NHS England has approved the funding of Microprocessor controlled knees (MPKs) for patients in England living with above knee, through knee and hip disarticulation amputations.
The policy provides these people with the opportunity to be fitted with a fully funded MPK, which will not only be hugely beneficial in improving the lives of many amputees but also promotes long-term health.
Becky is a mother of two who originally wore a rigid mechanical knee, which was limiting due to her active lifestyle.
Her prosthetist suggested Becky try an Orion3 MPK as it could meet her daily requirements more effectively.
Immediately Becky noticed a difference in how the knee felt and was impressed by how her prosthetist was able to programme Orion3 according to her gait, walking speed and weight. Overall, her first impression was how natural the movement felt.
One of Becky’s favourite features of Orion3 is the Enhanced Stability Performance, which enhances safety at all times. This is particularly useful when she is holding and sitting down with her youngest child, Max.
Becky explains: “It means I can spread the weight evenly between both legs and I’m less reliant on my good leg.”
Orion3 provides greater support and control than her previous leg and as a result, she is able to rely on her prosthesis more than before and it helps to look after her sound side, something that is important to her as she looks ahead to the future.
Before Orion3 Becky did not have the confidence to ‘step over step’ when walking downstairs but with progressive resistance Orion3 takes her weight as she steps down.
Becky also commented on her increased confidence when walking on uneven terrain thanks to stumble recovery that ensures knee stability in the event of a stumble.
In addition to this, when walking down a slope with the added weight of a buggy, Becky is confident that the knee is able to support her and feel like she is not running away with herself.
Becky explained the importance of confidence in her daily life: “You’ve got to have confidence when you’re walking and carrying a child or drinks or dinner.”
She also noted the long battery life, which is well suited to her active and busy lifestyle, adding: “I’m often walking around an estate when planning environmental projects at work” and “I visit the gym in the evening. I do use it an awful lot.”
Above all, Becky appreciates how much Orion3 has enhanced her confidence whilst also reducing how much she has to think about her gait in daily life. “It’s about not having to think about being an amputee and just go out and do what everyone else does.”
To find out more about the NHS eligibility criteria for a MPK or for more information on Orion3 click here.