(Courtesy of Ottobock)
Since 1999, when the Ottobock C-Leg® made its debut, microprocessor knees (MPK) from various manufacturers have made a difference in the lives of transfemoral amputees. Benefits include increased stability and confidence, reduced cognitive burden, improved quality of life, and expanded activity levels from work to play to extreme sports.
Above knee amputee always watch how they step to make sure they do not fall. MPKs allow amputees to walk and not have to concentrate on every step. The computer processor in the knee will lock the knee at the appropriate time to prevent the fall.
The technology has transferred over to the orthotic field. We can now allow knee level flexion and extension but still lock the knee to prevent falling at the appropriate time in the gait cycle.
In previous designs, we had to manually lock a long leg brace and have the patient walk stiff legged. With the newer designs, the brace will lock automatically at the appropriate time to prevent the affected limb from buckling under weight bearing. This allows a more natural gait and less energy expenditure.