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Insights from our prosthetists about new technology, advances in prosthetics, & more

Powered Prosthetics

February 25, 2013

Why should amputees want powered prosthetics?

Natural human walking consists of four key elements. Historically, prosthetics have only offered 3 of these things:

  • The stability to walk.
  • The absorption of the shock of each step.
  • The storage of energy, which they later release in the next step.

The 4th item, which has been missing, is the ability to create energy, or deliver “power”. Your body’s ability to create energy is essential to the natural human gait. But because typical prosthetics only store and release some of the energy that you put into your step, they hold you back.  So, with every step you take, you are losing power compared to the body’s natural gait. Without the muscles which it would otherwise rely on, your body has to find new and unnatural ways to power you forward. This works okay, but not as well as the body’s natural gait.  Why is this?  Because these ways are less efficient, making walking more difficult. Every step takes more energy and slows you down. This has been the unfortunate reality with traditional prosthetics.

At last, prosthetic technology is beginning to change the reality that amputees face. Powered prosthetics like the Power Knee and PowerFoot BiOM are now driving new energy into the steps of amputees, replacing what the foot, calf, and knee muscles had done before.

These powered prosthetics are allowing amputees to walk up hills and up steps with a new sense of ease and comfort.  Whether walking, hiking, jogging or dancing, the sensation of powered prosthetics is the closest thing possible to what walking was like before amputation.

Why is MCOP the leader in powered prosthetics?

At MCOP, we’ve been working with powered prosthetic knees and ankles since before they even came on the market.  We helped develop the technology for our military men and women.  Indeed we helped refine these technologies for use, particularly with respect to the Power Knee by Ossur and PowerFoot BiOM by iWalk.  All along the way MCOP has been a part of the evolution, testing and refining the technology. All of this before any other clinic in the nation could offer these technologies to amputees.

Today, we have fit powered prosthetics on hundreds of amputees from all walks of life. Most other clinics have fit only one or two patients, if any at all.  Indeed, the maker of the world’s only powered prosthetic knee reports that we’ve been involved in over 90% of their fittings worldwide!

Can MCOP get powered prosthetics paid for through insurance?

At MCOP, because we’re involved in the latest research studies in prosthetics and biomechanics, we can and do use this knowledge and expertise to formulate and deliver the most compelling clinical case to all insurance providers. This service is especially valuable, indeed critically important, for coverage of powered prosthetic devices.

Insurance companies demand in-depth justification for a powered device due to its significant cost. We are uniquely skilled at providing it. This insures that our clients benefit from the best that science and technology offers.  In short, with our experience, we know what works.  And we can help insure that our clients will get the benefit of what works best for them.

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