. The photos were taken to compare the X-2 knees, vs the stiff/ locked knees from before. And yes, my sports affiliations are odd, but they’re not changing so don’t bother trying.