In this video we are talking about proper Donning (putting on) techniques for your liner and prosthetic. As well as maintenance of liners. If you have any video topic suggestions or questions email them to: ALECM@FITPROSTHETICS.COM
We’ve come a long way medically, especially in the area of prosthetics. Amputees have more mobility and more options than ever before. If you are looking into purchasing a below-the-knee prosthesis, it can seem overwhelming at first. The team at FITProsthetics is here to help.
Here are some answers to common below-the-knee prosthesis questions to help you get accustomed to your new normal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need a Prosthesis?
You do not necessarily need a prosthesis. Some people find it challenging to work with one, and others find having a prosthesis unnecessary. However, it can become a handy tool, especially for active people, and most people opt to move forward with a prosthesis.
What Is the Process of Getting a Prosthesis?
1. Allow your amputation to heal: An amputation requires extensive recovery, and this will take time. To best expedite the process, you should follow your doctor’s orders on caring for your injury. Maintenance consists of keeping the area clean and changing bandages when necessary.
2. Go for several fittings: Fitting a prosthesis requires a lot of detail. The measurements are exact, and your prosthesis will be custom-made. It will take several fittings with your prosthetist to get everything right for you.
3. Get your prosthesis made: When your prosthetist gets the right measurements, many companies will send the information to an outsourced fabrication company that will make the prosthesis. However, FIT Prosthetics provide in-house fabrication of the prosthesis ensuring a high quality, custom fit for every client. The most common materials used to make prostheses are acrylic resin, silicone, and aluminum.
4. Physical therapy: To adjust to using your prosthesis, your doctor will advise you to go to physical therapy. Physical therapy will teach you to walk and get through daily life with your new prosthesis, which can be quite challenging. Some common challenges people experience when trying a new prosthesis include pain, excessive sweating, and improper fit. With time, all necessary corrections will be made, and you will learn to walk with ease.
What Are the Different Components of a Prosthesis Leg?
There are three components of the prosthesis, including the prosthesis itself, the socket, and the suspension. A prosthetic leg is made from lightweight materials and may contain ankle joints. The socket is the molding that fits over your residual limb and attaches the prosthesis to your leg. Once snugly placed, the suspension system is what keeps the leg attached to the body. The suspension system will use a sleeve suction, vacuum suction, or distal locking method.
What Is a K Level?
A K level rates your likelihood to use your new prosthetic limb successfully on a scale from 0–4, and your doctor determines the rating. Your insurance company will use it in part to assess what they will and will not cover. The K level can change after physical therapy and time. The different K levels are as follows:
● K0 Level: The patient cannot utilize a prosthesis, so it will not improve their quality of life.
● K1 Level: The patient can utilize the prosthesis on even surfaces when walking at a steady pace.
● K2 Level: The patient can utilize the prosthesis when they encounter low obstacles, such as curbs and stairs.
● K3 Level: The patient can utilize the prosthesis in almost all environments and conditions.
● K4 Level: The patient can utilize the prosthesis to the point that it exceeds conventional mobility abilities.
Is My Prosthesis Covered by Insurance?
Coverage for your prosthetic leg depends on numerous variables including your injury, your insurance plan, and your specific goals. Since each situation is unique, it’s essential to talk to your insurance agent in detail about what is and is not covered. Relay this information word-for-word to your doctors so that they can help you focus on what is covered.
How Do I Care for My Prosthesis?
Your prosthesis needs regular maintenance, just like many other parts of your body. You need to clean your prosthetic limb every day without using chemicals. You need to fully dry it before using it again, so it’s best to clean your prosthesis right before bed. Also, make sure always to wear the same heel height when using the prosthesis, as it was designed explicitly with those measurements.
What Do I Do if Something Happens to My Prosthetic Leg?
Like anything else, your prosthetic leg can experience failure. When this happens, you want to be prepared with a bag filled with tools you may need to switch back to walking without the prosthesis.
Next, you need to immediately call your prosthetist and explain the problem to see what steps to take next. Depending on the issue, you may need to send the prosthesis out for repair or even get a replacement. However, some problems only require a quick fix from your doctor.
