Lower Extremity Amputation
In North America, it is estimated that 1 in 200 people have had an amputation. This equates to over 1.7 million people. Following amputation, patients have problems with both care of the amputation stump, as well as their prosthesis. He or she must learn to apply, walk with, remove and care for the prosthesis; he or she must also monitor the stump skin for any pressure points, and ambulate on difficult terrain (in both light and dark) with inadequate sensory feedback from both the stump and the sole of the prosthesis. Resulting problems include stump damage, infection, further amputation and death, as well as issues with walking, balance and potential falls.
Much stump breakdown results from abnormal sensation and pain feedback at the stump site. When this sensory capacity is compromised or absent, irreversible damage can occur in under 15 minutes. Orpyx® hopes to be able to restore that communication gap through technology adapted from the SurroSense Rx™ system. This technology sends an alert to the wearer via wristwatch display or mobile app when excessive pressure thresholds are exceeded. The wearer is then able to offload pressure on the stump immediately to avoid further tissue damage.
The SurroGait Rx™ system is amenable for use with the prosthetic limb itself. The device transposes plantar pressure from the insensate prosthetic foot to a vibrotactile back pad. The wearer will essentially feel their prosthetic foot through the back and will be able to use that sensory substitute to alter their behaviour to improve their gait and balance.