The people behind the scene

You might meet the prosthetist at clinic for casting and then again some days later for fitting of your new prosthesis. But who’s behind the work that goes into each and every prosthetic?

Once the cast is back in the workshop it is filled with plaster to get the exact shape of the residual limb. The plaster mould is then modified by the prosthetist using measurements taking during casting.

Behind the scene

The socket needs to be laminated, aligned, grinded and then assembled. These processes are critical for each prosthetic in ensuring a good product. The time between the casting until fitting of the new prosthesis includes several hours of hard work.

We have a great group of technicians who play a crucial role in the manufacturing of the prosthesis. They work very hard during this process not to mention having to meet tight deadlines set by stressed prosthetists.

From the casting until you walk out with your new prosthesis you can be sure there is more than one person that has been involved in making your new prosthesis.

A big THANK YOU to the guys & girls behind the scenes!

Click through if you would like to “meet” some of the people behind the scenes at Northmead or in the Hunter 

Vala

 

 

 

 

 

Vala

 

Some colour anyone?

Ferrari

Pop Star

You may have noticed that over the past few weeks our technical gurus have made some really cool looking prosthetic sockets for some really cool people.

The options for the finish of a prosthetic socket are endless. Whilst most prosthetic sockets are made to approximate the human skin colour, the design of a prosthetic socket is an individual choice.Some examples you might have seen on our Facebook page are a very fast Ferrari running leg, a design that provides some extra exposure for a pop singer, an ode to all things pink and many, many more.

A commonly requested “finish” is the high gloss carbon fibre look or a socket that depicts favourite superheroes. Another regular is an “aqua” theme for waterproof or swimming prostheses.

Pinkie

The basic principle is that virtually anything that can be printed on a stretchy material, such as Lycra, can be used as the finishing design of a prosthetic socket. You can also have your socket made in any colour and choose between a high gloss and matt finish.

 

So, if you have thought about individualising your prosthetic socket, please speak to your friendly prosthetist about it and you are on the way to you unique piece of art.

So long

Stefan

Microprocessor Feet

I recently attended a product information session on Endolite feet presented by John Ross, a prosthetist from the UK. John introduced us to the Elan microprocessor foot. After the session I looked into what other microprocessor feet were available and found quite a few other interesting feet and have included a few of them below.

Unlike conventional prosthetic feet, which generally have a fixed ankle, microprocessor feet allow for the ankle position to be changed without the need of a ground reaction force.  The ankle is controlled by the microprocessor which adapts to type of ground to make walking more energy efficient and safer for the user.  This means that the ankle is able to automatically be moved into the position that you need, whether you are going up or down a hill, sitting in a chair or climbing the stairs.

 

Elan

The Elan by Endolite

 

 

The Elan by Endolite incorporates a carbon fibre foot with a microprocessor controlled hydraulic ankle unit. Sensors in the foot continuously monitor the environment and change the characteristics of the foot and ankle to offer the most energy efficient response to accommodate slopes and stairs. The microprocessor adjusts the hydraulic ankle unit in order to control dorsiflexion (toe-up) and plantarflexion (toe-down) of the ankle unit. This aids in optimising the loading of the carbon fibre foot on varying terrains, allowing it to store and release energy more efficiently through the gait cycle.

 

 

 

 

Proprio

The Proprio Foot by Ossur

 

 

Ossur’s Proprio Foot refers to proprioception, the sense of where a limb is in space, which enables the human body to react to its environment. It incorporates a carbon fibre foot with a microprocessor controlled hydraulic ankle unit. Sensors in the Proprio foot determine the direction and speed of the foot movement. The microprocessor then controls the angle of the ankle during swing phase (when the foot is off the ground) to help reduce falls. It also makes adjustments to accommodate differences in force, speed and terrain during stance phase (when the foot is on the ground) to create a more efficient gait. The Proprio foot will also accommodate a variety of shoes as it can be preset for shoes with different heel heights.

 

 

 

Powerfoot

The Power Foot by iWalk with the BiOM ankle

 

 

The Power Foot by iWalk with the BiOM ankle is the only prosthetic foot to provide active propulsion during the gait cycle. The Power Foot replaces the missing calf muscle and the Achilles tendon and allows the amputee to actively push off the ground resulting in the most energy efficient gait possible. The Power Foot generates energy for walking by using multiple springs and a small battery-powered motor.

Other microprocessor feet that are currently available or being trialled include the Raize by Fillauer and Magellan by Orthocare Innovations. As with any prosthetic component, these feet are not suitable for every amputee, and there may be something else more suitable for you. However, if you are interested in finding out more information on any of these feet, or other components, ask your prosthetist on your next visit.

 

 

Cheers

Michael Storey

Michael Torrens

 

 

 

What sport would you like to be involved in?

Moto Knee 2

Recently, a client came for a review of his Trans-femoral (above-knee) prosthesis.  He mentioned during the consultation about having seen a knee and foot that were suitable for motocross, skiing and other extreme sports (something he has quite an interest in).

