Computerised knees feature an on-board micro-processor which receives feedback from sensors inside the joint and foot.
The micro-processor uses the received data to constantly adjust the knee in real time to match the user’s walking characteristics. In this respect they are type of enhanced hydraulic system where the computer operates the control valves in the knee to restrict or allow the flow of hydraulic fluid.
Micro-processor knees can adjust to different walking speeds, terrain and situations and may also exhibit ‘stumble recovery’ features.
- More natural gait.
- Ability to adjust to different cadences.
- Assists in stumble recovery.
- May have more than one mode of operation.
- Requires less effort to walk & less cognitive input once learned.
- Superior control on uneven surfaces& ramps.
- The ability to descend stairs step over step.
- Powers down safely and gracefully.
- Supports weight bearing in stand to sit transition.
- Requires frequent (daily) charging.
- Heaviest and largest of all knee types.
- Does not pair well with full length cosmetic covers.
- May have a limited number of foot options.
- Sensitive to environmental conditions (dust, vibration, salt or fresh water, chemicals, excess heat or cold, strong magnetic fields).
- Kneeling can cause damage.
- Very steep learning curve initially.
- For established amputees: requires significant commitment to gait re-education.
- May require trained & certified practitioner to make adjustments.
- Requires occasional return-to-manufacturer servicing.
- Very expensive.
- Requires notification to insurer for insurance purposes.