Entries in Leg (2)


Revolutionary New Prosthesis Helping Wounded Troops Walk Easier

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A revolutionary new prosthetic leg system developed to help troops wounded in battle walk with ease again was showcased Thursday at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The medical advancement, called the PowerFoot BiOM, is the first bionic lower-leg system to restore the lost function of the foot and ankle.  Dr. Paul Pasquins, the chief of orthopedics and rehabilitation at Walter Reed, says unlike previous systems, the new prosthesis doesn't rely on muscles above the knee to help a person walk.

"The difference is all of those devices are passive devices, meaning the individual has to propel themselves, use more proximal muscles -- muscles above the knee, for example, to make that prothesis work," Pasquins explains.  "What this prothesis does is substitute for the muscles that are lost for an amutation below the knee in terms of ankle and foot function."

"The actuators within the prosthesis actually help to propel the individual," he adds.  "So the motors can carry a human body up to 260 pounds."

Army First Sgt. Mike Leonard, who was injured in Afghanistan, says the PowerFoot BiOM makes walking easier.

"It gives your body a forward momentum, so you can walk a little bit easier, with less muscle energy," Leonard says.

So far, only five PowerFoot BiOMs exist.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Leg Pain Could Be Sign of Heart Trouble

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New research suggests a disease that affects the legs could be a warning sign for potential heart trouble.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects about 9 million Americans over 50, putting them at risk for heart attack, according to the Vascular Disease Foundation. 

PAD arises when arteries in the legs become blocked with fatty deposits.  The blockage, in turn, causes reduced blood flow to the legs signaled by muscle pain when walking.  If there are blocked arteries in the legs, it is likely that one might also have blocked arteries elsewhere in the body, including the heart.

"Often people think leg discomfort or slow-healing sores are just a part of aging, yet they can be signs of a serious disease," Dr. Joseph Caporusso, chair of the PAD Coalition, said in a news release.

Caporusso noted that early detection and treatment can reduce the devastating effects of PAD and improve cardiovascular health.

The Vascular Disease Foundation suggests adults age 70 and older with PAD symptoms or individuals under age 50 with diabetes or a history of smoking should be tested for PAD.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

ABC News Radio