We discussed the different options available for doing these kinds of sports and what type of prosthesis, including socket designs, components and materials may work.  From this a prescription was developed. The particular knee and foot that was decided upon was a Moto Knee and Versa Foot.

Versa foot

This is designed and manufactured in the US for the specific purpose of extreme sports – including water sports such as wake boarding – http://www.biodaptinc.com/.

We have recently fitted the finished prosthesis (following a couple of socket and alignment check fittings), and it is currently being trialed.

 

 

motorcross legHere is a picture of the prosthesis during the check fit stage (it looks even tougher with the finished carbon fibre socket attached!):

The client is really happy with the knee and foot for a number of reasons:

  • He finds that rather than just absorbing shock during knee bend, the knee actually assists him in returning from a crouched position to standing (particularly useful in extreme sports).
  • The foot also absorbs shock, allowing for a simulation of the normal knee and ankle function.
  • The myriad of customisable settings on the knee and foot give him the ability to tailor the settings to each individual activity.
  • The knee can be used in water sports as well.

If you are interested in finding out about this particular knee and foot or other components like them that would help you with your sport, ask your prosthetist for more details.

As with any prosthetic component, this is not something that is suitable for every amputee, and there may be something else more suitable for you.

Paul

Paul Nixon_1

 

 

 

 

 

Please note: The Moto Knee & Versa Foot is NOT available under the NSW PLS.

 

Children’s Prosthetic Options

An Arm for Master S – First Fitting with Cameron Ward

Back in September I had the pleasure of helping a young guy – Let’s call him Master S.  At the time only 7 months old, Master S is the youngest person I have ever fit with a prosthesis.

Fitting young children often comes with its many challenges; particularly in the early days, as the child gets to know the strange person who is trying to attach a foreign object to their body.

Casting can be a harrowing experience for Prosthetist and child alike as it is not often something they enjoy and for the best results the residual limb being cast needs to be held still.

Master S was different right from the start, a really happy boy with a big smile.  Instead of normal difficulties when casting an upset child who is thrashing about, Master S instead found the whole process funny and the casting itself another form of tickle torture!

From the cast, the tiniest and cutest prosthesis I have ever made was then created.  We used a custom silicone interface to suspend the prosthesis and provide the perfect connection between the socket and his smooth 7 month old skin – It was so small it fit into the palm of my hand!

Smallest Arm I've made

Smallest Arm I’ve made

The fitting process was even more memorable to me, as instead of pulling his arm straight off and throwing it on the floor, he again found it entertaining that he had a new toy connected to him and that it moved with him.

It meant so much to me to be able to provide something for this little guy and his lovely parents  – I think this video says it all and I hope it you enjoy watching it as much as I do!

Cam

 

 

 

APC Prosthetics Movember Campaign

APC Thomo

Dave Thomas – Mo Man

For those of you who don’t know, my gorgeous wife Isobel works extremely hard for Movember Foundation, the global men’s health charity which started here in Australia. Every year Movember aims to raise vital funds & awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer & mental health. The aim is to challenge men to grow their best “mo” for the 30 days in November, & to encourage family, friends, workmates, bosses, businesses (basically anyone!) to sponsor their efforts. It’s a fantastic initiative which not only raises funds for specific programs but also promotes conversation & awareness of these men’s health issues which often get swept under the carpet.

As our way of supporting Izzy and the Movember team, APC Prosthetics has launched our very first Movember Challenge! We have recruited all of the APC men in a test to see who can match the most famous of APC Mo’s – belonging of course to David Howells!

We would love your support, so please check out our team page where you can keep up-to-date with our progress and make a donation to the APC Prosthetics team, or choose your favourite & donate to them….http://au.movember.com/team/1077161

All donations – big & small – are warmly appreciated, but the main aim is to promote conversation. Chat to the men in your life and encourage them to go and have a check-up or to seek the help that they may need.

 David Thomas – APC Prosthetics & Movember – Changing the face of men’s health!

Save the date: Thursday 28th March 2013 Bandaged Bear Breakfast

It’s on again….APC Prosthetics are holding their 3rd Breakfast for  the Bandaged Bear Appeal.

This year it’s on Thursday 28th March 2013 starting at 8am.

Let’s see how much we all can raise this year at our Bandaged Bear Breakfast.

Everyone is welcome so spread the word and help us raise some money for the kids.

All the money we raise goes direct to “The Limb Deficiency Clinic” @ The Children’s Hospital, Westmead.

Click here for your Invitation

Merry Christmas

We wish to advise that we will be closed from Friday 21st December 2012
& we will re-open on Monday 14th January 2013.

Wishing You a Merry Christmas & A Safe and Happy New Year.
The Management & Staff

APC Prosthetics

Christmas 2012

Amp Camp 2013 Amp Camp 2013 will be held 8th-10th March 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss out on next years camp…..now is the perfect time to get your applications in. The brochure and application forms below so download yours now and send them off. Travel assistance is available for interstate and rural attendees, with full travel costs covered.

Amp Camp 2013 Brochure

Application form 2013

Travel Assistance Application form 2013
Remember Applications close 10th January 2013.