Prosthetic Knees

Prosthetic knees have had some impressive technological enhancements in previous decades and continue to do so. These improvements have helped enhance the functionality and safety of prosthetic knees. Most notably in these improvements is Microprocessor controlled knees (MPK’s). Other mechanical knees use the integration of hydraulic and pneumatic features which allows the knee units to adapt better to real-life situations and environmental changes which is imperative when walking on slopes, stairs, and uneven ground etc.

Single Axis and Multi-Axis Knees

The primary difference between prosthetic knees is whether they are single or multi-axial, which means they have a single hinge point or at multiple hinge points. Single Axis is the most common prosthetic knee joint. The majority of microprocessor knees as single axis. Multi axial knees (polycentric knees) can shorten the prosthesis when in swing, reducing the risk of tripping and falling. Polycentric knee units can meet the needs of various users from low to high activity. These are also a good option for people with long residual limbs, so the prosthetic knee does not stick our further than the sound side in sitting.

Some of our designs such as our recreational limb was put together for a client that has dreams about hitting the slopes and waves with their prosthesis.

Controlling a Prosthetic Knee

Prosthetic knees use a variety of strategies to control the way the knee behaves. Pneumatic knees use air to adapt their function such as when walking at different walking speeds. Hydraulic knees use fluid to adapt their function. Other varieties can utilise a combination of springs, friction and/or locks to control the function of the knee in a more basic way.

Not all knees use microprocessors and sensors to vary their function. These rely solely on alignment and the user to ensure the knee works correctly at different stages of walking.

Microprocessor Controlled Knees 

prosthetic knee

MPK’s use a computer and input from various sensors to continually change and optimise the knee function. These technological inclusions allow the knee to better adapt to real-life situations and environmental changes, allowing improved safety and function. Additionally, MPK’s have intuitive functions for going up and own stairs and ramps. MPKs can be programmed to specific activities such as cycling and running. Microprocessor knees can be heavier than mechanical knees and require charging. 

MPK’s are a great prosthetic knee for the appropriate person but are not appropriate for all users. Your prosthetist will work closely with you to find the most appropriate prosthetic knee based on your level of amputation, functional capabilities, goals, and activities that you enjoy. 

Along with the enhancements with prosthetic knees, there is now a variety of socket design styles, suspension methods, prosthetic feet. 

 

Prosthetic Fingers

The objectives in upper limb prosthetics is to meet the requirements for our clients work, lifestyle and recreational needs of each amputee in order to reach a pleasing outcome. Technological advancements over the decades  have been made in body powered prostheses, external powered prostheses, hybrid systems and the sockets & interface. Improvements made with upper limb prosthetics, specifically in myoelectric units has vastly increased the opportunities and possibilities for prothesis such as Prosthetic Fingers.

Body Powered Prosthesis

The most common type is the Body powered Prostheses. They allow their prosthetic user to control the terminal device (that being a hook, hand or prosthetic fingers) that fits around the users shoulder or chest via a harness. The body powered prosthesis is reliable, durable and can be used for places where dust and water are present though some have found it cumbersome and uncomfortable.

Externally Powered Prosthesis

Externally powered prostheses use a battery powered electric motor to control the terminal device, which removes the need for a harness. The sensors that are implanted in the socket, picks up an EMG signal on the skin and sends that signal to a processor which controls the functions of the motor. The motor then powers the elbow/wrist or terminal devices. Training with your prosthetist and occupational therapist along with the training apps which is essential to have a successful outcome. The apps available with the myo-electric have the option of allowing for custom movements or settings for specific movements that fit your needs in most cases. To be considered for a candidate for a Myo-electric there must be enough viable muscle sites.

Hybrid Systems

Hybrid Systems are a combination of externally and body powered prostheses. This specific type of prosthetics can be used for Trans-humeral (above-elbow) amputees. By allowing restoration of elbow and hand this has allowed one of our clients to get back on his motorbike. The elbow joint is controlled via a harness system and the hand or hook is controlled through an external power source such as myo-electrically.

Upper limb prosthetics is a highly customised process in not only the prosthesis itself but for the socket design as well. Being highly customisable allows the socket for your upper limb and prosthetic fingers not only for adults but for our paediatric clients as well. To find out more about our Upper Limb Prosthetics click here.

Prosthetic Fingers

 

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Prosthetic Foot

Prosthetic Foot & Ankle

The human foot-ankle is a very complex functional unit. It provides stability as well as flexibility and utilises muscle to generate energy for efficient and comfortable walking. Through the improvements and advancements in the making of the prosthetic foot made to the design and manufacturing of prosthetic feet. These improvements allow for much more energy efficient and improvements in walking.

Each client is unique and every one of them has different needs and lifestyles as it is vital to choose the most appropriate prosthetic foot to achieve maximum comfort and function. Material used in this prosthetic is lighter and more durable which results in an improved comfort and function. Not only just making prosthetic feet but the customisation of amputee fins for those clients who have a passion for getting into the water and swimming or surfing for example. To find out more about our Lower Limb Prosthetics click here.

prosthetic foot

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