Advances in prosthetic engineering over the past 20 years have led to the creation of prostheses that better mimic the natural function of real limbs. The new technology uses tough but lightweight materials, better shapes and designs and computers embedded within artificial limbs to improve movements and agility. With these advances, amputees are better able to accomplish daily living tasks, such as eating with a fork and more challenging feats such as running in a marathon.
Here is a list of some of the recent developments:
More life-like materials, such as carbon fiber, have replaced wood to give prosthesis recipients a sense of life in the missing limb area. Other materials, like, thermoplastic are used in sockets to provide greater comfort; and titanium is used to extend the life and durability of the prosthesis.
Microprocessors used in computerized prosthetic knees, for example, make thousands of calculations per second to keep the wearer literally on their feet. The analysis helps the amputee make adjustments to provide better control over walking, stopping and even moving on inclines.
Myoelectric prostheses are controlled by placing muscle sensors against the skin at the site of amputation. The electric signals generated by the muscle at an amputee’s stump controls a processor aboard the prosthetic. This myoelectric technology allows for greater control and precision in the five fully functional digits, enabling recipients to perform everyday tasks such as picking up coins and opening tabbed aluminum cans.
Bionic reconstruction combines robotic technology with selective nerve and muscle transfer technology to design smarter prosthetic devices. This procedure enables amputees to use their minds to control the movement of the prosthesis.
While there have been advances there still remain challenges, including:
- High infection rates with the devices at the prosthesis-skin interface
- Inaccurate and unreliable wireless devices that hinder the relay of brain signals through the muscles and peripheral nerves
- Exorbitant costs that prohibit access to the cutting-edge prosthetics that average $30,000
Experienced Legal Team
Our team of experienced injury attorneys can help you obtain compensation for an injury due to the negligence of another. Our team works hard to safeguard your financial security following a catastrophic amputation procedure. If you have any questions on this blog or need information on other personal injury queries, please call the Law offices of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath located in West Palm Beach at 1-800 4-RIGHTS (1-800- 474-4487) We welcome your call and look forward to helping you.