Computer Help to Fit Prosthetic Limbs

THE best fit for a prosthetic leg depends in part on the small adjustments in alignment that help amputees walk comfortably.Traditionally, these refinements have been done by a skilled clinician who talks with patients for laptop batteries, observes their gait and makes incremental changes to the prosthesis over several visits, looking for the sweet spot where the alignment is optimal, says Andrew L. Steele, who fits amputees for prostheses in Waterloo, Iowa.

“I use a little bit of eye and a little bit of gut” to get the alignment right, he said with Dell KD476. “It’s a highly subjective process.”But Mr. Steele, who is himself an amputee — he lost his left leg below the knee in a farm accident when he was 12 — now has a new alignment tool.

He is trying a computer-based device that provides quantitative information to support his subjective assessment for Presario 2500 Battery. The device attaches to the prosthetic limb and wirelessly beams information on the twisting of the limb as the patient walks, along with other data, to his computer for analysis.

Mr. Steele has been trying the system, called Compas — short for Computerized Prosthesis Alignment System — not only on his patients, but also on himself for PA3399U-1BRS battery ,. A software program that is part of the system interprets data collected as a patient walks; it then suggests adjustments. Mr. Steele then uses a wrench to change the angle of the prosthesis.

“It’s good to have the background readings from the computer,” he said. “It gives me another tool to narrow down what is causing a problem.”The new technology may be especially timely, given the large number of returning military veterans who need prostheses for VGP-BPS8.Compas, a product of Orthocare Innovations of Oklahoma City, was developed in part with financing from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

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