DYNAMIC FITTING SYSTEM FOR LOWER-LIMB PROSTHESES

Period of Performance: 01/01/1994 - 12/31/1994

$58.8K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Synergy Innovations, Inc.
10 Water Street, Room 324
Lebanon, NH 03766
Principal Investigator

Abstract

TODAY, PROSTHETISTS HAVE DIFFICULTY IN OPTIMIZING LOWER-LIMB AMPUTEES' SOCKET FIT BECAUSE SCIENTIFIC MEANS FOR ESTABLISHING SOCKET GEOMETRY ARE LACKING. A PRECISE FIT TO THE AMPUTEE'S STUMP IS THE MOST CRITICAL FEATURE OF A LOWER-LIMB PROSTHESIS. FURTHER, WHEN THE AMPUTEE'S STUMP VOLUME CHANGES, THERE IS NO SATISFACTORY METHOD TO ADJUST THE SOCKET FOR A COMFORTABLE FIT. POOR SOCKET FIT RESULTS IN TISSUE TRAUMA, PAIN, AND THE HIGH EXPENSE OF NUMEROUS FITTINGS. THE AMPUTEE'S QUALITY OF LIFE IS DEGRADED. A PRECISE SOCKET-FITTING SYSTEM IS URGENTLY NEEDED FOR MAKING THE INITIAL SOCKET COMPENSATE FOR THE FACT THAT STUMP VOLUME CAN CHANGE BY AS MUCH AS 10-15 PERCENT OVER TIME DUE TO INITIAL ATROPHY, WEIGHT LOSS, DIET, MENSTRUATION, DIALYSIS, ETC. A CHANGE OF AS LITTLE AS 1 PERCENT VOLUME CAN CAUSE DISCOMFORT. TO MEET THIS NEED, A UNIQUE, DYNAMIC, SOCKET-FITTING SYSTEM THAT INTEGRATES SURFACE-PRESSURE MEASUREMENTS WITH THE VARI-GEOMETRY SOCKET IS BEING INVESTIGATED. THIS RESEARCH WILL INNOVATE A MUCH-NEEDED DIAGNOSTIC TOOL FOR THE PROSTHETICS PROFESSION, AND RELIEF FOR THE AMPUTEE FROM PAIN AND UNNECESSARY EXPENSE. AN IMPORTANT ANCILLARY RESULT IS A SCIENTIFIC DATABASE TO REDUCE THE TIME AND EXPENSE TO INITIALLY FIT THE SOCKET TO THE PATIENT.