Award for Otto Bock's electronically controlled knee joint

9 March 2010

Mobility product supplier Otto Bock Healthcare has received the prestigious 2009 award for ‘Prosthetic or Orthotic Product Innovation’ from The Limbless Association for its E-MAG Active knee joint.

The newly launched orthosis is the first electronically controlled knee-joint system that provides a far greater level of mobility, reliability and safety than a conventional orthosis.

E-MAG Active’s unique design works independently of the ankle joint or sole of the foot. This means that even users with no ankle functionality, caused by partial or complete paralysis as a result of stroke, poliomyelitis or post polio syndrome, are still able to achieve a natural, smoother gait pattern when walking. Patients are therefore able to maximise mobility and independence in a secure way improving overall quality of life.

The E_MAG knee-joint

The new lightweight knee-joint system (see photo above) opens and closes automatically whilst walking, locking in the stance phase and unlocking in the swing phase. An intelligent sensor system measures the position of the leg during walking and electronically controls the orthotic joint accordingly, locking and unlocking the joint depending on forefoot load and knee extension. E-MAG Active gives clear acoustic or vibration feedback to alert the user as to the joint’s status.

A user walking with the E-MAG kneeCraig Stevens, Product Manager at Otto Bock Healthcare says, “E-MAG Active has ushered in a new era in orthotics. The secure stance and free swing phases give users a more natural walking pattern, which enhances confidence and leads to a freer range of movement and greater patient compliance. The feedback system also eliminates a host of secondary problems often related to injury caused as a result of a fall. Otto Bock is extremely pleased with this award as it recognises significant innovation in orthotics.”

E-MAG Active is suitable for a body weight of up to 85 kg and requires certain residual muscle functions or hyperextension of the knee joint to guarantee consistent activation of the swing and stance phases. Depending on types of activity, energy efficient batteries will deliver up to 10,000 steps per day, although daily recharging is recommended.


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