Sunday, 27 November 2016

A little stroll over by the Causey Arch a BTK Crossover outing

Over the past week or so I have been wearing my new limb,which incorporates the BTK Crossover. I have been very kindly supported by Pace Rehab in association with Fabtech Sytems, Leftsideinc and my good friends over at The Arctic ONE Foundation on this trick bit of kit. 

Claire n Glenn
Now when I say "trick" many people who are not in the know, will just think this is an ordinary knee. When in fact it is a serious piece of design and engineering.


What makes this knee so special? 

Well it is the fact that it has been totally reverse engineered from it's predecessor the Original production model of the Bartlett Tendon Knee. You see the Original BTK was designed for the out and out sports enthusiast. It was developed with a whole range of extreme sports in mind enabling guys to ski down mountains, as well as climb them. Jump out of aeroplanes, surf,moto-X, mountain bike, including serious down hill and a whole range of other extreme sports. 

With the new BTK Crossover you can still do all of the above , yet in reality so much more. The knee is a totally unique unit to the market as it is the first true 'Hybrid' in that it allows you to wear it for everyday use and by that I mean walking around, plus it also does extreme sports if you need it too. Yeah I know the walking around bit doesn't sound like a big deal, however for us amputees it is a huge deal. Now we can have a knee that allows us to go about our daily business. Playing in the park with your pooch, taking a stroll with the family or using it whilst at work and carrying out your job. On those days where you would like to go out and get active the BTK Crossover simply converts into a bad ass sporting knee design in a matter of minutes. (See www.fabtechsytems.com for further info)
 

Anyhoo hopefully I have given you a little insight into the 'Hybrid' nature of this knee. Basically it's fantastic for walking and with a few additions of some very easy to fit components (which come along with the knee) 'hey presto' it's an awesome sports knee. Kind of a two for the price of one deal.

Getting back to the topic of my post Ahhh yes yesterdays little stroll out. Claire and I along with her little dog Pip took a walk along to the Causey Arch. I have gradually been walking a little further each day I have worn the new limb, for example popping to Sainsbury's with Ern to do a spot of shopping and pick up wor Kyle, my son the other day. This was a fairly easy task, however I did have to be aware of the slippery isles. Going over by the Causey and walking some of the various trails was to be my biggest test to date.


Crossing over the racks with Pip
Just about to cross tracks with Pip
The first challenge was getting up a gradual slope alongside the Tanfield Railway. I am using this knee in a different way and discovering muscles that have been asleep for quite sometime. So by the top of the incline my stump felt like it was going to blow up. A short rest required and a few "Ahhhh's and Ohhhhh's. Claire Pip and I then continued. My stump gradually settled and Claire and I were able to walk along hand in hand. I had warned Claire to just be aware I could potentially fall or stumble, you see sometimes everything is going along swimmingly well, then you loose concentration and 'bang' you can have a fall. Not because of anything the knee has done, it's more a case of either not watching where you are stepping or various things like inclines, descents, steps and stuff like on the day mud and the paths being covered by very slippery leaves. Oh and there were lots of leaves and they were indeed very slippery, however also very pretty in an array of a multitude of Autumn colours. 

Quick flick of the lever to adjust flexion

 Ooh and we also saw the little steam train "Chooo Choo!"

Choo Choo!
Polar Express
Walking around this area was a canny test for the BTK Crossover, it felt very stable under me, partly down to really good alignment and also because I had actually spoken to Brian and Paul my prosthetist as well as having read the instructions about how to set the knee up and what to do for certain terrain. For example going down inclines or on terrain I was not sure of I could flick the Rock Shox Monarch RT3's "Flexion Resistance Lever". When set in the 6 O'clock position the shock is set in the Lock position. Of course the knee will still bend when sufficient force is applied in flexion, however it gives you more stability and allows you to feel confident that the knee is not just going to buckle under you. 


6 O'clock Locked Position
Claire and Me

Canny slippery leaves

The shock when set to the 10 O'clock position is the position used to walk in and the lowest amount of flexion resistance. When set in the 2 O'clock position this is Medium resistance, great for on the bike, it just gives you enough feel, yet allows you to pedal through. Yesterday I used the BTK Crossover with no pressure in the shock. I managed really well, however I am still in experimental phase. I do not think there is any real right or wrong for an individual and that is what is great about this knee. You can adjust it to suit your own needs and how comfortable you feel in it's use.

10 O'clock ambulatory mode
Walking over the Causey Arch Bridge
Feeling confident on BTK Crossover
Claire and I had a really lovely few hours out, me just messing around with my knee seeing how it felt and what it could do, like walking down steps and back up them and Claire encouraging me all the way. I am very lucky to have someone so supportive and actively take part in me being the best I can be. Claire also enjoyed taking a few snaps, so that I could share them here for you all.
Going Down the steps
Almost there
Yay! Made it LOL
Claire n Pip
Claire at Causey Arch



Oooh!




















Whilst out on our little adventure we 
passed various people, all of whom where very pleasant, mainly dog walkers. We then came across a lady and gentleman and said a friendly "hello" in passing, not long after we encountered the same couple again and struck up a conversation, discovering they were called Lynn and Andrew and kept ferrets lol. Andrew was just recovering from a pretty serious injury after having a motorcycle crash. Lots of kudos for Andrew to be out walking on such a cold day and such a slippery stretch of trail. We actually walked back to the car park with them, Claire chatting away to Lynn and me to Andrew. Andrew mentioned he had seen a little Smart Car in the car park. "Oh that is mine" I said. Andrew went on to say he quite fancied one just for work, so I invited him to have a little look around Tango.


Loads of flexion on this knee

Going back up

Shock locked for stability on steps

Beautiful area, worlds oldest single span railway bridge
As we said our farewells and waved off Lynn and Andrew, Claire said "what a lovely couple". Both Lynn and Claire swore down they knew each other from somewhere lol. I complimented Claire on her warmth and friendliness on the way back over to her house, she just has a way with people, she is just herself herself, open and non judgemental. It's a fantastic quality.

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