Advancements in prosthetic technology have greatly accelerated since the introduction of microprocessor control systems incorporated into prosthetic components. The Ottobock C-Leg was introduced in the United States in 1998, offering the first microprocessor regulated hydraulic swing and stance phase yielding during the gate cycle. The consistent response and stability of computer regulated hydraulics opened up the possibility of using prosthetic limbs to people that previously were unable to successfully utilize an artificial limb.
The primary patient population this technology can impact are individuals with bilateral above knee amputations. Without having a "good" leg to catch them if they stumble, microprocessor control of the hydraulic actuator, updated 100 times per second while walking, provides the consistent stability and support necessary. The C-Leg revolutionized the industry and continues to be the benchmark for prosthetic knee systems.
Always on a quest for improvement, Ottobock set out to develop a new knee system that again would take function to a new level. The Genium Bionic knee system was introduced with a new control system that includes a sensor array with a gyroscope to tell the computer where the knee is in 3D space. The control of the hydraulic regulated actuator is updated 100 times per second during the gait cycle. Battery life is an amazing five days and can be extended even further by turning off the knee when not in use. There are five additional programmable modes that can be setup for the prosthetic user to access via a remote control or a smartphone app (Android only). These modes can be customized by the prosthetist so the user can select and modify them as necessary in their daily lives.
Genium’s advantage: Optimized Physiological Gait (OPG)
How does it work?
(1) Preflex: Prepares the knee for flexion in loading with every step by maintaining a controlled 4 degrees of knee flexion at initial contact
• Improves shock absorption and a more equal stride
• Makes slopes and uneven terrain easier to handle and reduces compensatory motions
• Helps make swing initiation easier.
(2) Adaptive Yielding Control: Stance flexion and stance extension resistances optimize movement.
• Intuitive yielding for stance flexion and stance extension
• Improves efficient control of prosthesis
• Provides more stability in stance flexion
• Prevents extension “snap-back” of knee at mid-stance.
(3) Dynamic Stabiility Control (DSC): The main electronics monitors six sensor inputs to ensure appropriate timing for stance release.
• Makes it easier to take quick steps in any direction – forwards, backwards, and sideways
• Increases stability when walking backwards.
(4) Adaptive Swing Phase Control: Swing phase flexion and extension resistances change in real time.
• OPG function is not limited by walking style or pace: quick, slow, irregular
• Eases completion of swing phase, reducing the risk of stumbles and falls