Computers in Prosthetics
Advancements in prosthetics continue to explore options we once thought only possible in science fiction.
Our prosthetic specialists in Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey, Marquette and other Michigan locations have seen a lot of changes over the last half century, but none more incredible than those made possible by increasingly sophisticated computer technology.
Not only are prosthetic limbs designed to be more comfortable and allow amputees to participate in a wide range of activities, they can be made to match the amputee’s skin tone with life-like realism. Cosmetics aside, cutting-edge microprocessor technology is impacting the way prosthetic limbs work.
All of our prosthetic specialists watch for the latest developments such as:
Targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) – this technology allows amputees to learn to control artificial limbs with their peripheral nerve pathways. Incredibly, researchers have figured out a way to redirect the signals from amputated nerves to another muscle in the body. With practice, the amputee can think about movement and send signals from the brain through the nerves to the new muscle. Electrodes will register the impulse and direct the artificial limb to move. In short, thoughts can be used to control prosthetic limbs.
Touch Bionics – Researchers have also created highly advanced prosthetic limbs that can be controlled by impulses from a residual limb. A child in the UK was recently fitted with his own i-limb quantum prosthetic limb, which is configured with a mobile app to meet his unique needs.
Microprocessor knees – Advanced technology allows for greater control of movement, especially for prosthetic legs. We have reported about young amputees living large, able to play sports, run marathons, and dance with their new prosthetic limbs. The difference is the microprocessor-controlled hydraulic knee that boasts an on-board sensor technology to sense and adapt to movement.
Lighter and more durable prosthetic feet – Amputees today are able to select a prosthetic foot that will allow for very natural running or walking movements, capturing and releasing energy to allow for a gait with typical foot and ankle function. Walking, running, and even dancing on prosthetic limbs is now possible.
Advanced technology prosthetics can be very costly, but there is some financial assistance available to amputees. Additionally, at Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics we accept a wide variety of health insurance plans and have the flexibility to work out individualized extended payment plans to help our clients get the prosthetics they need.
Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics has been offering expert prosthetic services in Michigan since 1955. You can visit us in more than 20 locations including Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey, and Marquette.