Getting a prosthesis can be scary and life-changing, but it will show you that life does go on after a serious accident. However, it takes hard work, patience, and a little bit of pain. We at InMotion Prosthetics are here to help make the transition as effective as possible with high-quality products and world-class staff.
Call or email us at FIT Prosthetics today to learn more! We can answer any questions you have about prosthetics and advise you more on the process of getting one.
The Agilix™ is a multi-axial, shock absorbing flexible foot system designed to manage loading impacts, reduce socket shear forces and improve comfort while walking on nearly any terrain. The ultra-lightweight design offers K3 ambulators shockingly comfortable performance at a value like no other.
•Vertical shock absorption and carbon fiber flexibility optimized for low to moderate impact K3 ambulators; reduces socket shear forces and improves overall comfort.
•Multi-axial function increases ground compliance and stability; Streamlined, split-toe design results in improved long-term durability, saving time and money.
•Full length dynamic heel attached at the toe ensures a seamless roll-over, for superior comfort and a more symmetrical gait.
•Lower profile and lighter weight than the competitive alternative, allowing users to do more and feel less tired at the end of the day.
The Agilix is a great foot for new users. It is very light but also super strong and durable. The heel and toe being one solid piece of carbon makes for a very smooth and clean rollover. Allowing you to continue your momentum forward, and have a more natural gait. The vertical shock absorption makes for a very soft landing in your socket. Which is something we all can appreciate. This is a great foot for K2-3 users looking for a safe, comfortable step.
Microprocessor technology is one of the most important advancements in prosthetic science. In recent years, microprocessor technology has revolutionized prosthetics for lower limb loss amputees, providing better stability, more natural movement and better functional outcomes for wearers.
Below, we compare mechanical and microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee joints, and explore some of the best microprocessor knee joints on the market.
Mechanical + Microprocessor Prosthetic Knee Joints
Until recent years, transfemoral amputees relied on mechanical prosthetic knee joints in their lower limb prosthetic systems.
Mechanical knees can be broken down into single-axis and multi axis knee joints.
Single-axis prosthetic knees are simple hinges that require the wearer to use their own body weight to control stability during the stance phase. Single-axis knees typically incorporate constant friction and do not adjust to the wearer’s gait cycle or speed. This can limit the activity level of amputees who choose single axis prosthetics. For instance, it may be difficult for amputees with these prosthetics to easily walk on outdoor terrain. Additionally, most single-axis knee joints feature a manual locking system, which can create an awkward gait and may increase the risk of stumbling during walking.
Multi-axis prosthetic knees provide more functionality during movement, often incorporating hydraulic swing control to adjust to the wearer’s gait during the stance and swing phases. Many multi-axis prosthetic knees have a hydraulic or fluid resistance swing control, allowing for more walking speeds. However, because they have more components, these prosthetics are heavier and require more maintenance.
Microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee joints (MPKs) contain micro processing units within the knee itself. These units provide real-time adjustment to the knee’s behaviors, based on the numerous moment-by-moment needs of the wearer. MPKs automatically adjust tension or flexion within the knee in response to a variety of factors, including weight-bearing load, velocity and position of the knee.
These features help create a more natural gait cycle. They also closely mimic the mechanical functions of an anatomical knee, reducing the physical strain on the amputee’s body during use.
Different Types of Microprocessor-Controlled Knees (MPKs)
Ottobock C-Leg®, which debuted in 1997, was the first prosthetic knee joint that was controlled by microprocessor technology. The C-Leg® remains one of the most reliable MPKs on the market, with advanced technologies and greater functionality than other models.
Ottobock also produces the Genium X3, the world’s most technologically advanced microprocessor prosthetic leg. The Genium X3 is the result of collaboration between Ottobock and the United States military for the Military Amputee Research Program. It is designed for high levels of physical activity. The X3 is waterproof, allowing for activities like swimming, boating and working in wet conditions. The X3 includes additional advanced technology, like a gyroscope and accelerometer, to further improve the wearer’s natural gait.
The RHEO KNEE® from Össur is an advanced microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knee for people who have undergone transfemoral amputation. This MPK is waterproof, and provides technological advances that make controlling the knee easier than ever.
