Prosthetic Technology Review – XC Rotate
Date: March 19, 2013
Pictured above: MCOP customer Donna Hopkins wearing her Vari-Flex XC Rotate.
In November 2012, we were one of the first facilities in the world to fit the new Variflex XC Rotate from Ossur. A number of our existing patients were offered the opportunity to test this exciting new technology. According to the manufacturer, the design of the Vari-Flex XC Rotate was intended to accomplish the following:
- Compact Design – Fits more dynamics into a shorter build height for patients with long residual limb short space.
- Highest level energy return to facilitate brisk walking and running.
- Optimal amount of shock absorption and rotation.
- Maximum feature-to-weight ratio (light weight/high performance)
At MCOP, we are no strangers to feet with rotational and shock absorbency. In our work with the military, we use a significant amount of high energy return prosthetic designs, up to and including running prostheses. The design of the VariFlex XC Rotate caught our eye because it incorporates the energy return of Ossur’s Flex-Run running foot, with the stability and forward progression characteristics of a standard carbon fiber prosthetic heel.
Overall, our patients and our clinicians were extremely pleased with this design. We have found that the product offers the highest level of dynamic response we have encountered in a foot with such a low build height. Build height is the overall height of a prosthetic foot, and the lower it is, the more amputees that can use it. At less than 9 ½”, the VariFlex XC Rotate is 2-3” shorter than many of the other feet offering similar features.
We had 8 unilateral and one bilateral amputee customer in the trial. From this trial, we collected an enormous amount of clinical data. There was no rejection of the new design, and the VariFlex XC Rotate has become the foot of choice for the majority. Responses were highest in the subject group that frequently participated in sports that require rapid direction changes and short bursts of speed. Our customers reported that Tennis, hiking and Ultimate Frisbee were easier to accomplish with the new design.