KBTX - Brazos Valley Journal of Medicine - Headlines

Externally Worn Prosthesis

Mathew Zurcher talks about the latest technology in externally worn prosthesis.

Microprocessor control knees. They are like a cruise control for a prosthesis. It takes a lot of that thinking and a lot of that process out of the mix. What it allows the user to do is just concentrate on what they are doing and not having to be planting each and every single step.

It has four sensors that feed it into a microprocessor, hints the name. It feeds that information in and it’s monitoring that 50 times a second and it is determining where the limb is in space and what is functioning, and what is going on around it. And by doing that, it can plan for the next step.

It can sense when it needs to stiffen up to provide more stability. If it is going through tall grass, or it gets stubbed on the carpet, it can react to that. It can create stiffness in the knee and allow the user to compensate with their other leg and recover and not fall, as they would have in the past. It also allows for going step over step, down stairs, down ramps, which is a big thing.

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