Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My first full week on the Rush™ 87 foot

Generally, I do not trust reviews of any products until the tester has had enough time that the "newness" of their subject has had a chance to wear off. With the Rush™ 87 foot, that is a hard thing to do. I am a recent amputee. I have never had to walk on wood or foam feet, I have only had 2 other feet put on the bottom of my pylon, both of which were versions of the Kinterra™ foot by Freedom Innovations. I really liked that foot, too, but not as much as I like Ability Dynamic's Rush™ foot. I may have only had it a week, but I think it is great!

It is had to know where to start when discussing the foot. I can do so much more since I have acquired it. Standing still and being able to look up into the sky, especially at night was a very difficult task before I had the Rush™ foot. That sounds like such a simple thing, but I had trouble balancing. I would usually touch something to give me a reference point besides my "meat leg'. Even lightly touching another person's shoulder would let me keep my balance. With the Rush™ foot, I have the confidence to let go when I look up. The power return in the foot (toe) allows me to actually feel the amount of deviation from center, in a comfortable way that is much like what I get from my other leg. I know it is hard to explain, but if you are an amputee, you probably know what I mean.

Stairs still scare me, but I try
 to use them as much as I can
This is by far more comfortable than the feet I have had before, the roll-over and stability are more realistic as is the inversion and eversion of the foot. I am more stable on uneven ground than I have been in several years. In fact, I can only think of one area where I had any issue at all. Stairs.  I hate stairs. It is an obsession of mine to be able to use them like I used to. I have had several close encounters with injury and destruction on stairs, all of them thankfully only close calls. So when I got my Rush™ foot, this is one of the things I wanted to try.  I was in for a bit of a shock. The power return from the foot was a little more powerful than I was expecting, and I had to catch myself from launching into oblivion. As scary as my first attempt was, I have persisted until I acclimated to the way the foot reacts. Leg over leg going downstairs is not difficult, once you learn how the foot works and adapt your body to overcome the return. Do as Mama used to tell you: Stand up straight! Apparently, leaning forward moves you into the 'return' zone, but by standing straight, it offsets that feedback and allows the foot to support you. As always, make sure you have a good grasp on something stable and use 3 points of contact whenever you are on the stairs. I would even go so far as to tell you to have a partner when you start testing yourself on any uneven surface. Believe me, falling on stairs can ruin your day!

Ability Dynamics Twitter Crew Rocks!
One thing I must say: Ability Dynamics on twitter (@rushfoot) has been wonderful in both encouraging me to push hard to get the foot, and all their support when I have had any little question. When I posed the question about stairs to them, I had a response in less than an hour. Not information from some engineer, but rather from a fellow amputee who happens to be a clinical manager, who gave me advice to help me overcome some of the foot's abilities. I find their customer service is as good as their product and highly recommend them to anyone who asks.

I guess that the bottom line is: I feel that the Rush™ 87 is a fantastic product, and I promise, I will get some photos of some of the great places I plan on going with it soon. If you are a prosthesitist, I suggest that you use this foot as your 'go-to' foot for new amputees. It is easier to walk on, will take the new user into a place that they can trust their leg faster and with fewer problems. Just like their tag line says [It's] "Not Just Another Carbon Copy®"

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