Should You Choose a Microprocessor Prosthetic Knee?
If you’re a transfemoral amputee, you may wonder if an MPK is the right choice for your prosthetic device.
Many elderly or homebound individuals who have lower activity levels don’t require the high level of functionality offered by an MPK. Similarly, a younger person who enjoys sports or high levels of physical activity may not be satisfied with a traditional mechanical prosthetic knee.
Before prosthetic fitting, every amputee should discuss his or her activity levels, physical fitness levels and goals for their prosthetic device with their doctor and prosthetic team. Together with your healthcare and prosthetic team, you can decide which lower limb prosthetic device best meets your needs and expectations.
If you’re a lower limb amputee in Salt Lake and surrounding areas, FITProsthetics can help you throughout the process of choosing, fitting and adapting to a new prosthesis.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a prosthetist.
If you are an amputee, you may have asked yourself whether a prosthetic limb may be suitable for you. There are some benefits and drawbacks that come with a prosthetic. Continue reading to learn more information that lower limb amputees should know.
Prosthetics Aren’t for Everyone
Many people find prosthetic legs to be life changing. However, not everyone who has lost a lower limb can benefit from a prosthetic. If you are thinking of getting a prosthetic leg, it is important to talk to your doctor about the issues that come with using a prosthetic.
To use a prosthetic limb, you will need a certain amount of soft tissue to cushion your bone. You will also need to discuss the amount of pain you experience. The limb’s skin condition also plays a role in whether you can use a prosthesis. There is also the question of the health of your other leg.
You will need to discuss with your doctor how active you were before the amputation, as well as what mobility goals you have. If your amputation is below the knee, it is easier to use a prosthesis in comparison to an amputation above the knee. An intact knee joint means more mobility and less effort when walking compared to a missing knee joint.
The reason for the amputation can also be a factor because it is a component in figuring out if the residual limb is healthy. Your lifestyle choices and physical health are also things to discuss with your doctor. A sedentary person who lost their leg to diabetes will have a harder time with a prosthesis than an active individual who lost their leg in a car accident.
Your doctor can give you some perspective and help you decide if a prosthesis is right for you. Each person’s situation is different, but your doctor has more insight through working with other patients.
To find a prosthetic leg that fits you right, you will have to communicate with your prosthetist who can help you decide what components are right for you. It is important to choose a prosthetist you feel comfortable with. You may end up cultivating a lifelong relationship with your prosthetist as your needs will continue to change over the years.
Getting the Right Fit for Your Prosthetic
Now that your doctor has prescribed a prosthetic leg, your journey begins. It may feel overwhelming to start the process because you are new to it. Finding out how the prosthetic leg works is a good way to start.
Prosthetic legs are made of materials that are meant to last, are durable, and lightweight—typically, plastic is a commonly used material. The place where you were amputated determines if the leg has ankle joints or a knee that functions. Your residual limb fits snugly in the socket of the prosthesis because the socket is a mold of your residual limb.
The prosthesis attaches to the body with the suspension system. Vacuum suction, sleeve suction, and distal locking are different options for the suspension system. To find out which is the best option for you, it is important to work with your prosthetist.
Rehabilitation Plays a Big Role
Once you have made your choice regarding your prosthesis, you must go to a rehabilitation center.
During rehabilitation, you’ll be learning how to walk again. You will also be building up the strength in your arms, legs, and heart. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and doctors will help you create a custom plan, so you can work toward your mobility goals. Mainly, you want to keep your other leg healthy. Using a prosthetic limb can help make that possible.
Having a team of healthcare professionals support you during the recovery process of losing a limb is very important. These professionals are going to come together to build a plan that is beneficial for you.
It’s Hard to Use a Prosthetic Leg
Using a prosthetic leg can be challenging. Even after you have finished rehabilitation, you may come across some issues.
A common issue that may come up is excessive sweating. Not only can it impact the way the prosthesis fits, but it can cause skin issues. Another issue is the changing shape of the residual limb. The residual limb will change shape throughout the first year after you have an amputation. This change can affect the way the socket fits. If your residual limb is weak, it may take a while before you can use your prosthesis for an extended period.
