I am a long time prosthetic wearer and I got a C-Leg a month ago and although this knee is better, it does not seem to live up to my expectations.  Do you think maybe my knee is not adjusted correctly?

This is a very common observation from many people that are long time prosthetic wearers when they are first fit with a microprocessor knee.  The challenge is that you have been wearing a particular type of prosthetic knee for many years and you adopted many habits with your old prosthesis and you became very familiar with the way the old one fit and functioned.  You are most likely still using your muscles to push back on the knee to prevent the knee from bending when you have weight on it because you have been doing this for years with your old leg but you do not need to do this with the microprocessor limb.  In time, you will learn to trust the microprocessor knee and learn to relax and let the computer in the knee do the work for you.  It typically takes 2-4 months for old-time prosthetic wearers to fully appreciate the numerous benefits and features of the microprocessor knee.

I am a new amputee. My doctor thinks that I should first learn how to walk with knee called the Total Knee and then once I demonstrate I can do well with that knee then he will consider prescribing a C-Leg.

If you are a candidate for a total knee, then you are obviously a functional level 3 (FL3 or K3) amputee and are a candidate for a microprocessor knee.  The problem with the plan your doctor is suggesting is that the way you will need to learn to walk with the Total Knee is completely different from the way you will walk with a microprocessor knee.  By first learning to walk with the Total Knee, when you get fit with the microprocessor knee you will need to go back to physical therapy to learn how to walk with the microprocessor knee and also use muscles that you did not use with the Total Knee.  In addition, the plan your doctor proposes is much more expensive as your insurance will have to pay for two knees: the Total knee and the microprocessor knee and you will also have two separate co-pays and deductibles.  

My mother had her leg amputated and we want her to get a C-Leg.  Her doctor says she is too old for a C-Leg and wrote a prescription for a Compact knee instead.  I want my mother to get the best, should I take my mother to a different doctor?

The C-Leg is not “better” than the Compact knee.  The C-leg and Compact knee are twovery different knees for two very different types of patients.  The Compact is state-of-the-art technology and is designed to provide the geriatric amputee with the highest degree of stability and security.  The C-Leg is for a younger more active individual that will be walking a fast pace, changing speeds on a regular basis and walking very long distances.  It appears your doctor is very knowledgeable in the field of prosthetics and has prescribed the appropriate and perfect knee for your mother.

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©2006 The Amputee Resource Team