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Microprocessor Prosthetic Knee Use for Transfemoral Amputees - Essay Example

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Summary
Amputation is a serious life-changing event in a human being's life, bringing about one of the most prominent, sudden, and, in most cases, unexpected turning points in his or her life. Amputation has an impact on several aspects of an individual's activities, including activities of daily living, employment, social life, personal relationships and recreation…
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Microprocessor Prosthetic Knee Use for Transfemoral Amputees
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Microprocessor Prosthetic Knee Use for Transfemoral Amputees

Download file to see previous pages... The 19th century saw the use of more advanced lighter-weight prostheses made of wood. It has been found that amputations are largely due to trauma in developing countries while they are from vascular reasons in the developed countries.2 Vascular problems are usually associated with a lot of other illnesses which may limit a person's mobility and hence eliminate the urgent need for an advanced prosthesis. On the contrary, post-trauma amputees are usually younger with more active lifestyles and hence are candidates for advanced prosthetic placements so as to ensure uncompromised quality of life.
Conventional mechanically controlled prostheses utilize a pneumatic or hydraulic damper to provide the appropriate gait parameters for the user at his or her conventional normal walking speed.3 The adjustment is usually effected by a prosthetist. When there is a change in walking speed, the pendulum action of the prosthesis for the change in stride or step is compensated by tilting the pelvis or such other physical maneuvers which delay the extension so that the foot is appropriately placed for the next step. These physical negotiations not only mar the flow of the gait but also use up more energy.
Mauch Knee4 from Ossur is a nonmicroprocessor-controlle...
The basic concept of the microprocessor-controlled lower limb prosthesis is the use of a microprocessor-controlled damper with the help of which step time is measured and knee extension is adjusted to changing walking speeds. The first computer-controlled prosthesis was devised by Blatchford in the early 1990s with a view to improving the amputees' symmetry of gait over a wide a range of walking speeds. The "Intelligent Prosthesis (IP)," as it was called, programs the knee to optimum swing settings for each individual user to achieve the smoothest gait pattern with less energy expense.5 A pneumatic control unit in the knee senses speed changes and adjusts the swinging speed of the prosthesis, making the gait not only look natural but also feel natural for the user. However, the IP works well only on even surfaces. In 1998, Blatchford introduced the more advanced Adaptive Prosthesis. The Adaptive Prosthesis has a microcomputer that adjusts to the change in terrain underfoot and its combination of hydraulics and pneumatics assisted weightbearing and responded to changes in the walking speed. The Adaptive Prosthesis provides the required degree of stability for walking, standing and climbing as needed by each individual user. The IP+ of Blatchford offers individually programmed microprocessor cadence control, stance stability to provide a natural gait, and a Stanceflex unit that helps reduce shock during heel strike. The Smart IP of Blatchford, in addition to all of the above features, can be re-programmed at any time by the user for footwear and activity level changes. The Smart IP claims through its studies and trials that with its intelligent pneumatic swing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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