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New Foot Study

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Wildman

Wildman

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They say it takes 30-50% more energy to walk for each joint that you are missing. The biggest problem now is that if they try to make these things powered the batteries and electronics just weigh too much. The one powered foot I tested last year weighed 9 lbs. So slap a 10 lb weight on your ankle and go walk around with it. You loose those muscles in your calf with a below the knee amputation.

The C-Leg which is the most advanced knee right now weighs 15-18 lbs depending on which foot they put with it. As lithium battery technology improves the weight of these prosthetics will go down. And this is part of the reason why I volunteer for these studies. I'm hoping at some point I might get to get to wear some new foot that they come out with.

I use to snow ski and Ottobock makes a foot that is made to clip into the ski bindings instead of having to wear that heavy ski boot. It's pretty cool and the VA has said they might send me to a winter sports event for amputees. Of course Covid has "F"d that all up right now.
 
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Wildman

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Well I went back to the VA today to return this foot and try my next one. They had me fill out surveys and talked to me for a while about my thoughts on the current foot and then ran me thru a serious of tasks that test my abelites with that prosthetic on. It's nothing hard by normal standards but when you don't have a foot/ankle to do some things it becomes harder.

Then I got my new foot and right off I noticed how STIFF it is and that it has not flex/spring/bounce or any of the other things I like about the foot I just gave back or my normal foot. But the biggest thing about this foot is that it is HEAVY. And I don't know why since I have worn a similar prosthetic. But this thing is way more than I remember in weight and when you try to carry that weight around all day long it gets heavy.

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So I don't know why I had never taken pictures of some of the signage here at the VA.
Where this testing is happening is in the research area of the VA. Their area is called CLIMB and for anyone who's worked with the government you know how they like their acronyms.


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Wildman

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OK so it has been 2 weeks since I got the last foot and man am I GLAD to be getting rid of it. It was just too heavy for what I am use to and becasue it didn't flex or store energy it just was not comfortable to wear. But I gave it a good try and used it the whole two weeks.
So I drove over to the VA today and swapped out my foot for the next one in the study.

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Weather was typical western WA liquid sunshine.


So this new foot also doesn't have much flex to it BUT it isn't as heavy as the last one so it is much more comfortable to wear. As with the other two they cover the foot so I don't know the brand or model to make my impression as impartial as possible.

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So I go back in two weeks for the final visit for this study. Then I'll do a 1 hour phone interview and then sometime next spring I'll go back for a visit where I'll wear all 3 of the feet and also use the computerized foot in all 3 variations while they record my walking using laser cameras to view my gait and body movements. I don't know that laser camera is the best description. They put reflectors on my body and the cameras record my movements. Maybe some else can give a better definition of the cameras.
 
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Wildman

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I finished the foot study a few weeks ago and then about a week after I had agreed to also participate in a phone interview. So one of the people from the study called and I spent about 90 minutes answering questions for her about my experiences with the different feet I have worn since my amputation. So it's now all over with and I'll just be waiting for them to contact me to get involved in another one. I really enjoyed it and I guess the good part is that they do pay me for participating in these studies.

I got my check today and for my time spent I got $1100. Not bad IMO for the amount of time I spent.

I've got the list of the feet I got to try out in the study but I can't find it right now. Once I find it again I'll list them on here.
 
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Wildman

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The first foot I trialed out in the study was a All Pro made by Fillauer: AllPro with Direct Mount Pyramid | Fillauer LLC | Orthotics and Prosthetics Manufacturer

The second foot in the study was a Rush Hi-Pro made by Rush: Patient RUSH HiPro® | (rushfoot.com) Now the interesting thing about this root is that I'd heard that it was a great foot by a lot of other amputees but it was the one I disliked the most.

The third foot in the study was a Variflex made by Ossur: Vari-Flex® (ossur.com)

Now in doing some research I happen to come across another company I'd not heard about before that has a foot I'd like to look into more. The company name is Blatchford and the foot is called the Elan IC and it has a microprocessor and is waterproof. So the next time I go into the VA to see my amputee doctors I am going to ask about trialing this foot. ElanIC Wateproof Microprocessor Prosthetic Foot - Blatchford US

This company has a few feet that I would like to look into more at some point but I am really interested in this microprocessor foot. The last one I trialed was made by Ottobock and is called the EmPower and I HATED it becasue it didn't work the way I thought it would and it was way too heavy. Empower | Ottobock US
What is interesting is there are a lot of microprocessor feet coming out now. There are 3 that I know of at this point but I'm sure there might more that I just haven't read about yet.
 

Modoc Guy

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Wow! As someone looking at it from the outside it’s amazing what they go through developing these devices. And it’s great that you’re willing to go through all the extra effort to test and report on all the prototypes, good on ya man!
 

Kip100

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Just testing in a controlled environment at this point. I'm not sure at what point this will transfer to the real world.
But each step forward is a good thing.
And that is exactly how it's done! A lot of trials are also done on base. Some of these vets are fitted with some incredible bionics and now with upper extremity prosthetics they can wire controls directly in the person's nervous system. It's freaking amazing.
Wildman if you ever have a chance to attend an amputee oalition
 

Kip100

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And that is exactly how it's done! A lot of trials are also done on base. Some of these vets are fitted with some incredible bionics and now with upper extremity prosthetics they can wire controls directly in the person's nervous system. It's freaking amazing.
Wildman if you ever have a chance to attend an amputee oalition
Lol damn phone.
Amputee coalition national conference. It's pretty amazing
Amputee coalition.org
 
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Wildman

Wildman

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And that is exactly how it's done! A lot of trials are also done on base. Some of these vets are fitted with some incredible bionics and now with upper extremity prosthetics they can wire controls directly in the person's nervous system. It's freaking amazing.
Wildman if you ever have a chance to attend an amputee oalition

Yes if they could make a microprocessor foot/ankle that could withstand the things I do & was waterproof I'd be standing in line for them to implant the sensors into my leg. I try to follow all the stuff that is going on and keep up on anything that is NEW or improved. But honestly the Ossur Pro Pivot that I have now is about the best foot out there for me from everything I've read and tested to this point. I very much dislike the EmPower and if I wore one and stepped into a mud puddle I'd fry a $50-60K ankle. Plus I'm sure I'd break it within the first month.
I help my best friend bring in hay some years and they are 80-100lb bales of hay. Plus I carry other heavy loads that I'm sure it wouldn't like.

But yes doing these studies will hopefully benefit other amputees at some point.

I've thought about going to one of the National Conferences but just haven't had the funds or the time. My Jeep has been my priority since I've been able to work on it again. Once it's done then I might look into going to one.
 
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Wildman

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Here ya go. I've tried to educate the forum some about us missing parts types a little.

 

Kip100

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Yes if they could make a microprocessor foot/ankle that could withstand the things I do & was waterproof I'd be standing in line for them to implant the sensors into my leg. I try to follow all the stuff that is going on and keep up on anything that is NEW or improved. But honestly the Ossur Pro Pivot that I have now is about the best foot out there for me from everything I've read and tested to this point. I very much dislike the EmPower and if I wore one and stepped into a mud puddle I'd fry a $50-60K ankle. Plus I'm sure I'd break it within the first month.
I help my best friend bring in hay some years and they are 80-100lb bales of hay. Plus I carry other heavy loads that I'm sure it wouldn't like.

But yes doing these studies will hopefully benefit other amputees at some point.

I've thought about going to one of the National Conferences but just haven't had the funds or the time. My Jeep has been my priority since I've been able to work on it again. Once it's done then I might look into going to one.
Yes for your active lifestyle there are a lot of variables to consider. I'm really glad you have such great access to the trials and newest ideas. You are the perfect person for those because you are so active. It presents unique challenges to prosthetists and therapists. We hate being bored!
If you ever do get a chance to go to the national conference I think you'd really love it. The T shirts alone make it worth it (one foot in the grave, etc lol) and they offer a lot of cool demonstrations. Maybe the peeps running your trials could get you there 👍
 
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Kip100

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Yes if they could make a microprocessor foot/ankle that could withstand the things I do & was waterproof I'd be standing in line for them to implant the sensors into my leg. I try to follow all the stuff that is going on and keep up on anything that is NEW or improved. But honestly the Ossur Pro Pivot that I have now is about the best foot out there for me from everything I've read and tested to this point. I very much dislike the EmPower and if I wore one and stepped into a mud puddle I'd fry a $50-60K ankle. Plus I'm sure I'd break it within the first month.
I help my best friend bring in hay some years and they are 80-100lb bales of hay. Plus I carry other heavy loads that I'm sure it wouldn't like.

But yes doing these studies will hopefully benefit other amputees at some point.

I've thought about going to one of the National Conferences but just haven't had the funds or the time. My Jeep has been my priority since I've been able to work on it again. Once it's done then I might look into going to one.
And hello the work on your jeep will NEVER be done 🤣
 
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Wildman

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Yes for your active lifestyle there are a lot of variables to consider. I'm really glad you have such great access to the trials and newest ideas. You are the perfect person for those because you are so active. It presents unique challenges to prosthetists and therapists. We hate being bored!
If you ever do get a chance to go to the national conference I think you'd really love it. The T shirts alone make it worth it (one foot in the grave, etc lol) and they offer a lot of cool demonstrations. Maybe the peeps running your trials could get you there 👍

I thought about getting the "One Foot in the Grave" Tattoo on my left calf.

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Wildman

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And hello the work on your jeep will NEVER be done 🤣

Very true but what I'm doing NOW is a little more than that. I'm always gunna be tinkering on SOMETHING. I've got a pile of parts for my Harley to install but I've got to get the Jeep finished first.
 

Kip100

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Very true but what I'm doing NOW is a little more than that. I'm always gunna be tinkering on SOMETHING. I've got a pile of parts for my Harley to install but I've got to get the Jeep finished first.
What are you doing to the jeep
 
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Wildman

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It's been a while since I posted anything about the stuff I was doing. When I got done with my last study at the VA I'd come across article from an amputee org talking about some new sockets that are being developed. Well I was talking to the staff at the CLIMB center and they knew about one of these studies being done at the University of Washington.
So I got in contact with them and am going to the UW next week to start participating in a study of a socket that allows you to release it partly but not take it completely off.

The other thing they are working on is a powered socket that you can make adjustments in the size of the socket with your cell phone. This study for that socket isn't taking any more participants right now but I'm on the list for if they do open it back up.
 
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Wildman

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Here is a link for the study thru the UW.



And here is the automatically adjusting socket study that I HOPE I can get involved in.