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Brace/Device To Reduce Using One Foot??

Old 05-25-23, 03:05 PM
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Brace/Device To Reduce Using One Foot??

Hello everyone. Iím not sure if what I need already exists or if I need to somehow rig/design my own, so I hope someone here is willing to offer any advice or assistance in the matter. Thanks so much!

Long story short: 18+ months ago I nearly lost both of my legs when I was involved in a hit-and-run incident, when a large SUV hit me.
Even though the damage is mostly healed, to an extent, Iím having severe trouble using my left ankle/foot just to walk. Biking is currently impossible unless I can fix this problem somehow.

Iíve been trying to find (unsuccessfully) something that can somehow reduce (or eliminate?) the use of my left foot, by somehow enabling my knee and/or thigh to apply the needed force to my pedal. I thought of using a very long Velcro strap and securing it to the bottom of the pedal, then running it up the length of my calf, and securing it above the knee, but I feel like there might be something already designed for such an issue on the market somewhere.

If you know where I can buy something like this or if you have any ideas about how I could design my own, I would be greatly appreciative of any and all advice so that I could re-join the cycling community. Especially since I do not drive and need my wheels back in action so I can stop spending a fortune on ride-shares.

THANK YOU!! 🙂
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Old 05-25-23, 05:09 PM
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This is almost certainly going to have to be custom made for you; that said, it shouldn't be that hard. If you've seen the metal supported knee braces with the bands on the thigh and the calf, you'd basically need to take the lower half of the brace and extend the two alloy supports down to your heel. You'd need a firm platform to push the pedal at the location of the ball of your foot instead of straight down which would place the force at your heel area. Consult an exercise physiologist and an occupational therapist about this. If they push back, just say that you're going to do it regardless if they help or not, so it's better that they help you out.
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Old 05-26-23, 11:54 AM
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Your post intrigues me as an interesting engineering question, and I think of my father-in-law who had a fully-calcified ankle. Ankles are such a crazy joint. I'm sure, if you're here, you've already done a lot of looking. Seems like Ampt Biking out in Colorado would be an interesting phonecall. Van Raam is another. Freedom concepts. I specifically suggest calling places like this because they're always a "clearing house" for information and "yep, heard that before," is the conversation you want, right? You cite "2 custom builds" in your profile, so this is not your first rodeo and you've probably heard enough about recumbents and hand cycles and the like. I would call Calfee Design, they are an interesting place. Another "off beat" angle might be places like Winter Park, CO, where they specialize in adaptive skiing, and now appear to focus on a wide variety of adaptive year-round -- not that you want to go play there or anything, but you want to tap into their network - "We know a shop out here that does..." is your holy grail. Bicyclecolorado has an interesting page here . Post up with your progress, I think your journey is interesting.
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Old 05-26-23, 01:48 PM
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In this situation, are you using platforms, or are you using clipless?
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Old 05-26-23, 02:05 PM
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There are handcycles, and I think hand and foot cycles, so you could use your 1 good leg, and 2 arms. But, that would still leave out your second leg which probably needs as much exercise as you can give it.

As far as your bad leg, have you tried a "Moon Boot"? Perhaps one could be designed to support weight at the calf and above. That would be a basic thing to work out with the orthopedics with or without the bicycle. But, best if you could also incorporate something like a SPD cleat in it (allowing both walking and riding).

Not all bicycles function the same. There is an "ElliptiGo" based on a gym elliptical, and I believe also stair stepper derived bikes. I believe they are standing bikes. However, if you could tolerate gym equipment, then they'd be worth giving a try. They would also move how the body reacts to the bicycle.
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Old 05-26-23, 05:33 PM
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The Alenax bicycle has a drive system which might be slightly more suited to this since it does not require rotation, just simple up-down motion of the legs.
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Old 05-29-23, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
As far as your bad leg, have you tried a "Moon Boot"? Perhaps one could be designed to support weight at the calf and above. That would be a basic thing to work out with the orthopedics with or without the bicycle. But, best if you could also incorporate something like a SPD cleat in it (allowing both walking and riding).
I was thinking similarly in something like a low profile brace that any orthotics provider should be able to construct readily. Some ace bandage or elastics to keep in place and use a regular (if not larger size) shoe over it.
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