Innovations in advanced prosthetics make it easier for amputees to do everything from dress and feed themselves to run marathons and drive. The world of advanced prosthetics is developing constantly, and at Tierney Orthotics and Prosthetics, we take it upon ourselves to stay on top of these developments to provide our patients with the most up-to-date technology and options possible.
Compared with just a few decades ago, advanced prosthetics capitalize on newer materials, like carbon-fiber composites and advanced plastics, to make prosthetic limbs stronger, lighter, and more realistic. Besides the materials used, what really makes advanced prosthetics so amazing is their capabilities. Here are a few of the technological marvels advanced prosthetics use today that make life better for amputees:
- Microprocessor knees—This type of prosthetic features tiny computers embedded within the prosthetic knee that automatically analyze how much pressure the user puts on the limb. As a result, the prosthetic can appropriately adjust the joint’s resistance during ambulation, or when the wearer goes up an incline or down a decline.
- Myoelectric prosthetics—One of the most amazing developments in prosthetic technology, myoelectric prosthetics pick up bioelectric signals from the wearer’s residual limb and respond to them similarly to how a biological limb would. Today, this technology has been used for hand prosthetics that have five fully functional fingers!
- Targeted muscle reinnervation—Although still in its infancy, targeted muscle reinnervation involves taking a nerve from the amputated limb and reenergizing it within a different area of the body. All the user has to do to prompt an action is to mentally focus on it, and the nerves will signal to a microprocessor to perform as desired.
We are excited about where advanced prosthetics technology will go in the future and how it can benefit patients worldwide and right here at our clinic. If you have any questions about the different prosthetic options and technology out there, please feel free to give us a call!