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9

Glenn Bedwell’s Story

I am 62 years old, married with two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. I became a right above knee amputee in 1991 after being hit by a motor vehicle when packing the boot of my car.

Whilst recovering from the amputation my employer relocated me to Sydney so that I could continue to work in an office environment. It was then that I attended a clinic at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and met my Prosthetist David Howells and Physiotherapist Cathy Howells. To meet this amazing group of people whilst still coming to terms with my amputation and still in the process of learning to walk was like winning the lottery. From that day David Howells became my Prosthetist and Cathy Howells taught me to walk.

In 2012 I underwent Osseointegration surgery by Professor Munjed Al Muderis at Macquarie University Hospital Sydney. I have since been fitted with the RHEO KNEE® and PROPRIO FOOT®, which are both microprocessor in design and are programmed to my way of walking. One of the great benefits of this is that the RHEO KNEE can be adjusted to provide a more natural swing motion so that I do not experience any impact on full extension when walking. This is particularly important for me due to the direct attachment of the prostheses to the skeleton through the osseo integration.

As I am now retired and using the RHEO KNEE and PROPRIO FOOT daily, I wish to remain healthy and mobile into the future and this combination of knee and foot will help me do that. I exercise daily, walking a minimum of 10 kilometres at a time, which takes minimal thought and effort as the knee foot combination work extremely well together without conscious input by me. Walking feels both safe and comfortable for as far as I wish to travel, as the knee is always where it needs to be - providing me with all the safety and support, even on uneven ground.

Alongside this, the PROPRIO FOOT lifts the toe up as the leg swings through, to provide maximum ground clearance which is of great benefit when walking over broken or undulating ground as I never catch my toe or stumble. The PROPRIO FOOT also provides comfort in walking due to the cushioning and stability I feel at heel strike, and the power it provides me when I step off the toe. The foot will also adapt to the surface angle of a ramp or slope, meaning that more of my foot can be placed on the surface, making me feel much more stable and safe than any of my previous prosthesis.

I use the gym regularly and love having the option to utilise the resistance of the knee for certain activities and using various machines, and I can also turn it off into a freely swinging knee if I want to cycle.

The combination of RHEO KNEE and the PROPRIO ankle component works faultlessly together, allowing me to live an active life, even in my retirement! Almost as important as this is that the RHEO KNEE and PROPRIO FOOT will be there for me, even after I have had a few red wines!