Microprocessor knees are a type of knee prosthetic that works with a computer
This type of technology allows patients to perform activities that require more physical effort than usual, such as climbing or going up a hill.
All knee componentry is created to imitate the operation of the natural knee joint through different mechanics. When the patient walks, the knee prosthesis should flex and extend as a normal knee would.
There are two types of artificial knees, microprocessor controlled and non-microprocessor controlled, generally speaking.
Not all patients require a microprocessor knee; it all depends on the needs of each individual and the evaluation performed by the physician and the prosthetist. Many aspects of the patient’s potential and current ability will need to be taken into account. Including but not limited to your muscle strength, the lifestyle you want to lead, your balance, and the activity level.
Benefits of a Microprocessor Controlled Knee
Microprocessor Controlled Knee (MPK) has advanced technology that allows the prosthesi to react to different types of surfaces or activities. This prosthesis has sensors that send signals to an internal microprocessor, which is responsible for modifying the knee’s rigidity according to the situation. This microprocessor acts in real-time, helping to prevent falls by adjusting the stiffness of the knee when detecting the beginning of a stumble.
Another of MPK’s advantages is that it is an ideal prosthesis for people who have to face very different terrains, full of curves, ramps, mounds, or any sloped surface. If the patient needs to run, the microprocessor adjusts the stiffness of the prosthesis to keep up. This precise technology allows the patient to start using their prosthesis without problems related to range of motion.
Microprocessor knees are usually recommended for people who have lost both legs and are often combined with microprocessor feet. Although this type of prosthesis has many advantages, it is essential to consider that being an electrical device, it needs to be constantly charged to work. Besides, the microprocessor knee is heavier than other common prosthetics.
What’s the price of a microprocessor knee?
When it comes to prosthetics, the more complex the operation, the higher the price. Microprocessor knees feature cutting-edge technology. That’s why its value can range from $10,000 to $30,000 just the knee itself. Socket and prosthetic foot prices are additional. Most insurance companies cover the cost of microprocessor-based prosthetics, however, almost all of these insurance companies, including private and Medicare providers, require the patient to wear a common mechanical prosthetic for at least a year or there will need to be a fair amount of medical necessity done up front to promote the provision of the device.
Computerized does not mean better for everyone, because many people choose mechanical prostheses do not need to be charged and can be cheaper. Using hydraulic fluid or mechanical friction, these prostheses can regulate the speed at which the knee bends.
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