If you suffer from phantom limb pain, it may affect your use of a prosthetic leg. Mirror therapy is one tool used to help with phantom limb pain. When you exercise in the mirror, you can trick your brain into thinking your amputated leg is still there, which lessens or stops the pain.
If you have neuroma or sciatica, your phantom pain could be stemming from this. Once you figure out what is triggering your phantom pain, you may be able to eliminate it.
Your Needs Will Continue to Change
While your residual limb is stabilizing, you will be using a temporary prosthesis. The temporary prosthesis is only meant to be used for a few months. After that, you’ll transition to another prosthesis that lasts between three and five years.
If you have used your prosthesis in a way that it was not designed for, this can cause pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort, you may need to have your prosthetist evaluate the prosthesis and address your needs.
The prosthetist may try to adjust or replace parts of the prosthetic limb. You will also get a prescription from your doctor for another prosthetic leg. Make sure to set aside time to learn how any new components work. Physical therapy is important in working with new components.
Year after year, prosthetic technology is continuing to develop. For example, microprocessor joints have sensors that allow a person using them to walk more naturally. The joints will also adjust based on the kind of surface you are walking on, including stairs.
You can also use a prosthetic leg for activities and sports you like to engage in. They have prostheses for swimming and running. Your everyday leg can also be modified by your prosthetist for use in a variety of different situations.
If you don’t want to use a socket, you can have osseointegration surgery. The surgery involves putting a metal implant in the bone of the residual limb. After this surgery, the leg can connect with the implant. There are still a lot of studies around this metal implant. However, it does improve your sensory function and range of motion.
Making a Decision
When deciding what is best for you, a team of medical specialists can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option and make the best choice for your lifestyle. It will be up to you to figure out if prostheses are right for you. You will have to consult with a prosthetist on the right prosthesis for your lifestyle.
FITProsthetics offers clients cutting-edge prosthetic technology. Contact us today to learn more about the prostheses we offer. Once we have built you a prosthesis, we help you along the way through rehabilitation as well. Our goal is to serve you in all aspects of the process.
What is Phantom Limb Pain?
Phantom Limb Pain or PLP is one of the more strange/frustrating things we have to deal with as amputees. I remember waking up after amputation and feeling so frustrated with the pain I still felt in the calf I had just departed from. The feeling was intense and to this day can still catch me off guard at the right times. Over time, as I learned more about my body and how it would respond to different triggers, I have been able to get more control over my PLP. But that is not to say I don’t have it at all… at the time of writing this I’m running on two hours of sleep. Battling electric spikes and nails in my toes all night is nothing new, especially in the spring and fall when the weather is making its drastic changes.
I have had Doctors explain PLP as your brain searching for your missing limb. It is likely a result of mixed signals coming from our brain or spinal chord. Phantom Pain is hard to quantify. Two amputees could be talking about their PLP, and to them it feels like they’re talking about the same thing. But in reality they are feeling very different things. It’s just hard to really know. We do know that there can be a number of different triggers for PLP.
Some of these triggers can include: Touch, Urination/Defecation, Sexual Intercourse, Nicotine, Changes in Barometric Pressure, and Exposure to Cold. To name a few… I know for me the changes in pressure is the biggest trigger, and once that starts urination will fire it off for sure (sorry if that is too much info). Learning what triggers your Phantom Limb Pain is the biggest key in treating it, I have learned.
Treating Phantom Limb Pain
Medications for PLP
Establishing a plan with your Doctor is key. In order to get the most effective treatment. There are a number of different medications being used to treat PLP today. These medications are used to specifically interrupt the pain signals in your brain or spinal cord. Some categories of medications you could be prescribed include:
- Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Opioids (narcotic pain medications)
- Muscle relaxants
Therapies for PLP
Medications may not be the answer for everyone, or may not be the answer on their own. There are a multitude of other therapies that amputees have found beneficial for treating their PLP, including:
- Massage of the residual limb
- Use of a shrinker
- Repositioning of the residual limb by propping on a pillow or cushion
- Mirror box therapy
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
- Virtual reality therapy
Phantom Limb Pain + You
I have found that a combination of medication and different therapies works well for me. Especially, a TENS unit on the nights that get really bad. No two amputees are the same. Therefore, What works for treating my PLP may end up being a trigger for you! The only way to know is to test it. Pay attention when you have spikes in PLP. Note what you may have eaten that day, what the weather was like, or how much physical activity you may have done. All of these things can contribute to your PLP, and also be a solution. Be sure to speak with your Doctor if you’re experiencing Phantom Limb Pain.
