Earlier this week at Rehab Lab, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand how a microprocessor-controlled knee can improve the mobility of a transfemoral amputee.
These components are “smart” in every sense of the word. Without getting too technical, it is controlled by a series of sensors and algorhythms that “learn” the walking pattern and level of mobility of the client and adapts its function accordingly.
The “smart” knee can be connected via Bluetooth to an app, which allows you to access activity reports, adjust the functionality of the component and dial in to training programmes. This is particularly useful for both the physio and client from a rehabilitation perspective.
One of my clients, who struggles to walk with a mechanical knee due to a very short residual limb, was set up on the microprocessor-controlled knee and it made an immediate difference. Apart from the fact that she felt safer on the knee, her gait pattern and speed improved significantly.
What an interesting glimpse of where amputee rehab is heading.