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How Does a Prosthetic Leg Work?

In 2012, Oscar Pistorius became the first amputee to run in the Olympics. Although both of his legs were amputated below the knee when he was less than a year old, he has spent his time competing throughout the world. As you watch him speeding around the track, you may be wondering “how does a prosthetic leg work?” Learning about how each part functions can help you understand how one moves, or runs, using artificial arms and legs. And one can then wonder how these limbs are giving a ray of hope to so many people around the world. Some of them are actually competing with the best in the world using not natural but artificial arms and hands.

Ankle

The ankle joint is typically made from aluminum and carbon fiber for strength and flexibility. There shouldn’t be any problems supporting your weight with these materials. There are screws in the ankle that allow you to change the angle of the ankle, so you can complete various activities.

Foot

The foot can come in your same shoe size, which will ensure that it can bear your weight when standing or moving about with the prosthetic. There are different types of feet for you to choose from. Some will look like a foot, and others will look more like a hook. These varieties are better options for runners.

Leg

The leg part is made from carbon fiber and plastic. The material is flexible, and it should mold to the person wearing it. The person wearing the prosthetic limb will wear a liner that hugs the leg. At the bottom of the liner is a screw which attaches the liner to the prosthetic. The screw clicks into the leg to keep it secure and strong.

The technology used to create each ankle, foot, and leg allows the wearer to move around, but it takes some time to get used to using the prosthetic limb. It’s important to have a limb that is made specifically for you, so it can take your height, weight, and other characteristics into account. If you or a loved one requires a prosthetic leg in Memphis, contact Human Technology for best leg prosthesis for Prosthetics & Orthotics for a consultation and evaluation to start designing the same for you. Being the leading company, Human Technology ensures that you always get the most comforting and right fit best prosthetic leg which gives right confidence.

How Do Prosthetic Arms Work?

Have you ever watched someone with a prosthetic arm and wondered how they were able to get the arm to move for them? People can use their prosthetic to pick things up, play sports, and complete other day-to-day tasks. How can they do these things with just a prosthetic limb? There are different ways to power the limbs. Here are the 3 methods that can be used and how they work to allow the amputee to complete various tasks:

Body Powered

In body-powered arms, there are cables which connect the limb to another part of your body. The cable may run from the prosthetic hand or pincher to your opposite shoulder. As you move your opposite shoulder in various ways, you can control the prosthetic.

Motor Powered

In motor-powered arms, there are switches and buttons that control the prosthetic. These can be pushed by your opposite shoulder or the same shoulder if it has the muscle needed to push them. You can practice with the limb to figure out where the switches and buttons are and what each one can do for you.

Myoelectric Powered

The most recent technology in powering prosthetic limbs is myoelectric power. With these, the arms are powered by the muscles in your residual limb that can be contracted to generate electrical signals to move the limb. Electrodes are placed on the skin to read the muscle contractions and cause the limbs to move accordingly.

When using any of these ways to power a prosthetic arm, it can take some time to get used to moving the limb. You need to figure out the right way to move to pull the cable, push the buttons and switches, or contract your muscles in order to make the arm work the way you want it to. At Human Technology Prosthetics & Orthotics in Memphis, we can work with you to help you practice with the limb and figure out how to use it.

Why You Should Get Orthotics for Hallux Rigidus

If you have hallux rigidus, then you may have been told that surgery is the only solution to this difficult and often painful problem. However, there are other types of treatment available! We would like to inform you that you may be able to find relief from the use of orthotic devices, or medically-prescribed devices for correcting and soothing painful or irregular standing or movement.

Hallux rigidus is a joint disorder that takes place where the big toe meets the rest of the foot. The joint can be painful and stiff, making it difficult for you to use your big toe. This problem is usually related to arthritis.

Living with this disorder can be painful and limiting, as your big toe is used for balance, walking, standing, and stretching. When these movements become painful or difficult, you may feel that you cannot move or that you will need a walker or cane to stay balanced and moving.

If you feel that you or a loved one has problems with these activities and if you notice a decreased ability to move the big toe as well as stiffness in the joint, then you or your loved one should see a doctor. Hallux rigidus needs treatment as soon as possible so that those who are afflicted with this disorder can continue living their lives peacefully and painlessly.

