EDISON, N.J. — At a recent Technology Day event at Mobility Clinic Prosthetics and Orthotics, patients were given the opportunity to test new microprocessor prosthetic devices aimed at providing increased stability while traversing ramps, stairs and uneven surfaces.
“We have some of our patients who will be trying different advanced prosthetic mechanisms, such as a microprocessor foot and microprocessor knees, that will give them the opportunity to see how these technologies can help and change their lives on a day-to-day basis,” Rakesh Jain, CPO, LPO, chief operating officer of Mobility Clinic, said. “It also gives them an opportunity to experience these technologies first-hand before they are fitted with them.”
Freedom Innovation, based in Irvine, Calif., developed the devices — the Plié Knee and the Kennex Foot — and sent a team of prosthetists and engineers to the event to train patients and the staff at Mobility Clinic in how to use the devices and its Bluetooth interface. The clinic selected five patients to test the devices. In choosing candidates, the clinic focused on high-functioning individuals who can already maneuver hills, ramps and other environmental barriers with their current prosthesis.
According to Stephen D. Sorg, CPO, LPO, of Mobility Clinic, the microprocessor can recognize and record aspects of the patient’s gait using a mobile application connected with the devices. In addition, hydraulic fluid is used in the devices to increase or decrease resistance.
“Today we have the Plié Knee, which is a microprocessor knee, that is fine-tuned for a patient and allows the hydraulic cylinders to open and close, increasing stability and providing a proper clearance for the patient,” Sorg said. “We are also dealing with the Kennex foot, which is a microprocessor foot, which, again, has hydraulic cylinders that open and close to optimize the patient’s gait. Whether it is going up or down ramps or stairs, or going over uneven surfaces, the foot adapts to all these uneven surfaces.”
Demetrius Luck, a 55-year-old Sicklerville, N.J. resident, was tried the new devices. He said the new knee and foot provided more stability than his current prosthesis.
“It felt good,” he said. “It felt different, because one of the problems with the other leg that I have, is it moved around. It gave a lot of motion. With this, it sucks on and it keeps you from falling. That is one of the biggest things. With the other one, you were scared of falling every time you turned around, but this takes away that fear. It locks onto the stump and it is great. It makes it almost feel like the leg is there.” –by Jason Laday
Technology Day at Mobility Clinic Prosthetics and Orthotics; March 10, 2017; Edison, N.J.
Jain and Sorg report they are employees of Mobility Clinic.