Clayton Smith, my NHS prosthetist finally made me my dedicated running leg and I was so happy!
He fitted it with an Ossur Flexfoot blade.
However, it looked scary, really scary. It was certainly not like my other prosthetic leg and it took a while to trust it. There were also a few adjustments needed like trying different knee joints. The one I had been used to, the Ossur TK2000, just did not feel right on this leg so I eventually opted for an Otto Bock 3R95. It is a ‘free knee’ and it really feels right in conjunction with the blade. The knee will not suit everyone so ‘try before you buy’, there are a lot of different knee units out there. Your prosthetist should be able to arrange a trial unit for you.
Julian was excited too and we really got stuck into my training. The leg felt different and the energy return from the blade was huge. It took a few sessions to get used to it but it was so much easier to run now. Here is a warning though, don’t overdo it like I did! I think I damaged a hamstring in my stump but doctors were suggesting nerve problems. It wasn’t until I got to see my surgeon that he ruled out the nerve pain.
Well, after the enforced break, I got back to the running and started to improve my technique and stamina.
What a difference. I still use one hell of a lot of energy but nothing like before.
At this point I attended a workshop organised by PORT-ER in Exeter. Although in it’s infancy at the time, it did enable me to interact with other amputees and speak with specialists in the prosthetic field. I am led to believe that it has grown and adapted into a really good organisation.