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100 Year History of Ottobock Prosthetic Legs

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  • Synopsis: Published: 2014-09-09 (Rev. 2015-10-05) - Images of Ottobock prosthetic legs showing how prostheses technology has advanced over the past 100 years. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Ottobock at www.ottobock.com.

Definition: Prostheses

A device designed to replace a missing part of the body or to make a part of the body work better. Diseased or missing eyes, arms, hands, legs, or joints are commonly replaced by prosthetic devices.

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"Prosthetist Otto Bock began making artificial limbs for war veterans in 1919, when the limb would be strapped on using a belt around the amputees neck."

With the Invictus Games (invictusgames.org) fast approaching, Ottobock has put together an archive of images of the past 100 years of prosthetic legs to show how technology available for war veterans has developed over the years.

Many of the participants of the games next week will be using the latest prosthetic technology from Ottobock, a prosthetic limb specialist who are the official technical service provider of the games.

Prosthetist Otto Bock began making artificial limbs for war veterans in 1919, when the limb would be strapped on using a belt around the amputees neck. Now, the latest limbs contain bluetooth technology to allow the user to switch modes, walk backwards and mimic the natural walk so closely you would not notice the wearer has an artificial limb.

Today, Ottobock is a world leading supplier of high quality, innovative and practical solutions that restore human mobility and help people to rediscover personal independence. Ottobock is part of the Ottobock global group of companies established in the UK in 1976. Its wide product range includes high quality prosthetic and orthotic components, wheelchairs, rehabilitation and mobility products available through the country's leading clinics and dealers. With a highly motivated and skilled team of professionals offering expert advice, product sales, service and support, Ottobock solutions enhance the physical comfort, confidence and mobility of the individual. Ottobock aims to achieve the best possible outcome for its customers, combining the latest technology with cutting-edge products and services.

100 yrs of Prosthetic Legs
Otto Bock Daehne Artificial Leg
Otto Bock Daehne Artificial Leg


1919 - The Otto Bock Daehne Artificial Leg.
Light metal artificial leg
Light metal artificial leg


1941 - Set of components for above-knee artificial legs.
Components for above-knee artificial legs
Components for above-knee artificial legs


1950 - Otto Bock at the Balancing Device for above-knee amputees (the most significant picture of the company founder)
Otto Bock at the Balancing Device for above-knee amputees
Otto Bock at the Balancing Device for above-knee amputees


1952 - The Otto Bock JUPA knee joint.
Otto Bock JUPA knee joint
Otto Bock JUPA knee joint


1980 - Wooden above-knee prosthesis with JUPA knee joint.
Wooden above-knee prosthesis with JUPA knee joint
Wooden above-knee prosthesis with JUPA knee joint


1985 - Otto Bock Modular leg Prostheses Advertisement
Otto Bock Knee exarticulation prosthesis in Paralympic Contest
Otto Bock Knee exarticulation prosthesis in Paralympic Contest


1993 - Otto Bock Knee exarticulation prosthesis in Paralympic Contest
Otto Bock Knee exarticulation prosthesis in Paralympic Contest
Otto Bock Knee exarticulation prosthesis in Paralympic Contest


1995 - Gait analysis with above-knee prosthesis with hydraulic knee joint 3C1.
Gait analysis with above-knee prosthesis with hydraulic knee joint 3C1
Gait analysis with above-knee prosthesis with hydraulic knee joint 3C1


1997 - Descending stairs step-over-step with an above-knee prosthesis with hydraulic knee joint 3R80.
Descending stairs step-over-step with an above-knee prosthesis with hydraulic knee joint 3R80
Descending stairs step-over-step with an above-knee prosthesis with hydraulic knee joint 3R80


1998 - Otto Bock modular leg prostheses for children.
Otto Bock modular leg prostheses for children
Otto Bock modular leg prostheses for children


2000 - The C-Leg, first microprocessor knee in the world.
The C-Leg, first microprocessor knee in the world
The C-Leg, first microprocessor knee in the world


2001 - Three generations of prosthetic technology.

Ottobock has been heavily involved with providing prostheses for serving personnel and veterans. Our technology has been widely used. In earlier days the C-Leg was heavily used to treat above the knee amputees, and since then with the technological advances in today's world the soldiers are using the very best technology on the market in the form of the Genium knee joint and Genium X3 knee joint.

We mainly saw the latest prosthetic technology at Invictus Games - Genium and Genium X3 prosthetic knee joints being used. At the athletics field there were also running blades being used.

In the last decade Prosthetic technology has come on in leaps and bounds. With the introduction of technology that is used in the aircraft industry, the level of complexity of products has advanced significantly. All this improvement in technology is all focused around the user being able to conduct a normal life and hopes to restore their function back to what it was pre-amputation.

In earlier years materials in prosthetic components was limited to metals, plastics and wood. In today's World carbon fiber plays a big role in the prosthetic foot segment. This material is used because of its strength and durability but still has the unique ability to store energy to help the patient during walking. The quest nowadays is to make components as strong and lightweight as possible, but with all the forces going through a prosthesis during activity - this is no easy project!

Patients using some of the earlier day prostheses may have encountered back ache, and due to very basic controls their walking pattern would not have matched their sound side. They may have found walking with an old fashioned style of prosthesis very tiring and may have been subject to lots of falls because of the very basic knee joint designs.

Nowadays, users can benefit massively from new technology. Prosthetic components are designed to mimic the missing anatomy as close as possible. Their Prosthetists can program the knee joints using a laptop and really fine tune its performance to suit the users' needs. Patients are able to have the leg set up to allow them to carry out special activities whereby a different way of moving is required - for example cycling, running or playing golf. Users really benefit from the high levels of safety that comes from a prosthetic component that is controlled by a microprocessor. With this, data is analyzed from the prosthesis during walking and then the necessary changes in function are made to suit the demands placed by the user.

Prosthetic design in the future is still improving significantly. I think we can expect far more intelligence, even lighter weight materials giving the user even more options to lead a normal daily life.



Related:

  1. Touch Bionics Realistic Prostheses - Thomas C. Weiss - (2013-05-06)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/prostheses/touch-bionics.php
  2. Bionic Hand Allows Amputee to Feel in Real-time - Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne - (2014-02-05)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/prostheses/bionic-hand.php
  3. SynTouch BioTac Prosthetics - Human-like Touch - Thomas C. Weiss - (2014-07-13)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/prostheses/syntouch.php

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