Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hippy Hippy Shake

On Monday I had a new prosthetic foot attached to the end of Schooner MkII (although some of my Aussie friends suggested I rename him "Middy" due to the smaller capacity of the new model).

The foot is quite a complex bit of engineering and is full of carbon fibre plates and other adjustment pieces you can't see and which replicate much of the feedback you get with a normal foot. You can actually "tune" the foot to provide different levels of feedback.

The one function that is obvious to the eye however is the fully moveable ankle joint. This special ball and socket joint replicates much of the joint motion of a normal ankle. It will move in any direction as well as rotate slightly.

This is so much better to use than the fixed ankle I did have as my foot can now move with the variations in slope and camber of surfaces I walk on. Slopes and cambers on a fixed ankle are a right pain in the butt (well back and hips to be accurate).

It also means that my walking motion is progressing even closer to a natural gait.

This is the foot in its normal upright position:

And here it is with my foot out to the side, shoe flat on the floor and leg now at an angle - just like a tennis player ready to receive a serve or a soccer goalie waiting for the penalty shot to be taken.

It is rated to cope with the forces my current oversize backside will put through it but I hope to stress it less over the coming months as my training ramps up.

These things are not cheap however. All up that's now a $12,000 leg. And I'll no doubt need a modified dedicated socket for cycling. I have the pedal attachment sorted and I go in to have all the bike fitting done this coming Monday.

More on that (and my indoor cycling ergometer project) later.


Anonymous said...


Inspirational stuff mate! Sean Rooney told me about your accident - a real shock! Stumbled across your blog while trawling for cycling info - I'm leading a very healthy life at present competing in triathlon and training for the Melb Marathon. Would love to catch up - I'm in Sydney regularly. Email me at Cheers, Simon

Lawrence said...

That's a very funky leg Alex :-). And carbon always goes down a treat with cyclists! With that price tag, I think you need to wack some Look decals on it ;-)

Good stuff! It's all beginning to come together for the next phase of getting back on the bike, as well as just being more mobile/comfortable.