For more information, check out the link to the amputee coalition page below:
KENEVO: Prosthetists around the world told us that they were looking for an intelligent system for people with lower mobility grades – a system that grows with the abilities that the user gains during rehabilitation, for example, and that adapts just as well when mobility decreases. Users wanted a knee joint that would support them in their specific movement sequences but with a clear focus: on safety. Kenevo was inspired by this desire. It is the first prosthetic fitting solution in the world with state-of-the-art technology developed specifically for the needs of users with mobility grades 1 and 2.
C-LEG4: The Ottobock C-Leg is the original microprocessor knee. Since its launch in 1997, the C-Leg has set the standard for every other knee available, and is the world’s most studied prosthetic device. Our research proves that with C-Leg, you will experience less falls. Because of the increased safety, your confidence in the knee will give you the freedom to no longer think about how or where you walk.
GENIUM: With an unprecedented, natural gait pattern, taking stairs step-over-step, overcoming obstacles, walking backwards, relaxed standing – to name just a few examples. People with a transfemoral amputation experience a range of new functions that provide perfect support for their desire to live a more active and independent everyday life. Based on human movement as the model, the Genium has been developed even further. The result is a noticeably smoother gait and even better support and safety in everyday situations, for instance on ramps, in confined spaces or when changing walking speeds.
X3: The X3 has now been developed even further for smoother, more intuitive walking, improved safety, and better support in everyday situations. Building on the unique functionality of the Genium leg prosthesis, the X3 is particularly robust and resilient. Physically demanding occupations, an active family life, swimming and sports activities, seaside holidays and situations where you encounter water, dust, sand, dirt, or grime – these are the ideal conditions for the X3.
KENEVO: I love this knee for our lower activity users (K1-2)! It is a great MPK (MicroProcessor Knee) for those of us that are looking to be safe and stable in everyday life, but don’t want to be held back by the functionality of our equipment. The KENEVO uses the same MicroProcessor technology as the C-LEG, with emphasis on safety and comfort. I really love how safe it feels when taking short steps. It makes things like shuffling/walking around in the kitchen or bathroom as smooth and safe as any knee on the market.
C-LEG4: The C-Leg is the king of MPK’s. Not only has it been on the market the longest, it probably is the most common MPK used by AK’s. It is a great knee for active users because of it’s weatherproofing, and preconfigured modes that you can access through the “Cockpit” app. This knee has modes like “Biking” or “Running” that allow the knee to respond correctly during each activity, opening up the possibilities of what you are capable of on your every day device.
GENIUM/X3: The Genium and X3 are the most robust knees on the market today. I love both of them for the most active of users, as well as those of us that want to push boundaries every day. The X3 is the same basic knee as the Genium with a couple of cosmetic improvements like a rubber casing, so you can really beat it up and not worry. These knees have a “Relaxed Standing” function that allows you to lock the knee out at whatever angle you need in that moment, creating a safe/comfortable stance. They also have a “Step over Step” function. Which allows you to climb steps and curbs step over step, although it still does take a lot of strength and coordination.
If you’re a lower limb amputee in the Salt Lake area, you may have questions about the fabrication process, fit and functionality of a custom lower limb prosthesis. FIT Prosthetics specializes in state-of-the-art lower limb prosthetics to help each of our clients get back to active, independent living.
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about lower limb amputation and prosthetics..
What Are the Different Types of Lower Limb Amputation + Prosthetics?
A lower limb prosthesis is an artificial limb designed to replace the functionality of an amputated leg. Lower limb prosthetics can replace a leg that’s been amputated at the hip, above the knee, below the knee or at the ankle. The type of amputation a patient undergoes determines the type of prosthetic device they need.
