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Article

Design and Initial Evaluation of a Low-Cost Microprocessor-Controlled Above-Knee Prosthesis: A Case Report of 2 Patients

1
Metallurgical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79912, USA
2
Engineering Education & Leadership, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79912, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppina Gini
Prosthesis 2022, 4(1), 60-72; https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis4010007
Received: 10 November 2021 / Revised: 28 January 2022 / Accepted: 8 February 2022 / Published: 10 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Orthopedics and Rehabilitation)
For prosthesis users, knee units can range from simple devices costing $2000 up to $45,000 for high-end, microprocessor-controlled systems. These higher-end electronic knees provide significant advantages in stability, gait, and metabolic rate compared to their passive or mechanical counterparts. However, the high cost of such systems makes them inaccessible to most amputees. In this study, it was hypothesized that a microprocessor knee could be manufactured for less than $1000, with comparable stability and user experience to a high-end industry standard device. A prototype (E-Knee) was designed with a specific emphasis on stance stability, and was tested during patient gait trials. The gait trials used a repeated measures design to compare three knee devices (a simple passive knee, the prototype E-Knee, and a high-end knee). Ground reaction forces and a functionality questionnaire were used to compare devices. A microprocessor locking test was used to evaluate the prototype’s ability to prevent falls. Building on the LIMBS M3, a passive four-bar polycentric device, the E-Knee added sensing, computing, and controlling capabilities for a material cost of $507. Initial data from a two-subject trial served as proof-of-concept to validate the prototype and found that it improved gait by providing more stability than the M3 and had more gait-pattern similarities to the Ottobock C-Leg than to the M3. Patients reported no perceived differences in stability between the E-Knee and the C-Leg. Patient trials supported that the E-Knee prototype behaved more naturally than the low-end M3 device and had similar ground reaction forces to the C-Leg. View Full-Text
Keywords: transfemoral; microprocessor; prosthetic knee; lower limb amputation; low-cost; artificial limb transfemoral; microprocessor; prosthetic knee; lower limb amputation; low-cost; artificial limb
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MDPI and ACS Style

Galey, L.; Gonzalez, R.V. Design and Initial Evaluation of a Low-Cost Microprocessor-Controlled Above-Knee Prosthesis: A Case Report of 2 Patients. Prosthesis 2022, 4, 60-72. https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis4010007

AMA Style

Galey L, Gonzalez RV. Design and Initial Evaluation of a Low-Cost Microprocessor-Controlled Above-Knee Prosthesis: A Case Report of 2 Patients. Prosthesis. 2022; 4(1):60-72. https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis4010007

Chicago/Turabian Style

Galey, Lucas, and Roger V. Gonzalez. 2022. "Design and Initial Evaluation of a Low-Cost Microprocessor-Controlled Above-Knee Prosthesis: A Case Report of 2 Patients" Prosthesis 4, no. 1: 60-72. https://doi.org/10.3390/prosthesis4010007

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