MICROPROCESSOR TECHNOLOGY FOR LEG PROSTHESIS
Ever since the introduction of arm and legs prosthetics, scientists have been working to propose new technologies whose benefits can be limitless. The idea has been favored with the development of Microprocessor Prosthetics (MPK).
WHAT IS A MICROPROCESSOR?
A microprocessor is a device that integrates the basic functions of a Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer. In easy words, it is a component required by a computer to perform its functions.
HOW DOES IT WORK IN KNEE PROSTHETICS?
Now the question is how does it work in such a device? Well, to understand that one must know briefly about the gait cycle. The gait cycle refers to the series of events that occur during walking. The cycle is dived into two phases. STANCE PHASE: The first part is called the Stance Phase, during which the foot remains in contact with the ground. SWING PHASE: In the Swing Phase, which is the second phase, the foot is elevated and does not touch the ground. The prosthetic is consists of microprocessor sensors, software, resistance system and a battery. It monitors the gait cycle and adjusts the resistance to provide support. Once the patient tries on the device and walk in the new knees, the microprocessor gets programmed. The sensors measure pressure in various parts of the knee. These adjust minor variations and produce an effective gait.
MICROPROCESSOR FEET PROSTHETIC
A microprocessor foot works on the same principle of the knee. The sensors monitor different movements occurring at the ankle joint including flexion, extension, dorsiflexion, plantar flexion, inversion, and eversion. Once the system is programmed it can provide adjustments and support to control normal functions like walking speed and movements on incline and decline planes.
ADVANTAGES OF MICROPROCESSING SYSTEM
PRECISE MOVEMENTS: Since the sensors programs to achieve the normal gait, it is more likely for the users to have a smoother gait because of the precision of the movements. RANGES OF MOVEMENTS: These devices aim to mimic the different ranges of movements that occur at the respective joint. This is quite difficult in mechanical prosthetics. STRESS REDUCTION: The design allows articulation in such a way that reduces stress on proximal joints during prolonged sitting.
DISADVANTAGES OF MICROPROCESSING SYSTEM
THE COST: As technology is more advanced, the device is quite expensive comparatively. These microprocessor prosthetics cost around $100,000 while the mechanical range between $5000 to $50,000. WEIGHT: These prosthetics are heavier than the non-microprocessor prosthetics. They weigh around 1 to 2 kg. THE SERVICE: The service of these devices is another aspect that should be taken care of. The charging is to be considered regularly. Plus, these devices are prone to damage by weather conditions like cold, heat, water etc.
These devices have provided a way of leaping into the advance world. With this technology, many sports prosthetics are being introduced that have enabled the amputees to persuade their passion regardless of the disability. However, the drawback of expenses is yet to be considered.