[AMP-L] The Rheo versus the C-Leg, which do you prefer
ldeanc at sbcglobal.net
Tue Feb 17 07:06:21 PST 2009
(Re. "if I should go with the C-Leg or stay with the Rheo" from Jeffrey Wojcik <hogyld at msn.com>)
I am an HD amputee (left leg), 52 years old, in excellent health, and I
have the Rheo. My amputation was in March 2007, and I got my
prosthesis in January 2008. I have never had the C-Leg. I am extremely
happy with the Rheo and ihgly recommend it. My prosthetist laid out
the pros and cons of the two knees, and I chose hte Rheo. Here is why...
1. It is a more efficient walker than the C-Leg and, therefore, requires less energy on my part than would the C-Leg.
2. The Rheo does 1,000 calculations per second versus about 50 per second for the C-Leg.
3. The Rheo uses a totally different technology from the C-Leg. The C-Leg is,
essentially, a traditional hydraulic knee to which a microprocessor was
added. The Rheo is a multi-plate electromagnetic system that uses
fluid with microscopic particles in it that flows among a series of
plates that interact and intertwine. The electric power activates the
particles, which thicken the fluid/slow the flow and reduce the
thickness/increase the flow depending on what the knee needs to do
next. It was developed at MIT and was based on a technology first
developed for trucks so that truck drivers would experience fewer neck
and back injuries.
4. The Rheo knee learns and adjusts very quickly to changes in gait, ground
pitch, etc., and again, according to my prosthetist (who has done a
fabulous job for me, by the way), is more efficient than the C-Leg and
does a better job for people like me who are active and want to be able
to walk a lot, hike regularly, etc.
5. As an HD amputee, theweight of the prosthesis is highly important, more so than for other
amputees. The higher the amputation, the more that weight of
prosthetics affects the amputee's ability to walk efficiently with as
little energy as possible. My prosthetist found with other patients
that the slight difference in weight was more than made up by the
efficiency of the Rheo's technology. The extra weight was not a
hindrance at all.
One other difference between the two knees - the default mode of the Rheo,
should it suddenly lose power, is swing mode, while the default for the
C-Leg is stance mode. The Rheo cannot lock when it loses power because
the electromagnetic action stops. The C-Leg can lock without power
because it is a traditional hydraulic knee and does not need power to
lock. Some people are fearful of having a knee that cannot lock in
stance mode if should suddenly lose power, so they go with the C-Leg.
I decided that falling is a part of walking with or without two
biological legs, and the chances of the Rheo losing power are
miniscule. I have fallen many times, but not because of my knee.
Rather, I mistepped or lost my balance or slipped on ice, etc. I have
never been injured more than a slight scrape on the palm of my hand.
My knee has never lost power, and when I got it, no Rheo had ever
experienced a power failure in the two years it had been on the market
at that time. Also, I have sometimes forgotten to turn on my knee, and
I was able to walk fine, but with more effort because the knee was not
doing its thing. I did not fall. When I realized that I'd been
walking with my knee turned off, I simply turned it on and noticed that
it was easier to walk. If I lose power, I would rather be able to walk
"normally" but with more effort than have my leg stuck in stance mode
and have to walk stiff-legged until the knee is fixed. That's just me.
If you have more questions, please feel free to ask. Good luck with your decision!
1982 Staunton Road
Cleveland Heights OH 44118
ldeanc at sbcglobal.net
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