Prosthetic Limb Alignment Leaps Into 21st Century
02 Jan 2018
Over the years, a good functional prosthetic outcome has depended largely on two elements: a well-designed, comfortable socket with dependable suspension, and proper alignment of the limb componentry to provide the most efficient gait possible.
Historically, alignment has been a learned art, not easily mastered. But now in the 21st century alignment has become measurable science enabling prosthetists to maximize amputee gait performance in minimal time using a technological breakthrough called Compas™—Computerized Prosthetic Alignment System.
Compas continuously measures dynamic forces and balance while the patient is standing or walking, indoors or outside, on any terrain. A sophisticated electronic instrument housed in a special Smart Pyramid™ prosthetic adaptor is attached near the base of the socket to provide direct measurement of socket reaction forces during ambulation and communicates that data wirelessly via Bluetooth to gait analysis software on a PC. During the alignment, a removable unit attached to the Smart Pyramid provides power, microprocessor control and motion sensing.
The system interprets relevant information generated by from a series of amputee steps to provide prosthesis specific gait analysis and instructions for alignment adjustments. The software compares data from the Smart Pyramid with an advanced computer model of a well-aligned limb to establish whether and how the prosthesis is misaligned and provides the prosthetist with precise coronal and sagittal plane adjustments.
Compas shows the prosthetist precisely what is happening biomechanically, eliminating the need for time-consuming iterative changes to refine alignment based on assumptions. Amputees see and feel the results throughout the alignment process. Incorporating the Smart Pyramid into the prosthesis saves time during the initial alignment and later through decreased need for adjustment.
Compas is one of many high-tech advances raising lifestyle expectations for amputees in the coming years.
Please contact LeTourneau Prosthetics for any of your prosthetic or orthotic needs. Our offices are located in Beaumont, Nederland and Jasper, Texas. We also see many patients from Port Arthur, Orange, Liberty and Woodville. We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.