Within two steps sensors in the Rheo Knee, shown here, calculate walking speed, judge the terrain and start compensating for potential problems. Another Ossur product, the Power Knee, uses a sensor placed on an amputee's natural leg that allows it to make speed and terrain calculations in half a step. The sensor communicates with the prosthetic via wireless Bluetooth technology.
The Rheo Knee is a lighter prosthetic, with relatively long battery life, making it suitable for patients who are relatively active or who don't need the added power of a motor. The Power Knee weighs about as much as a human leg, while the Rheo knee weighs less at about 3.6 pounds.
Ossur says its products produce roughly 70 percent to 85 percent of the functionality of a normal limb. The Rheo Knee costs some $35,000 to $40,000, while the Power Knee costs as much as $100,000. A basic mechanical leg, including customization and fitting, can cost up to $25,000.
July 8, 2006 5:50 AM PDT
Photo by: Ossur North America
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