Here we go again. Three weeks to the day Lowell got the brace back, a rivet broke in the ankle pivot point on the foot orthosis. This orthosis is a huge walking help for him as he is not able to raise his toes, and this orthosis keeps his toes slightly elevated so he doesn’t catch his toes and trip as he walks.
The ridiculous part of this, is that when he last sent the brace in with the snapped knee hinge, they were also supposed to replace the rivets as they were loose. However, rather than drill them out and put new ones in, they just mashed them a bit. Not a good idea period, but especially when the rivets are only made out of copper! They should be stainless steel. (Head banging on wall…)
So, I dropped it off yesterday to the brace lady in town (who is really choked at the manufaturer) and she will most likely replace the rivets so Lowell can get his brace back ASAP.
Stay tuned in for more updates as I’m sure this is not the “End of the Story”….
This is a continuation of “A Tale of Seven Braces“.
We tried to fix up an older brace, but it just wouldn’t do the job, so he’s back to his boat anchor. Unfortunately, it is not holding his knee right, but hopefully he won’t have to use it for long.
The fellow we deal with for Lowell’s braces, Andrew at Okaped, thinks there’s a lifetime warranty on the frame, so at least we can get that fixed while waiting for a new one. We are waiting to hear back from Lowell’s work, but getting a new one shouldn’t be an issue, it’s just getting the right one.
Pastor thinks brace companies should pay Lowell to test their braces out. Hee hee. Not a bad idea. They can call it the “Lowell Test.”
At 6’4″, my dh Lowell, is a pretty big man, and despite having a broken/fused spine, and a paralyzed leg with a brace, he is still very strong. Too strong for his own good sometimes, or should I say, too strong for his leg braces’ good?
Lowell had a car accident in 1984, and after several operations, he was able to function as a “walking parapeligic. Despite being battered and bruised, his basic physiology did not change. He is an ox and grows muscle by just being alive. I’ve never seen anyone that could build muscle without really trying. I joke about him maintaining his finger muscles just by stretching his hand out a couple times, and I know he has more muscle in his pinky than I have in my whole hand. (Me being a petite – but currently overweight – 5’3” frame.)
So here we go with….
“A Tale of Seven Braces”
Long, long ago, in a land far far way….Oh sorry, wrong story…
Brace #1 – Full length, bolted to orthepedic shoes, 3/4″ aluminum, ie. Boat Anchor/Dinosaur. – Fate – snapped in half within 1 year.
Brace #2 – Full length, bolted to orthepedic shoes, 1″ stainless steel, ie. Boat Anchor/Dinosaur – Fate – twisted beyond use in less than one year.
Conclusion: Bolting the brace to the shoe is probably not a good idea.
Brace #3 – Mid thigh to mid calf CTI composite skiing brace. Worked great for about 10 years, but had to nix it because it stopped holding his knee out of hyper-extension when the hinge broke. Best brace he ever had.
Brace #4 – Tried CTI again, but they couldn’t get the size right.
Brace #5 – Mid thigh to mid calf G2 with clam shell on calf and back strap to prevent hyper extending. Works okay but is a boat anchor and really saps his energy. Have been using it for about 5-7 years or so, and the clam shell is causing his nerves to flip out.
Brace #6 – Mid thigh to mid calf CTI composite skiing brace with a different design on the knee hinge. Destroyed it in one day!
Okay, that brings us to this year.
Brace #7 – Mid thigh to mid calf composite DonJoy skiing brace with a different design on the knee hinge. Lasted about 2 months. He snapped one of the side uprights yesterday while doing yard work.
Possible current solution? – Back to clam shell brace while we play with CTI braces that worked, but didn’t hold the knee and see if they can be modified to do so.