In prosthetics, our ultimate goal should transcend the physical act of mere device delivery and extend into the realm of total device embodiment. This research is very interesting as it highlights the brain’s ability to adapt and change in significant ways. Prosthesis acceptance is a problem many struggle with and it is evident from the feedback we receive from amputees and others. Many prosthesis wearers come to us specifically because they are seeking a better connection to their prosthesis. They report that they feel very disconnected from their px, often stating it feels heavy, uncomfortable, inefficient, and unstable, resulting in a high risk and fear of falls. On the contrary, in our clinic and with our HiFi Licensees, we continue to document that most of our HiFi Prosthetic Interface wearers state their prosthesis feels like a part of them, feels significantly lighter, moves with them, and many report phantom sensations lost long ago now returning, allowing them to feel the ground, make quick adjustments and prevent falls. Some even forget they are wearing their prosthesis, the ultimate indication of device embodiment. I believe this to be the result of our High-Fidelity Interface’s emphasis on proper biomechanics, a term too often tossed around casually when referring to standard of care sockets with near total disregard for uncontrolled bone motion. Proper biomechanics is impossible if the primary mover is flailing about within the socket. With our patented and patents-pending osseostabilizing technology that was designed from its inception to control unwanted translation of the underlying bone shaft, we achieve a syncing of the prosthesis with skeletal motion. This synchronization in concert with a strongly activated fascial sensor network from targeted compression is a better match to the condition experienced prior to limb loss, allowing natural stimulation of the brain that is more representative of a sound limb. With skeletal control, the wearer can distance themselves from the artificiality of poorly connected prosthetic devices, allowing their brain to better “accept” this new condition and more fully incorporate it into the sense of self. In other words, get on with the business of living. While this is a great breakthrough in prosthetic technology, the limiting factor here is not our brain, as noted above, it instead is our industry’s reluctance to change, inability to break long established fitting habits (that yield subpar results), and refusal to acknowledge that perhaps the way we did things in the past was detrimental to our patients. My hope is to continue to work with those individuals, researchers, allied health professionals, etc., that continue to look forward – not backwards.
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