Our Lower Limb Prosthetics are custom designed and made for each amputee. Over the past couple of decades significant advancements have been made in terms of prosthetic components and socket design. The use of lighter and more durable materials has resulted in improved comfort and function. The socket design and the components determine the level of comfort and function we can expect from a prosthesis. We will briefly overview the components of the lower limb prosthetics.
The purpose of the prosthetic socket is to transmit forces from the residual limb to the prosthesis. A well-designed socket which is regularly reviewed or replaced as you change in shape will provide comfort and stability during walking and standing on a prosthesis. Your socket generally will be made of a combination of plastics, resin, fibre glass and carbon fibre to create a lightweight, durable prosthesis.
The interface/liner is intended to absorb shock and shear forces on the residual limb. It fits between your residual limb and the socket and can be made from various soft materials. Modern interfaces are generally constructed from silicon and urethane polymers, which help protect the tissue. They can also assist with suspension of the prosthesis by incorporating a pin that connects to a locking mechanism in the socket, or a seal which provides a negative pressure system.
The human foot-ankle is a very complex functional unit. It provides stability as well as flexibility, absorbs forces and utilises muscle to generate energy for efficient and comfortable walking.
Over the past decades we have witnessed major improvements in design and manufacturing of prosthetic feet, allowing much more energy efficient and natural walking. As each patient has different needs and lifestyles, it is vital to select the most appropriate prosthetic foot to achieve maximum comfort and function.
Knee mechanisms for trans-femoral (above-knee) amputees have also seen major technological advancement in the last decade, greatly improving safety and function. Microprocessor controlled knee units have led these advances.
Incorporation of hydraulic and pneumatic mechanisms allows modern knee units to adapt to variable cadence and assists walking on slopes and stairs. New design concepts for multi-axial knee units have seen increased stability without the accompanying instability downside of higher energy expenditure. Your prosthetist will work closely with you to find a prosthetic knee prescription that works best for your lifestyle and goals.
There are many different socket design styles, suspension methods, prosthetic feet and knee units, which your prosthetist will work closely with you to prescribe the most suited based on your level of amputation, functional capabilities, goals, daily activities and lifestyle.
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