Surgery is not the only option for treating this disorder. Many foot doctors will jump to expensive surgeries with a long recovery time as the best solution, but there is another way to treat hallux rigidus. Orthotics can improve the function of the foot and offer foot balance, support, decreased joint pressure, and improved foot function, all with the use of a single device that can be fitted to a person’s foot. Unlike walkers and other movement aids, these orthotic devices can be small enough to fit into a shoe, meaning that those with hallux rigidus can feel completely at ease with themselves. They may even forget they have a problem at all. We strongly recommend that you ask a doctor for an orthotic product as a treatment for hallux rigidus.

Why You Should Consider Orthotic Inserts for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a plague among runners and other athletes who are on their feet a lot. This injury can be so painful that it prevents people from training or even getting out of bed in the morning. Thankfully, there are many different things people can do to prevent and treat this problem, one of which is putting orthotic inserts in their shoes.

What Is the Plantar Fascia?

The first thing to understand about plantar fasciitis is what the plantar fascia is. This band of “gristle,” becomes obvious when someone holds their foot in their hands and bends back the toes. Running along the inside of the foot between the ball and heel is a tight band that is sometimes observable and always palpable; this is the plantar fascia.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

This fascia can easily become injured which leads to pain and swelling. Some things that can cause this kind of injury include overuse, exaggerated pronation, obesity, and ill-fitting shoes. While most of these causes are best left to the help of an experienced coach or physical therapist, getting the right kind of foot support is something that is easily taken care of with the help of customized insoles.

An Interconnected Problem

Orthotics is a branch of medicine that focuses on using artificial devices to help make up for the shortcomings of the human body. In this case, orthotic insoles are custom fitted to help protect feet and legs from their own weaknesses. While this might sound a little funny, the truth is many people have flat feet, high arches, or an unusual pronation pattern. All of these imbalances seem small when considered singly, but, when we look at their effect on the whole body, we can see that they cause big problems.

The Pronation Problem

When someone wears customized orthotics, they are “shoring up” their feet, ankles, knees, and overall alignment which protects against stress-related injuries. The reason arch support is so important is that it affects something called pronation. Pronation is the professional term for how a foot moves to the side when it hits the ground. In people with flat feet, over-pronation is the problem and in people with high arches, supination is the problem. As most people can imagine, constantly walking on the side of the foot can cause all sorts of problems. But with customized inserts, the foot stays steady and the plantar fascia stays healthy.

What Is an Orthotic Device?

You may have heard the term “orthotics” or “custom foot orthotics” on television or from a physician. While most medical terminology is meant to be shared only among medical professionals like doctors and nurses, used to communicate with each other clearly and effectively, there are many reasons why we believe that you should know what orthotic devices are.

First of all, you may have a loved one that is in need of these devices. Second, you may actually need them for yourself! Third, when you are offered surgery or orthotic devices as possible treatments for a condition, then you will need to understand what the orthotic option refers to exactly.

Simply put, orthotic devices are mechanisms used in the field of orthotics, a branch of medical knowledge and treatment related to the straightening or correcting of problems in a human’s muscles or skeletal system.

These problems can include everything from bunions to cerebral palsy. Many conditions that affect how a person walks, stands, positions their spine, or otherwise naturally moves can be aided by an orthotic device.

What are some of these devices? You have likely heard of foot inserts as an example of an orthotic device, as they help a person to stand and walk without significant discomfort, but there are other, larger orthotic devices as well.

For example, ankle braces that allow a person to stand straight are orthotics. Also, wrist braces, arm braces, spinal orthotics, and heel casts are orthotic devices. They all work to help those who have pain or difficulty with basic movements to be able to perform these activities again.

You may be in need of these or any other orthotic products yourself, or a loved one may be in need of these important aids. People with severe conditions as well as those who simply have discomfort from spending several hours a day on their feet can benefit from these products. Many of them are built so that they can be hidden under clothing or in shoes so that you can look and feel completely comfortable. We’ve found that many people can feel muscle and bone improvements from the use of orthotics.

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