Foot Prosthetic
Foot Prosthetic

Following the amputation of a foot, leg or hand an individual will require the use of a prosthetic in order to continue daily living in an independent manner. The most common prosthetic device in use is a prosthetic foot.

Lower limb prostheses are much more common than those used in the hand and arm and therefore also much more advanced. Not only are they more common but they are intrinsically easier to manufacture and duplicate the action of the human foot as opposed to the intricate action of the human hand. But even so, producing a natural prosthetic foot is not as easy as it may first appear.

For the most part a prosthetic foot is made of plastic, metal or a combination of the two and is worn by an individual who has lost their foot or may have been born without one. Because of the different circumstances that can lead to a missing foot there are also different kinds of prosthetic feet. A prosthetic foot attached to an individual's ankle or calf or be the end of a prosthetic for an above the knee amputation. Interestingly, there are also prostheses which can attach to the remaining part of an individual's foot and simply compensate for the missing parts.

Using today's research and technology it is now possible to thoroughly disguise a prosthetic foot. Because they were intended to model and serve in the place of the missing part they are also shaped like the missing part and almost always fit into standard shoes. Most will fit into flat shoes or with a lower heel, but some are also made to fit inside fashionable footwear such as high heels or open toe shoes.

The field of prosthetics continues to advance and keep up with the advancements in surgical procedures and rehabilitation for individuals who've lost their foot. And, while the field of prostheses is continuing to move forward there continues to be a significant difference between a prosthetic foot and a bionic foot. Prostheses may have moving parts that allow a person to move similarly to those who do not have an amputated limb but it cannot move on its own. However, a bionic prostheses can move on its own. The difference could be a prosthetic foot that has toes cannot move and grip the ground where a bionic foot could grip the ground.

An example of one prosthetic foot that is on the market today is the Shape and Roll. This is a low cost component intended for use in low income countries and is made to be cosmetically pleasing, inexpensive and durable. This is a prosthesis that is often used on mission trips and in low income countries when amputations may not result in an individual who is able to perform tasks independently.

Dupont has a prosthetic foot, the Niagra, which is affordable, high-performance and intended for active people who have been the victim of traumatic removal of the foot, such as from a landmine or accident. It is specifically designed for those who walk on rugged ground and is built around an energy return benefiting from stability and effectiveness of Dupont's Hytrel thermoplastic material.

In 2002 O&P released a new line of foot prostheses called Freedom Innovations with three models designed to be affordable and accessible. They are the innovation of Dr. Roland Christensen who designed them with the focus on two separate aspects of the foot - the attachment to the individual and the movement of the forefoot and toes. Using their patented system, energy is transferred between both of these members to vary the foot's stiffness according to the individual user's needs. The intent was to give the amputee a prosthetic foot which could be used between normal everyday ambulation and other more strenuous athletic activities.

As research and development continues to move forward prosthetics they are gaining more and more movements in the forefoot and toe in order to more closely mimic the motion of the biological foot. This not only helps an individual to walk more normally but also offers greater stability and increased durability of the prosthetic. Individuals who suffer from an amputation of the lower leg now have options which were not available only five years ago making their lives easier and more functional.

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Foot Prosthetic


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phantom pain


rehabilitation after amputation

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