Chase Blackman's Direct Socket & Pro-Flex LP Torsion Story
I began my journey as a transtibial (below knee) amputee in early 2019 because of complications following coronary bypass surgery in late 2018.
Due to my short stature and light bodyweight, it was a long process of trial and elimination when it came to finding myself the right componentry. My prosthetist and I trialled different prosthetic feet from many different manufacturers, and it took a while to find a prosthetic foot that met my personal requirements.
From the moment we put the Pro-Flex LP Torsion on for trial, even with my old carbon fibre socket, I knew we had found the right foot for me. It was a dream to walk on from the get-go. The Pro-Flex LP Torsion had a nice weight, it was responsive and smooth with amazing rollover. Finally! I’m comfortable and I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything. I’ve regained my life and much more! I look forward to each day – I’m happy, healthy, and ready to go.
The ankle motion of the Pro-Flex LP Torsion is amazing, combining both vertical and rotational shock absorption and eliminating vertical shock and rotational shear. This makes stepping up and down stairs a breeze and walking on varied uneven terrain effortless. From heel strike through midstance to toe-off, it’s fantastic and eliminates the need to overcompensate through my knee and hip. It is so comfortable even after a long, busy day walking 8-9 km.
I was quite apprehensive about getting new sockets due to my past experience with the conventional plaster casting and trial socket system. This can be a long and arduous process which were never a great fit for me personally. I always felt like I was wearing a bucket and developed pressure sores due to poor fitting, size reduction and having bony prominent areas. This impaired my ability to ambulate long distances and even short walks became unbearable on some days.
My life changed once I began seeing Lucy Smith at Peninsula Orthotics where she introduced me to Sarah Mulroy-Lang from Össur, and they suggested the Direct Socket System.
It is an extremely fun, interactive and fast process. We completed a thorough assessment of my residual limb, looking at current and potential pressure areas. Then from fabrication through to completion of my new legs, the process was simple and exceptionally quick. I learnt so much during the day and I was able to be involved in the process of making my new basalt fibre sockets. The major benefit I found was knowing how my new sockets would feel on using the pressure test. This allowed me to identify any pressure areas or discomfort prior to the resin setting stage.
The fit is perfect and they’re so light and comfortable that I don’t feel like I’m wearing anything compared to my previous prosthetics. The Direct Socket System provides the custom comfort, support, and sense of freedom I never had in my previous sockets. I can walk longer distances and even jog without any pain or discomfort. They also look so awesome that I’m more confident and happier to show them off. I love my legs!