The Amazing Technology of the Power Knee
SRT’s lower-limb amputees are some of the first in the world to receive the new Power Knee, the world’s first and only motorized prosthetic knee. SRT Prosthetics & Orthotics recently became one of the first of a limited number of healthcare professionals in the United States to be a certified provider of this device, which represents an entirely new category of prosthetic technology.
Determined to maintain an active lifestyle, Allison became a member of the U.S. Disabled Swim Team from 1995 to 1997, where they would win a gold medal and set a world record in the 4×100 meter relay, and also received a silver medal in the 4×100 freestyle relay. Although no longer a competitive swimmer, Allison still gets plenty of exercise chasing around her four children, Riley, 9, Morgan, 7, Hannah, 5, and Jackson, 2.
“I had heard about the Power Knee for quite some time, so I knew the potential of what it could do. I was excited to try it out,” says Allison.
Over the years, Allison has worn several different types of prosthetic knees. “I have primarily used hydraulic knees, until two years ago when I was lucky enough to use the Rheo Knee,” says Allison. I think it was a tremendous advancement to microprocessor knees and I felt very agile on it. Now, with the Power Knee, I think it has redefined how amputees will walk.”
This highly intelligent knee works as an integrated extension of the user, replacing true muscle activity to bend and straighten the knee, as well as provide the power to help maintain walking speeds and assist with the upward motion required for stairs and inclines. With integrated artificial intelligence (AI) systems, sophisticated motion sensors and wireless communication capabilities, the Power Knee is a “smart” prosthetic limb, which can “learn” its user’s walking style and automatically make real-time adjustments based on changes in speed, stride or terrain.
The Power Knee’s design is intended to enhance the user’s balance and stability, and to prevent or minimize the pain, fatigue and long-term injuries that often occur when an amputee favors, over-compensates or over-relies on the other body parts for mobility. This technology will provide amputees with the ability to do more activities of daily living with less stress on their back, shoulders and sound-side knee with less energy and a decreased fear of tripping or falling.
“On the first day a patient is on the Power Knee, they begin to learn to stand and walk,” Allison explains. “Those first few hours were challenging for me. The one thing I did not anticipate about the Power Knee is the commitment it takes to learn to use it properly. It is such an innovative device, and you really have to “re-learn” how to walk on it. But I knew the potential for the Power Knee, and the benefits that I and other patients will reap from learning to use it properly far outweigh the time that it takes to learn it.”
As the days turned into weeks, Allison was able to learn how to navigate obstacles in her daily life, and on the day she was able to successfully walk up a flight of stairs, she began to truly feel comfortable and confident in the Power Knee’s capabilities.
“Now, I am able to fully utilize the benefits of the Power Knee, from relying on it to help me sit down and stand up,” says Allison. “In the long term, I think this will benefit me and my family by allowing me to be an active mother and wife for many more years to come.”
Don’t miss your opportunity to see the Power Foot BiOM & Power Knee up close and personal! This brand-new technology is in high demand, and a waiting list has already been started.