The Ottobock C-Leg is the second-highest-rated bionic knee that we’ve seen in our User Satisfaction Reports in both general user satisfaction and brand loyalty, trailing only the Genium X3.
About This Report
Our mission at BionicsForEveryone.com is to help those with physical or neurological disabilities to understand their bionic technology options free of commercial influence. We do not sanction or promote specific bionic devices. Nor do we accept any form of payment from the makers of those devices. We serve only end-users under the mantra, “an informed patient is an empowered patient”.
The purpose of these User Satisfaction Reports is a) to create a platform that allows end-users to share helpful information, and b) to finally give end-users a true consumer voice that we hope will help shape the future of the bionics industry.
We drew the information for this report from our Ottobock C-Leg User Satisfaction Survey and also from various amputee support forums around the web. For more information, see How We Vetted The Information in This Report near the bottom of this page.
General User Satisfaction
This is obviously very positive feedback for the C-Leg, with 39 of 43 respondents saying that they are either Very Happy or Moderately Happy. What we found surprising is that even the 10 end-users who said they had their C-Leg repaired three or more times (see the next section) still said they were happy.
56 % of users reported having their C-Leg repaired at least once, 37 % said they had it repaired at least twice, and 25.6 % had it repaired 3 or more times.
These results would be terrible for most industries but they are not out of the ordinary for bionic limbs — a problem scientists and engineers are working on. But to be fair, the torque/stress placed on these devices (and on natural limbs) can be quite extreme. The important thing from a user standpoint is to a) expect some repair issues so you don’t get frustrated, and b) insist that the manufacturer and/or prosthetist have a loaner device you can use while yours is being repaired.
The good news for Ottobock is that only 1 person said they wouldn’t buy again.
We don’t put too much stock in the Not Sure category right now because replacement cycles are roughly 5 years and there are so many advances currently taking place that we think the prudent thing to do is to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.
Given this, having 56 % of respondents say that they would buy another C-Leg is impressive. The only bionic knee that scores higher is the Genium X3, which is at 71 %.
One of the most interesting parts of our survey is the free-form text area that allows end-users to say whatever they want about a device. Reading these, here are our general observations:
- A couple of users complained about the weight of the knee. This surprised us because, at 1.24 kilograms, the C-Leg is basically tied with the Plie Knee for the 2nd lightest bionic knee on the market, trailing only the Kenevo Knee. But excessive weight is still a common complaint for most bionic limbs despite the use of increasingly lighter materials.
- A few long-time users mentioned that they had experienced multiple glitches when they moved from the C-Leg 3 to the C-Leg 4. Since the C-Leg 4 was launched in 2015, we expect that Ottobock has resolved these glitches by now. However, the most recent end-user to complain about this got their C-Leg 4 within just the past few years, so this issue may still be worth discussing with your prosthetist if you’re planning a similar upgrade.
- As one might expect with such high satisfaction ratings, several users expressed their genuine affection for their C-Leg, relaying comments about how much it had changed their lives for the better. We look forward to the day when every end-user can say this about every bionic device!
We try to stay neutral on the specific brands/models of bionic devices that we review and let the data speak for itself. However, we think it’s fair to say that the C-Leg is a clear winner. And we say this not just based on our User Satisfaction Surveys, but also on the comments & feedback we get through amputee support forums. Speaking of that…
How We Vetted the Information in This Report
Most of the participants in our User Satisfaction Surveys for bionic limbs come from amputee support forums where we are very active. As such, we already know the participants.
In other cases, we contacted participants to ask for a link to an online profile so that we could verify they were real end-users.
Finally, to make sure that our results weren’t being gamed, we routinely monitor conversations about the C-Leg on various social media platforms and found those conversations to be consistent with our survey results. The only issue raised consistently about the C-Leg that wasn’t covered in our survey was a complaint about the cost of C-Leg accessories and/or replacement parts.
Why You Should Join Our Efforts to Share Information
Our User Satisfaction Surveys consist of only 4 multiple-choice questions and require less than 60 seconds to complete.
Why participate? Because your experiences may help a fellow end-user make more informed decisions.
To contribute to our C-Leg data, please see our Ottobock C-Leg User Satisfaction Survey.
The survey forms for most of the other bionic devices on the market can be found here.
Click here for our main article on the C-Leg.