Hemipelvectomy or hip disarticulation amputations remove the entire leg at the pelvis or at the hip joint. Individuals who have undergone hemipelvectomy or hip disarticulation amputation have lost three major weight-bearing joints: the hip joint, knee joint and ankle joint.
As a result, prosthetics for hemipelvectomy or hip disarticulation patients are more complex than other leg prosthetics. This means they require specific and meticulous customizations. These prosthetic devices must sit to the front of the hip socket to provide stability when standing. They must also provide adequate weight distribution when the wearer is sitting, as well as movement in the knee and ankle joints to recreate the biomechanical functions of a leg.
Individuals who have undergone amputations at the hip may face considerable challenges in re-learning movement and sitting while wearing their prosthetic device. Customization of the socket and ongoing support from a prosthetic team is a huge part of success with these high-level amputations and prosthetics.
Above-the-knee prosthetics, also known as transfemoral prosthetics, are artificial limbs that replace part of the thigh, as well as the knee, shin, ankle and foot. These prosthetics fit over a patient’s residual limb through a custom socket and feature a prosthetics knee and ankle joint that allow biomechanical movement of the prosthetic leg. Individuals who have undergone transfemoral amputation have typically had some or most of their femur (thighbone) removed, but they still have a residual limb and maintain use of their hip joint.
Below-the-knee prosthetics are worn by individuals who have undergone transtibial amputation. These prosthetics replace the leg below the knee joint and consist of a socket, shin tube (pylon), and prosthetic foot. The socket for these prosthetics will be customized to the shape and size of the wearer’s residual limb to ensure a comfortable, stable fit.
Foot prosthetics replace any part of a foot that has been removed in amputation. There are many levels of foot amputation, including Chopart, Lisfranc, Transmetatarsal and toe amputations. Depending on a patient’s level of foot amputation, they may receive a partial or full foot prosthesis.
When Should Lower-Limb Amputees Begin the Prosthetic Process?
In addition to its impact on the body, limb loss can have major emotional and psychological effects on a person. As such, it’s important for all amputees to have necessary education, support and resources leading up to their surgery, during recovery, and as they continue to heal.
It’s important for patients awaiting a scheduled amputation to discuss their concerns for healing, pain management and rehabilitation goals with their surgeons. Many patients in the pre-amputation waiting period also opt to seek a pre-amputation evaluation and assessment with a certified prosthetist. Completing an initial evaluation with a prosthetist can help many patients feel more confident and hopeful as their surgery approaches.
Post-amputation healing and rehabilitation allows amputees to work with their care team on regaining range of motion and functional mobility in their residual limb. Wound care, ongoing education and psychological support is vital during this period. This process typically begins about five days after an amputation surgery.
Many patients opt to move forward with pre-prosthetic training as soon as their amputation wound has adequately healed. A temporary prosthesis may be fitted in as little as three weeks after surgery. For patients who opt to wait until their wound has completely healed, the process may take up to six months.
Pre-prosthetic training prepares a patient’s residual limb for prosthetic fitting. This typically involves strengthening the muscles in the residual limb, core, back and other parts of the body. Pre-prosthetic training also involves shaping the residual limb, managing pain levels, and practicing good skin care to ensure the residual limb is ready for fitting.
During the prosthetic fitting process, a certified prosthetist takes a mold of the residual limb using 3D imagery or plaster materials. 3D imaging provides a quicker, more pleasant casting process and allows the prosthetist to alter the mold for a better stump fit.
Once the temporary prosthesis is complete, patients work with their prosthetics team to adjust the fit, feel, and functionality of their device. This is often a time-consuming process requiring multiple alterations and changes to the prosthetic device. The goal is to create a prosthesis that allows an amputee to achieve comfortable movement in line with their activity goals.
An amputee’s relationship with his or her prosthetist and prosthetic team often lasts years. As a patient’s body, activity levels, and personal goals change, they often need their prosthetics team to make adjustments to their prosthetic socket or materials.
It’s important for every amputee to find an experienced, trustworthy prosthetics team that will make every effort to help them meet their goals after amputation.
