For amputees, finding the best prosthetic for their lifestyle can be a challenge, but most agree that the closer the device comes to mimicking its biological counterpart, the better. That’s the thinking behind Empower, the only lower leg prosthetic with an active ankle joint. What sets our device apart is the way it helps in moving the foot forward. It’s the only mechanical ankle that does plantar flexion— the ‘step off’ movement, Most prosthetic feet are stationary, and more advanced feet use hydraulics or are external-powered to allow more movement. The Empower is unique in that it actually powers the amputee forward. That mechanism imitates life-like movement of lost muscles and tendons, which is said to normalize gait, reduce stress on joints and help wearers with longer distances and uneven ground.
The patient population that I think it benefits most are the healthy, very active patients who walk a lot on uneven terrain and out in the community. The mechanism provides the energy, or power, that otherwise they would have to exert to walk those steps, so it decreases fatigue and improves walking speed, walking distance and reduces pain in their sound leg, particularly for those walking 10,000 steps a day or more.