New technology for your Leg Prosthesis
C-Leg Prosthesis – Appreciating the Differences
Throughout the years many improvements were made in “conventional” lower-leg prosthetics. The materials used in their construction progressed from wood to metal alloys, the latest versions constructed of fiber glass. Regardless of the materials used, artificial lower-limbs functioned through the use of pistons. With the advent of the C-Leg prosthesis, amputees can now enjoy a degree of functionality never thought possible.
By replacing the pistons with hydraulic cylinders, and using sensors and microprocessors, the amputee is able to maintain control in both stability and mobility when walking. Simply, the C-Leg prosthetic responds and adjusts according to the terrain and walking speed of the amputee, providing a greater degree of stability and mobility.
C-Leg Prosthesis – A Look at the Technology
Developed in Canada, a C-Leg prosthetic controls the flexing of the knee through the use of sensors, microprocessors and hydraulic cylinders. The sensors communicate with the microprocessor, providing information which will allow the cylinders to position at the proper angle and degree of resistance to be applied. The “knee-angle” sensor determines angular position and velocity of the flexing joint, while “moment” sensors provide data pertaining to the force being applied to the knee. Working together, these sensors allow the amputee to vary walking speeds, and easily navigate through different terrains.
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C-Leg Prosthesis – Considering the Advantages
Before the C-Leg, amputees had to constantly be aware of where they were, and what they were about to do. It required conscious effort to go up and down stairways, change speed while walking, or simply maneuver through a crowded room. The major advantages to the C-Leg prosthesis would be:
- More natural movement when climbing steps
- The ability to walk backwards
- Flexibility of knee eliminates having to step-around obstacles
- Standing and sitting is more natural
Although these points certainly illustrate the advantages the C-Leg prosthesis has over a “conventional mechanical knee prosthesis, there are a few considerations as well.
C-Leg Prosthetics – Some Considerations
If you consider all of the above advantages provided by the C-Leg prosthesis, what some consider disadvantages seem relatively unimportant. It is suggested, for example, that amputees allow for a two-month period of time to become completely comfortable with the device. Another suggested down-side is that although the prosthesis can enable the wearer to walk up to three miles per hour, the amputee cannot wear the C-Leg when running. Once you consider the fact this prosthetic will provide ease in walking on slopes, difficult terrain, and stairways, these minor negatives seem much more trivial.
How the C-Leg Prosthesis Increases Functionality
Today’s C-Leg contains many improvements, in very important areas. Changes have been made in the flexibility of the knee. These adjustments will provide the amputee with a much smoother and more natural gait. As every amputee understands, accidents can and will happen. Adjustments have been made to increase the prosthesis’ stability, allowing for better recovery from stumbles. Another area of improvement pertains to an increase in the amount of body weight the device will support; it has been increased to 300 lbs.