Icexpress Progressive Prosthetics announced that two clients — Paralympic athletes Kim Robinson and Derik Schutte — were the first in South Africa to be fitted with the Össur Power Knee.
The motorized knee is a ‘smart’ prosthetic limb with the ability to ‘recognize and memorize’ its user’s walking style, while making real-time adjustments based on changes in speed, terrain or stride.
Twenty-year-old Schutte, an above-knee amputee who won a bronze medal in the F42 Javelin event at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships, held in Christchurch, New Zealand at the beginning of the year, was recently fitted with the Power Knee technology.
“After only 2 days, I am already able to shift and share the weight that I usually put on my below-knee side, or good leg, to the above-knee side,” Schutte said in a press release.
Robinson, a Paralympic adaptive rower who represented South Africa at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, lost her leg due to cancer, and subsequently had to undergo hip-replacement surgery to compensate for the added pressure caused by the amputation. In effect, the Power Knee has the ability to relieve this pressure by restoring muscle capability. Its battery-powered capabilities help address the loss of muscle and asymmetrical movement found in people with limb loss, thus protecting users from injury. In Robinson’s case, the Power Knee will limit further damage to her back, other hip and leg.
“We are honored to be the first in South Africa to offer the Össur Power Knee as well as similar bionic technology to our clients,” Johan Snyders, chief executive officer, Icexpress, stated in a press release. “Our aim is to assist prosthetic users to get back to leading normal, happy and physically active lives. The Power Knee, and other advances made in prosthetic technology, makes it even more realistic for persons with amputations to live their lives without limitations.”