The use of microprocessors in artificial limbs can provide significant benefits to above-knee amputees.
Attempting to walk up and down stairs or ramps using a standard prosthesis can sometimes prove frustrating or impossible.
Microprocessors installed in lower body artificial limbs can detect the surface characteristics and slope of the pathway being traversed and make the necessary adjustments to provide stability to the walking motion.
Microprocessors can be utilized in both upper and lower limb prosthesis. For instance in an upper body artificial hand, microprocessors can send a signal to the hand to perform a certain movement based on how the person flexes certain muscles in his residual limb.
For an artificial leg, microprocessor technology can enable patients to walk down stairs in a more natural fashion. Traditional prosthetic knees utilize a hydraulic cylinder that can be adjusted for resistance, but can’t simulate the abilities of an anatomical knee.
Microprocessors solve this problem by allowing individuals to traverse down a set of stairs naturally without having to lock and drag the artificial leg.
Because microprocessors respond to sensors located over the socket of the limb, they are able to adjust the movement and position of your prosthesis in conjunction with your residual limb.
They can respond to the speed of your walk as well as detect the characteristics of the surface you are traveling.
Enabling prosthesis users to simulate natural limb walking capabilities is one of the most impressive benefits resulting from prosthetic microprocessor technology. Almost any above knee amputee can benefit from this technology.
Whether you need to move quickly over uneven surfaces while carrying heavy packages or just need to get from one room to the next without stumbling or falling, microprocessors located in an artificial knee are able to provide the necessary stability and functionality required to simulate a natural gait.
There is a natural 1 to 2 month adjustment period for long-time prosthetic wearers to learn how to utilize the new functionality provided by microprocessor technology.
However, new amputees tend to respond immediately to the capabilities of prosthetics that contain microprocessor technology.