The technological advancement in prosthetic leg architecture is astounding. They could never have imagined the intuitiveness or sleek appearance of prosthetics a century ago, and they would not have had the materials to make anything that worked well. They’d use something as simple as a wooden table leg or chair leg. As you might expect, they were neither comfortable nor clean. There are now numerous types to choose from, depending on the level of activity desired. These are the four basic components of prosthetic legs that you should understand.
A prosthesis (plural: prostheses) is a man-made device that replaces a body part that has been lost due to trauma, disease, or a congenital condition. A prosthesis’s components are determined by the body part it replaces. If the prosthesis replaces a limb, for example, it is referred to as a prosthetic leg.
Components of Prosthetic Legs
1. Socket – The socket connects your residual limb to the prosthesis and serves as the device’s foundation. It is critical to have a proper fit to function comfortably and effectively. Because no two residual limbs are alike, the socket is custom-designed and manufactured to fit the shape of your residual limb as well as individual nerve and skin patterns.
2. Limb – This is the major element of the prosthesis. Legs are commonly made from one of two materials. When a lower prosthetic leg is attached to an intact upper leg below the knee. A lower and upper prosthetic leg with a knee above the knee. Its design will be determined by each individual and their preferences.
3. Knees and Feet – Knees are only required for limbs above the knee (AK). Depending on personal preference, there are several knee options. The two most fundamental types are the single-axis and polycentric axis. The single-axis design allows the knee to only bend backward and forward. Polycentric axis knees can move in a variety of directions. To compensate for the heavier weight of the rest of the prosthesis, the feet are typically designed to be very light. It should be small enough to fit in a shoe while also being tough enough to keep up with each individual’s level of activity, whether walking, running, hiking, or jumping.
4. Structural Components – Artificial legs have fewer structural components than an upper limb. They have the benefit of gravity to perform many of the natural motions. Microprocessor-controlled ankles and knees are available for those seeking more advanced structures. Adjustments are made regularly to ensure comfort and safety. Some people, for example, may dislike the vacuumed feeling in the socket and prefer a belt or strap to keep the prosthesis in place.