The US Army is testing a new knee prosthesis from Otto Bock on 30 wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center. The X2 microprocessor knee was developed to provide more support and give the lower leg a more natural walking gait.
With the older C-Leg, many patients were dealing with knee and joint pain and once they began wearing the new X2, the patients saw relief almost immediately, said Adele Levine, a physical therapist at the center.
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Marcus Wilson, one of patients at Walter Reed testing out the microprocessor knee, said “once I got the confidence to trust the leg, that it would do what it was supposed to do, I almost got immediate relief. No knee pain, hip pain, everything evened out.”
He shared that the leg has given him the ability to stand in any position and rest on the amputated side relieving pressure on his intact leg.
He also shared that the X2 has given him the ability to run again without having to switch to another leg.
The X2 microprocessor knee by Otto Bock HealthCare is the result of a project funded in support of the Military Amputee Research Program. The project is administered by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, or TATRC.
The project had the goal of developing "an electronically controlled prosthetic knee joint that meets the specific demands of military staff in real-world activity," said Troy Turner, Advanced Technology Research program manager at TATRC.
In 2005, the TATRC staff recognized that even the cutting-edge prosthetic devices weren’t good enough, Turner said.
“Otto Bock had the C-Leg, it was the best that was available, but not the best needed,” Turner said. He also said that they realized Soldiers needed a prosthetic knee with a longer battery life, the ability to walk and run backward and forward and go up stairs foot over foot.
Otto Bock developed a proposal that was later funded and has developed a new knee that has more durability and functionality, extended battery life, remote control functions and can handle higher weight limits.
Press release from Walter Reed: Patients at Walter Reed testing next-generation prosthesis