Michael Schultz's RHEO KNEE® XC Story

At the age of 21, I was diagnosed with bone cancer affecting my right leg which led to limitations in my general mobility. I was not overly active during this period and was not as active as I wanted to be. I could not run, jump, or play sport, I was restricted to bike riding until about the age of 39 when my leg eventually failed again and had to be amputated. My surgeon did not recommend amputation, but eventually, they could not keep doing surgery because of the number of failures.  

Since the amputation, things improved steadily. I was introduced to Össur’s  Rheo Knee XC; I thought this was the most amazing thing I had tried. One of the greatest benefits when compared to my mechanical knee, was the reduction in energy expenditure. The smoothness of my walk meant I did not look like I was walking with a prosthesis, people only noticed if I wore shorts, not because my gait was odd. It increased my mobility and allowed me to be more active. I was able to walk long distances - well over 10km per day and up to 7km at a time! I began coaching my son’s basketball team and going to the gym.  I had been wearing this leg for roughly 12 months and was reaping the benefits. Exercise is important to me, and I can now exercise the way I want to and not the way I had to. The Rheo Knee XC made me the fittest and happiest I have been in the last 20 years.

Michael at Mobility Clinic 2022

Trialling the Cheetah® Knee and Cheetah® Xceed:

“It felt like nothing was going to stop me.”

Expectations or understanding expectations are important for new amputees. Once I understood what kind of timeline to expect, things were much smoother – the same could be said for my expectations at Mobility Clinic, and especially after speaking to CPO and Clinical Specialist; Sarah Mulroy-Lang about what to expect from attending Mobility Clinic.

I was introduced to Össur’s Cheetah Knee and Cheetah Xceed, a solution designed for running, which I tested for the first time at Össur’s Mobility Clinic 2022. Although I have been very pleased with the capabilities of the Rheo Knee which I have been using for the last 12 months, I was even more impressed after being introduced to the Össur Cheetah Knee and Cheetah Xceed. Within the first two-hour trial session using the combination, I was able to run for the first time in 20 years. In terms of the last two and a half years of experience as an Amputee, those two hours were the best! Exercise has always been a part of my life. As a kid and then as a PE teacher.  Being restricted in my movement for so long (the previous 20yrs) I had been resigned to helping others be active, rather than being active myself.  Running on that first day brought back memories of what it was like to move fast (even if I didn’t really). The freedom that comes from running is something everyone else takes for granted, but for an amputee, it is a blessing. It was not about feeling normal, it was about being equal.

Michael at Mobility Clinic 2022