A computer controlled prosthesis responds to the many different conditions an amputee encounters while walking throughout the day. Many non-amputees take for granted their ability to maneuver changing conditions of the ground surface while walking. For an amputee, things like carpet, steps, slopes, grass, crowds, can present significant challenges. Conventional prosthetic devices do not provide adjusted stability needed to accommodate these variables.
Stability when weight bearing, and efficiency with which the knee swings through are critically important to an amputee. The computer, analyzing data in the knee in real time, will predict what is going to happen on the next step and adjusts the knee resistances accordingly. This means increased trust in the prosthesis to perform correctly when an amputee needs it, providing a substantial difference in the life of an amputee who walks regularly.
A challenge with microprocessor controlled knees is that they are expensive. Because of the cost and moniker “advanced technology”, most insurances have cornered these devices, making them available to only the most functional and active amputees.
John Robb, CPO