To understand how microprocessor prosthetics work, it is important to understand the bodily systems they are programmed to imitate- and why patients struggling with other types of prosthetics needed this new innovation.
Non-microprocessor prosthetics with bending parts are often known as mechanical prosthetics. They serve a valuable function, but they are not able to imitate the way body parts actually work. However, the next generation of specialized devices, microprocessor controlled prosthetics in Arkansas, represent a giant leap forward!
Those with full use of their legs may not be aware of it, but simply standing, walking and climbing stairs require a complex biological system. When a person stands, legs undergo a continuous series of tiny adjustments, including small knee flexes to prevent locking up. Once he or she is in motion, knees flex more fully so that feet and lower legs absorb the pressure put on them as they bear down weight. If you climb stairs, your feet and knees make specific adjustments to provide the pushing-off motion each foot needs.
For those with full use of their legs, these processes utilize a complex interplay of joints, bones, tendons, and muscles. One of the reasons traditional artificial legs failed was the lack of ability for the prosthetic parts to work together. These older-generation mechanical limbs could not sense when different functions were needed.
The Cutting Edge Solution
Microprocessors represent a giant leap forward because they “think” like biological systems do. Prosthetic technicians not only fit the device to the patient’s body- they also program the microprocessor controlled prosthetic so that it will quickly learn to match the gait of the patient for whom it is fitted.
Microprocessor controlled prosthetics in Arkansas use a complex system of motors and sensors to replicate Mother Nature when it comes to controlling for motion and straightening. A person with this kind of device does not need to consciously direct the advanced prosthetics to swing, flex, or bear weight. The device itself makes those constant adjustments automatically.
Microprocessor Technology Allows a New Level of Independence
“Constant” barely begins to describe how precise these devices are when it comes to directing motion. The sensors issue “reports” as many as 50 times with each second that goes by. An above-the-knee microprocessor controlled leg, for example, has sensors measuring pressure in various parts of the foot, along with knee angle sensors and lower leg sensors.
These messages get passed along to a state-of-the-art hydraulic damping system and to micro-motors. These motors also boast advanced technology, and can go for longer periods without needing recharging. Should the batteries lose charge while the prosthetic is still in use, the damping system will adjust so that the prosthetic operates like a traditional mechanical prosthetic.
If you would like to explore whether microprocessor controlled prosthetics in Arkansas are the right solution for you, contact Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics by calling (501) 683-8889 or use our online tool to learn more. A free consultation with one of our advanced prosthetics specialists will help determine whether this cutting edge technology is the right fit for your situation and lifestyle.