Lucas Resch, a 5 year old boy with one leg significantly shorter than the other (proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD)), will be getting a new orthosis designed specifically for him by engineering students from Purdue University.
Kids with similar conditions usually end up relying on leg extensions that create unnatural movement, limiting the range of activities these kids can participate in. The Purdue device significantly increases the child’s range of motion and allows for a more natural gait.
The prosthesis uses a gearbox to produce a knee’s range of motion. Whereas an ankle joint swivels about 40 degrees, a knee joint moves about 90 degrees. The new design hinges on the innovative gearbox that converts the ankle’s limited movement to the motion of a knee, providing greater mobility.
The Purdue students will create a mold of Lucas’s shin to make for a better fit, and the child’s family will return later this year to receive the form-fitted leg. The leg will be adjusted as Lucas grows.
Press release: Child to receive prosthetic leg designed by Purdue students