Prosthetic ambulation can be quite painful and damaging as impact forces at heel strike are transmitted up the prosthetic limb through the socket to the residual limb and on to the upper leg, hips and back. Undampened, these unfriendly forces can discourage even the fittest amputees from achieving their functional potential.
An increasingly applied tool in the effort to reduce impact stress is the shock pylon, a component that simulates the rotation and shock absorption of the natural limb.
The pylon of an endoskeletal prosthesis serves as the connector and weight-bearing member between the foot component and the socket of a below-knee prosthesis, or the knee unit of an above-knee system. The primary expectations of basic pylons is that they withstand the recurrent shock of heel strike and weigh no more than necessary.
Shock pylons are capable of considerably more function, helping to mitigate common amputee unnatural gait compensations undertaken to avoid impact shock.
Various shock pylon designs are engineered with compression springs, pneumatic or hydraulic systems to significantly raise the amputee’s threshold of ambulation discomfort. Shock pylons are sometimes integrally built into a prosthetic foot assembly, such as the Ohio Willow Wood Pathfinder and the Össur Ceterus and Reflex VSP. Others, such as the Endolite Mercury Pylon and Seattle AirStance, are separate components fabricated into the finished prosthetic limb.
Fillauer’s DuraShock Pylon is a newer impact stress-reducing design, notable for its ability to accommodate 60 degrees of axial rotation – 30 degrees in each direction – thereby reducing torsional strain on the residual limb.
That capability makes the DuraShock applicable for active amputees who frequently use twisting and turning motions in their vocational setting and/or in recreational activities such as golf, tennis, hiking and gardening.
Please call one of our offices in Beaumont, Nederland or Jasper for a free initial consultation. One of our friendly staff members will be glad to assist you.