What a new prosthetic knee design would mean for amputees and how this technology could improve the lives of people hurt in workplace accidents.
MIT researchers have started work on a prosthetic knee that could be a game changer for amputees. It delivers similar performance to the best current technology but at a fraction of the cost.
Researchers have figured out how to generate a torque profile similar to able-bodied knees using only simple mechanical elements like springs and dampers. This is a sharp contrast from current technology that must rely upon expensive microprocessors, gyroscopes, accelerometers, and hydraulics.
“If we can make a knee that delivers similar performance to a $50,000 knee for a few hundred dollars, that’s a game-changer,” says Amos Winter, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT.
This technology could also provide better options for amputees living in developing countries who now rely upon simple passive prostheses. The prototype is currently being tested in India and shows promise at restoring normal gait.
Our 2 cents
We enjoy commenting on these stories because of the hope it brings our clients. Michigan law requires payment of reasonable and necessary medical treatment including the purchase of prosthetics. Unfortunately, it does not cover experimental medical equipment like the new MIT prosthetic knee. Better options will indeed become available as medical advances continue and reach the mainstream. This is welcome news for people suffering from a workplace amputation.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Oregon State University.