Time For A New Leg. Now What?


It has been six years since I was fit for my C-Legs. It has been a good run (ok walk) but I have seen so many enhancements with micro-processor prosthetic knees – I am beyond curious. As all prosthetic users know there are a lot of options out there, enough to make your head spin. Every knee has an advocate – telling us that is the best. Also, we all know that change is difficult – we reach our comfort zone and change is not only difficult to imagine but to realize.

In my efforts over the years to identify what the best knee will be in the next chapter of my life, living with limb loss I have done the research. I have discussed options with patients, practitioners and the companies the design and manufacture the product.

photo by Jacquelyn E. Holm
photo by Jacquelyn E. Holm

 In a recent conversation with a O and P professional I stated, I am happy with my knees, I am considering getting the same – just a new pair. The person that I was talking to made the comment “don’t be that guy”. He continued to say that he has fit hundreds of people over the years and many of his patients that reach the comfort zone insist on the same products. Some even insist that the socket is comprised of leather instead of carbon fiber, a belt instead of elevated suction. Point taken. I live a very active lifestyle and I realize that as I age – I am going to depend on the technology to enhance my gait, my balance and stability – I am taking the leap! Next week I will be fit for new knees, the X3. I honestly have lost sleep over this decision, realizing that it is going to take some time and effort to get used to wearing this sophisticated knee – with all of the functions and features that leapfrogs the current knees that I depend on every day! And seriously I ask myself, what will I be able to do with these new knees that I cannot do with my C-Legs? After all, I travel, I keep up with my children, I go to work each day, I golf and the C-Legs perform 100%.

Why would I change? And then I think – what if it rains? What if I am poolside and I want to jump in to cool off? What if I want to wash my truck? Also this, if the C-Leg computes at 50 times a second and the X3 at 100, that certainly seems like a good thing. Enhanced safety features and stumble recovery couldn’t hurt! Longer battery life will allow me to spend a weekend out of town without worrying about packing chargers. An improved gait, less stress on my back? I looked at the features but really weighed out the benefits – at that point it was an easy decision to make. I am excited, I know that it is going to be the best thing for me and my lifestyle – personally and my family. I need to keep up with the changes and continue to move forward – and not be “that guy” that is requesting a block of willow wood be carved up for me.

I will keep you posted!


We have two great articles for you related to finding your next knee:

How to choose and work with a prosthetist.

What to consider when it’s time to for a new prosthetic knee. 

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