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Entries in Prosthetics (12)

Friday
Mar252011

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

Tuesday
Jan252011

Roger Ebert Back 'At the Movies' With Prosthetic Chin

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CHICAGO) -- Renowned movie critic Roger Ebert returned to the small screen to talk about the big screen over the weekend in the new show, "Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies" looking much different than he did the last time he gave one of his famous "thumbs up/thumbs down" ratings several years ago.

Ebert, who lost the lower part of his jaw and his voice box after complications from thyroid and salivary gland cancer, appeared in a segment at the end of the show with his new prosthetic chin and an artificial voice in place of what he lost.

A Scotland-based company, CereProc, reconstructed Ebert's voice using archived footage of him from his show "At the Movies." The company says there are realistic animated and emotional aspects to the voices it creates with its software.

Ebert's chin is a silicone prosthesis that is similar to dentures in that it's not meant to be worn all the time. Dr. David Reisberg, a maxillofacial prosthodontist at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, helped create Ebert's prosthetic chin.

"We wanted to design a prosthesis that would elevate his lower jaw or chin area," said Reisberg. "It wasn't so much because he wanted to look better, but he felt that other people would be more comfortable dealing with him."

The prosthesis rests on Ebert's shoulder blades and is almost like a collar, Reisberg said. Since he doesn't wear the chin every day, it's unlikely there will be any complications, which would be minor.

Reisberg said that reconstructive surgery is generally the best option, but Ebert suffered from complications from previous procedures. Reisberg couldn't elaborate on those problems because he wasn't involved in that part of Ebert's cancer treatment.

Surgeons say silicone implants and silicone prostheses are two options for facial reconstruction. Depending on the severity of the facial trauma or personal preference, patients may also opt to use their own tissue.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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