Otto Bock HealthCare Innovations Highlighted at World's Largest Prosthetic and Orthotic Tradeshow
High-tech world firsts on display in Leipzig, Germany
By: Cara Koski
Targeted Muscle Reinervation (TMR) prostheses allow for unprecedented control of upper limb prostheses. Initially developed by Dr. Todd Kuiken, M.D., Ph.D., at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, TMR combines innovative surgery with new prosthetic technologies. Prior to TMR, arm prostheses were controlled with simple, sequential myoelectric signals. TMR, however, allows a user to intuitively control multiple arm joints by repositioning the nerves in the pectoral muscle originally used to control the natural arm so that they can be picked up with an array of electrodes to control the prosthetic arm. Otto Bock's version of the TMR prosthesis uses its DynamicArm elbow joint, which is designed to allow multiple simultaneous command signals. As Christian Kandlbauer, Europe's first TMR user said at the trade show, "I control my left prosthetic arm with my memories of my previous arm, and when I try to 'move' it, it moves my prosthetic arm. Over time, it's as if it's become a part of my body."
Otto Bock is famous for its C-Leg® prosthesis, but the Genium intuitive microprocessor-
Another highlight was the groundbreaking Michelangelo prosthetic hand. The Michelangelo hand and AXON-Bus® prosthetic system offers multiple grip functions that allow users to master everyday tasks such as opening a tube of toothpaste, gripping a key, holding a credit card, picking up a bottle and using a clothes iron. The thumb can also open up to hold a plate or bowl, and the repositionable wrist joint has been refined and offers a more natural shape and movement.
Both the Genium and the Michelangelo will be available late 2011.
In the orthotic realm, a new knee brace called the Patella Pro was previewed. Until now, typical knee braces have not provided adequate tracking control for the patella. The Patella Pro is intended for people with chronic anterior knee pain, and helps the kneecap track correctly, especially during the critical flexion zone between 10 and 30 degrees, where the kneecap is particularly prone to luxation.
Says Brad Ruhl, CEO and President of Otto Bock US HealthCare, "At Leipzig, we were able to see how the ongoing and constructive exchange of opinions from our customers, physicians, therapists and, of course, the product users themselves helps us to develop the right products. Bringing medical, therapeutic and technical possibilities into reality has become more and more challenging, but we are confident that keeping our focus on people with their individual needs will mean continued success."
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Minnesota-based Otto Bock HealthCare LP was established in 1958 as the Americas corporate headquarters of Otto Bock HealthCare, GmbH, based in Duderstadt, Germany. Otto Bock has more than 4,000 employees worldwide and produces over 40,000 types of prosthetic and orthotic components, mobility and rehabilitation products, and is the U.S. leader in delivering continuous passive motion (CPM) services and related therapies. (www.ottobockus.com)