An Incredible Leg

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10 24 12 AM (2)It's a good bet no one really wants to have a prosthetic leg, but if you need one, the latest iteration as described in JAMA this week and Rick and I discuss on PodMed may be the ticket.  This study had this laudable objective: " To determine the effect of including electromyographic (EMG) data and historical information from prior gait strides in a real-time control system for a powered prosthetic leg capable of level-ground walking, stair ascent and descent, ramp ascent and descent, and natural transitions between these ambulation modes."  Wow. In real time it means that the prosthetic leg used in these 7 patients, all of whom had above-knee amputations but previous use of a prosthesis, both historic and real-time data was gathered and integrated into control of the leg and number of missteps calculated.  In short, the prosthesis was able to reduce the number of missteps, and presumably the likelihood of a fall, and performed well over terrains including stairs and ramps as well as in transitions between them.

One concern I raise to Rick is cost, and that's not addressed here, nor is reliability of this complex prosthesis, but it sounds like an advancement for many.  Other topics this week include surgical mishaps in JAMA Surgery, early CPR and mobile activation in NEJM, and the relationship between obesity and breast cancer, in JAMA Oncology.  Until next week, y'all live well.

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