Types of Above Knee Prosthesis: Exploring Your Options for Mobility

There are various types of above-knee prostheses, also known as transfemoral prostheses, designed to restore mobility and functionality for individuals who have undergone amputation above the knee. The specific type of prosthesis used depends on factors such as the individual’s activity level, residual limb condition, and personal preferences. Here are some common types of above-knee prostheses:

1. Conventional Above-Knee Prosthesis

A conventional above-knee prosthesis consists of a socket, a knee joint, a pylon (artificial limb support), and a foot. The socket is custom-made to fit the individual’s residual limb and provide comfort and support. The knee joint can be mechanical, hydraulic, or computerized, providing stability and mimicking natural knee movement. The foot component is chosen based on the individual’s activity level and specific needs.

2. Microprocessor-Controlled Above-Knee Prosthesis

Microprocessor-controlled above-knee prostheses incorporate advanced technology to enhance walking stability and functionality. These prostheses use sensors and microprocessors to detect movement and adjust the knee joint’s resistance and damping in real-time. They provide improved gait control, adaptability to different walking speeds and terrains, and can enhance stability and reduce the risk of falls.

3. Vacuum-Assisted Suspension System

Some above-knee prostheses incorporate a vacuum-assisted suspension system to enhance socket fit and comfort. This system uses a vacuum seal or suction to secure the prosthesis to the residual limb, reducing movement within the socket, enhancing stability, and improving overall control.

4. Elevated Vacuum Suspension System

Elevated vacuum suspension systems utilize a vacuum pump to create a negative pressure between the socket and the residual limb. This improves suspension, increases comfort, enhances circulation, and reduces volume fluctuations in the residual limb during movement.

5. Energy-Storing Prosthetic Feet

Energy-storing prosthetic feet are designed to replicate the natural movement and energy return of a biological foot. These feet absorb and store energy during the stance phase of walking and release it during the push-off phase, providing a more efficient and natural gait.

It’s important for individuals who require an above-knee prosthesis to work closely with a prosthetist who can assess their specific needs, provide recommendations, and customize the prosthesis for the best fit, comfort, and functionality. Regular follow-up appointments and adjustments may be necessary to ensure optimal performance and address any changes in the residual limb.