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Prosthetic News – Advancements in Prosthetic Technology

About 2 million Americans have lost a limb, whether an arm or leg, as a result of injury or illness. Many of these amputees chose to wear a prosthetic limb. Also called an artificial limb, a prosthetic limb is a medical device used to replace a missing body part and to help restore functionality.

A lot of things have changed since the first prosthetic limb was introduced. Even a decade ago, artificial arms and legs were clunky and fragile, but with advancements in prosthetic technology, it’s now possible to have comfortable, lightweight artificial limbs that are more apt to a person’s needs and functionality.

The quality and features of prosthetics have definitely improved over the years. Here are a few advancements we’ve seen in prosthetic technology:

  • Microprocessor-Controlled Joint
    Initially developed in the U.S. in the 90s, the microprocessor-controlled joint enables the prosthesis joint to automatically adapt to the patient’s unique needs. For example, a prosthetic leg utilizing this makes it possible for the device to adapt to its owners walking patterns. This can make a significant difference in the person’s leg movement, which increases their ability to move.
  • Brain-Controlled Prosthetics
    BCI is a system that enables a person to control a computer using their thoughts. Though prior training is needed for a specific thought such as flexing or extending a limb, this thought has the capability of generating electrical activity in the nerve cells and brainwaves.  The use of BCI in artificial limbs is a promising advancement in prosthetics for those who want a prosthesis with a hands-free system of control and one that is more responsive to their needs.
  • 3D Printing
    3D printing isn’t just a significant breakthrough in manufacturing and construction; it’s also making a significant impact in the prosthetics world. 3D printing enables a more cost-effective creation of quality prosthetics that allow both adults and children to enjoy having a lightweight and highly functional artificial limb.

It is truly fascinating to see how far prosthetics have come over the years. Where do you think prosthetics will be in 20 – or even 10 years?

Is it time to replace your current prosthesis?
Contact the Premier Prosthetic Center in Knoxville today to schedule a free consultation.

 

Resources:

http://www.hortonsoandp.com/prosthetic-limb-technological-advancements-for-amputees/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170206084904.htm

https://www.fishinsurance.co.uk/thehub/categories/prosthetics/top-5-advances-in-prosthetics-in-2017/

 

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