Lower Limb Prosthetic Services at FIT Prosthetics
FIT Prosthetics is located in Murray, Utah. But we service all over the state, and neighboring states. Our team is dedicated to helping amputees throughout pre-amputation, prosthetic fitting and fabrication, and ongoing prosthetic management.
We provide lower limb amputees with evaluation, fitting and on-going prosthetic support to help each individual achieve the best fit and functional outcome for their unique situation.
Contact us today to schedule an initial evaluation or to learn more about our services.
What Are Motion Control Prostheses?
Nearly 2 million people in the United States have experienced limb loss. Thankfully, losing a limb does not mean losing your independence, as technological advancements have brought about viable solutions for everyone.
Historically, hand amputees wore hook prostheses to control their limbs’ movements. Today, with motion control prosthetics, you can engage in a variety of activities as before, when you lost your arm. Here is everything you need to know about this fantastic advancement.
What Are Motion Control prostheses?
A prosthesis is an artificial body part that can be used to replace a lost limb due to disease, trauma, or congenital disorders. The motion control hand features machine-controlled fingers, multi-flex wrist options, and a wide opening. It offers a blend of functionality and natural appearance.
The prosthesis mimics the anatomy and motion of the missing body part by using the nerve impulses and electrical impulses of the residual limb to power the prosthesis. They’re run by highly sophisticated rechargeable batteries, which power the connecting transmitters.
How Does It Work?
Today, there are various consciously controlled prosthetic limbs where patients have control over the sensations, movements, and experiences. The type of prosthesis and the location of the missing limb will determine what type of prosthesis should be used.
The process involves connecting the prosthesis onto a bone on the stump of the amputated limb. To create an electrical interface, the specialist will implant electrodes in the nerves and muscles adjacent to the amputated limb with a connector embedded near the end of the screw. Neuromuscular electrodes will connect with sensors in your body, allowing you to control limb movement with your mind.
When you engage a specific muscle in your residual limbs, the sensors will detect electrical signals and pass them on to the controller, which will then tell the electric motors to move the implant joints. The limb will move and react as a natural arm does based on the user’s mental and physical stimulus.
In contrast, when there is a touch sensation from the prosthetic limb, the control system converts the electrical signals to stimulate the residual limb stump’s nerves. It sends signals to the brain, which interprets the sensation as pressure. You can even alter your existing functional muscles’ intensity to increase your prosthetic limb’s speed, strength, and grip.
Unique Motion Control Hand Features
One key feature of this technology is the ability to auto grasp. The prosthetic limb can automatically adjust tension when it detects changes in circumstances, for instance when picking up an item. The prosthetic limb has a flexible joint for convenient positioning just in case you want to grip things on different surfaces.
Additionally, the multi-flex wrist allows you to hold and control objects closer to your body, which is more natural than having to make movements with your shoulders or your entire upper body. The arm can even be rotated in 360-degree circles and stopped at certain points. With an appropriate socket fit, the hand appears to be somewhat resistant, even in the flexible mode.
Advantages of Motion Control Prostheses
Motion control prostheses offer enormous benefits to individuals with arm amputations. It uses lightweight and yet firm enough material so the fingers can last long without breaking—the hand is also very robust and durable. The motion control hand uses durable motor technology that guarantees better response times and lasts up to ten times longer than traditional options.
One key advantage is the ability to utilize a varying voltage input that ranges from 6V to 18V. The motor can accommodate varying voltages without compromising performance or accuracy. Additionally, the motion control hand uses a current limit circuit that shuts off the hand after a certain amount of force is reached to preserve the battery.
Moreover, the arm uses automatic transmission to respond faster with high pinch forces upon confronting an object. Furthermore, upon disengaging from the item, the transmission automatically shifts to the next gear ratio.
A water-tight environment can exist on the hand even when it is dirty or moist due to the O-ring seal. It also comes with a release button so you can let go of the handgrip in case of an emergency. There is ongoing research aimed at improving this area to protect the arm better from environmental extremes.
As far as ease of motion is concerned, the motion control prosthesis aids your residual hand in holding certain amounts of weight since you can bend or flex it. With the full range of joint movements, you can perform everyday tasks quickly and with ease because you won’t find it difficult to perform natural arm movements. If you choose a custom-designed option, you will enjoy a comfortable fit that allows for quick attachment and removal.
