Dynamic-model amputation is an emerging surgical procedure that could help boost functionality in prosthetics, according to CNN.
While a standard amputation cuts feedback between muscles, this procedure uses a pulley system and sensors that allow muscles to work better in relation to one another.
- Prosthetics have advanced more rapidly than surgical procedures, but dynamic-model amputation could level the playing field.
Jim Ewing, a 52-year-old who suffered nerve damage to his ankle in a rock climbing accident, is one of the first patients to undergo dynamic-model amputation. He is still waiting to have sensors implanted in his legs and for a robotic prosthesis to be developed, but the surgery alone has already improved his condition.
Numerous implantable devices have been developed for various parts of the body to track and manage different health conditions. One implantable device that sends brain signals to muscles helped one quadriplegic patient regain some movement in one of his arms. According to an estimate from Mordor Intelligence, the global market for bionic medical devices will exceed $16 billion by 2019.
While dynamic-model amputation is still an experimental procedure and the final outcome for patients like Ewing are unknown, it shows how medical procedures are changing as new technology becomes available. It seems likely doctors will continue to partner with engineers exploring implantable devices as technological innovations continue to accumulate.