A Newark company is one of the first in the nation to offer a new, motorized prosthetic foot designed to give amputees greater mobility than ever before.The Proprio Foot, a new prosthesis designed by the global orthopedic company, Ossur, is revolutionizing the capabilities of amputees.Beverly Milson, spokeswoman for Ossur, said the Proprio Foot is the first motorized and artificially intelligent prosthetic foot ever to be made.
"All prosthetics before have been passive," Milson said. "The Proprio Foot helps the amputee by lifting and lowering the foot."He said this new prosthetic limb will help mobilize amputees, and has a natural appearance compared to past prosthetics."Nothing has ever actually mimicked a human ankle like this," he said. "Also, appearance-wise it looks more natural."
Milson said not only is the Proprio Foot smart enough to change the angle of the foot to help amputees navigate through differences in terrain, but the foot also gives the amputee back a sense of "proprioception," the namesake of the prosthesis."Proprioception is the ability to know where your limb is in space," she said.
Previously, amputees have had to watch their foot when using stairs, or even walking, but the Proprio foot has sensors in the prosthesis allowing the user to actually feel where the foot is without looking, Milson said.
The product also has other physical benefits to amputees,"It helps reduce the energy expenditure of the patient," he said.When moving from a sitting to standing position, an amputee without the new foot has to use his or her entire body to stand, Milson said. With the Proprio Foot, sitting and standing are much easier.
Proprio Foot is currently being sold throughout the world, however, approximately 500 feet have been purchased, "When the prosthetist decides the amputee is a good candidate, someone from Ossur actually flies out and helps the amputee," she said.