The hand mimics the natural human hand and can change its orientation to multiple positions. It provides strength equivalent to that of a natural arm, and the elbows bend in response to muscle signals so you can reach items high or low.
Motion-controlled prosthetics help patients with missing limbs live better lives since they can handle the tasks ordinarily done by a natural limb. They come in a variety of sizes, so you are sure to find your fit. You can also choose from a variety of skin colors for a natural look.
Reach out to us at FIT PROSTHETICS for more information.
FIT Prosthetics in Murray, UT creates custom upper extremity and lower extremity prosthetics. We work with all manufacturers and models, and provide advanced prosthetic fittings to make sure every client has the best-fitting prosthesis possible. We also provide full amputee support, including pre-amputation evaluation and follow-ups on prosthetic fit.
If you’ve experienced the loss of a limb, you know how difficult it can be to regain your confidence, independence and activity levels. One of the most important parts of adjusting to life after amputation is finding a prosthesis that fits well, feels natural and allows you to move the way you want to. If you’re a Utah-area resident in search of a trustworthy, local prosthetics company, FIT Prosthetics is here to help.
Here’s what you should know about our Houston prosthetics clinics, and how we can help you.
Fabrication & Fitting of Upper Limb Prosthetics in Houston
FIT Prosthetics is proud to offer fabrication and fitting for a variety of upper limb prosthetic devices, including hand prostheses, below-the-elbow and above-the-elbow arm prostheses, and finger prostheses.
Our upper limb prosthetics program offers state-of-the-art capabilities. We provide body-powered prosthetics, ETD from motion control, myoelectric hands, l-digits, I-limb hand, BeBionic prosthetic hands, and Taska Prosthetic hands, to name a few.
Our myoelectric upper limb prosthetic devices provide cutting edge technological advantages over other prosthetic devices. Myoelectric prostheses are not driven by the muscle strength of the amputee; instead, they utilize electric power for movement. Muscle tension in the amputee’s residual limb is read by electrodes, providing control signals to the prosthesis’ electronics. This allows for a greater range of grips and more physiologically natural movement.
If you’re an upper limb amputee who is beginning the process of choosing a prosthetic device, FIT Prosthetics will help you find the right make, model and functionality for you. Our highly experienced, licensed prosthetists will evaluate your goals, limitations and expectations. We will then fabricate, fit and provide ongoing support for you so your prosthesis meets or exceeds those expectations.
Fabrication & Fitting of Lower Limb Prosthetics in Houston
Foot and leg prosthetics require a special level of attention, both during the fabrication process and the fitting process. FIT Prosthetics in Murray is dedicated to helping lower limb amputees find prosthetic devices that meet their unique needs, activity levels, and environments.
We’ve worked with pediatric patients, geriatric patients, and competitive athletes to create dynamic, custom lower limb prosthetics. We’ve designed lower limb prosthetic devices that can support both ADLs and complex activities like bowling, hiking, golf, running and more.
FIT Prosthetics will work with you to achieve a socket fit that is as close to perfect as possible, so you can move confidently with your prosthesis, no matter where you go.
FIT Prosthetics Utilizes 3D Technology in Prosthetic Production
Unlike other prosthetics companies, FIT Prosthetics in Murray utilizes 3D technology to fabricate both upper and lower custom prosthetic limbs.
By using 3D scanners and printers to create prosthetic devices, we can produce the most precise prosthetic socket possible for each patient.
3D technology also improves the patient experience by eliminating lengthy, uncomfortable casting processes that require wet, messy plaster.
Our 3D prosthetic scanning procedure takes only 45 seconds. The technology produces a full-scale replica of a patient’s residual limb. That replica is then uploaded to our industry-leading software program where modifications can be made. This precision allows us to make very specific (and often life-changing) alterations in patients’ sockets to ensure the best possible fit for their prosthetic device.
Are you a Utah/Wyoming/Nevada/Idaho resident searching for a trustworthy, cutting-edge prosthetics company for your prostheses? Contact FIT Prosthetics to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation.