Sunday, October 19, 2014

So I got this new foot...

And this thing ROCKS!
It's an Ossur Flex Foot, and it's part of my newest running leg--the third one that I've had since I decided that just walking wasn't gonna be good enough.

The first one was pretty crude, being little more than a curved piece of hi-strength fiberglass laminate bolted to the back of a regular fiberglass and plastic leg sleeve. It wasn't adjustable for height or camber or anything, but my prosthetist is good and he got it chose enough to perfect on the first try that eventually I was able to run the Army Ten-Miler with it.
It wasn't much-in fact, the sole was covered by a hard rubber that started life as an industrial floor tile, but that leg served me well until I went down for more leg surgery, after which it never fit right again. So a second one was made, this one little more than a clone of the first, the exception being that the laminate running blades were now starting to evolve as companies began putting some serious research and development into them.
This one was somewhat adjustable (but not much) and the running blade had a pad, a double-thickness for more energy return, and a real running surface on the bottom.

Sadly, I never really got this one working right. There was always a spot inside where I'd get pain during a run, and we were never able to solve that problem despite cutting out large sections of the hard plastic. But after a second bit of leg surgery, this one didn't fit right anymore either so it joined the first one in a box of cast-off legs in the basement.

Enter the third one. This one is cutting-edge technology. It's fully adjustable in all directions and for height and it has a removable/replaceable sole make by Nike. It's also made of a new material and it's easily half the weight of the last one. This thing is cool beyond description.
On Saturday, I took it out for a test run. Rock Creek Park in Washington DC closes off much of Beach Drive on the week-ends, restricting the road to pedestrians and bikes only. I happened to be down there, and the fall colors made for a nice run along the creek in the company of countless other fitness-minded folks. This was my first off-treadmill run in over a year, so I didn't push it too far. I kept it down to a mile and a half, and though I really wanted to run farther at the end of that run just because it felt so good, I knew from past experience to cut it there per the plan, and lemme tell you, today I'm glad that I did; I'm feeling it a bit from that run, but not really bad like I would be had I decided to run farther and over-do it. But the stiffness today is all in my other joints--the leg feels great. This running leg fits perfectly and there were no hot spots under it when I was finished, so I'm thinking that me and this leg are going to be great friends indeed. Heck, maybe next year, we'll do the Ten-Miler again, or even a half marathon. And one day, before I'm done...a whole marathon. I've just gotta.

A nice promotional video put out by the Ossur folks:

Sadly--but good for me and others--the advances in technology on these legs over the last decade has been greater than at any other time in the history of prosthetics, and it's all courtesy military spending due to the large numbers of amputees coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of what I use today on all of my legs wouldn't even exist but for that.

17 comments:

  1. Love the color and design!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. A Magpul Leg? That means it already costs more than it needs too =) Glad you have a new one!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yep, the good news/bad news story... But glad you got one that works!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Are those running legs more for running on pavement, or can you do "terrain" with them too? Just curious because my younger daughter is running Cross Country and those meets aren't run on pavement like your local "Breast Cancer" 5K or 10K. She wears spikes for her XC races.

    Maybe Nike makes a spiked pad, for those who like to run the back 40?

    Anyway - glad you've got something that works well for you - your "milestone" posts are some of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops - guess I should have watched the video first - she's certainly running terrain!

      Delete
  5. Scott, with the new one, you can run rough terrain. With the old one, once you tore up the tread, that was it. Only problem with either is that a dip or rise in the terrain that you don't see can throw you easily--they don't flex and compensate like a real foot/ankle does.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good for you or as they say in Oz good on you mate. I've seen a host of high tech artificial legs over the last ten or so years. One really odd one had a V shape metal shoe to clip into a bicycle pedal. The rapid progress in design, construction and acceptance of these prosthetics amazes me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, without a doubt. the first that I got just seven years ago doesn't even compare to this new one, and the old was was state-of-the-art at the time I got it.

      Delete
    2. When the opportunity to speak with solders here who've lost a leg arises I ask them how well the new leg is doing for them. I always mention you and tell them how to find your blog. These guys don't ride around in chairs or on mobility scoters feeling sorry for them selves or being morbidly obese. They keep on moving and don't quit.

      Delete
  7. Nice! Can you get it in red?

    ReplyDelete
  8. What Old NFO said!
    Good on you, sir!

    gfa

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great Blue color.
    Congratulations I hope you get many years of service.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I cannot imagine what you have had to go through to re-learn things.
    You seem like an amazing individual...God bless you!

    -Lauren

    ReplyDelete
  11. Many BLESSINGS for years of joy moving toward your dreams. Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. That is incredible looking. You ran well before, you'll run even better now.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Have fun running!

    ReplyDelete
  14. That's a heck of a nifty piece of engineering! Sounds like, given a little time and distance, and you'll be able to tire the dogs out... What sticker are you going to slap on this one?

    ReplyDelete