Current Options for Microprocessor Knees

Microprocessor Knees

The microprocessor knee market is expanding with more than 10 knees already on the market and more on their way. This is good news for above-the-knee amputees. Support for activity levels now ranges from K1 users seeking improved safety for indoor mobility to active adventurers who want to run, bicycle, and even swim in the ocean.

Microprocessor knee technology has matured significantly in the past few years with near-universal support for:

  • adjusted support throughout the Stance Phase of the gait cycle;
  • optimized release points, ground clearance, and proper leg extension in the Swing Phase;
  • stumble recovery;
  • slopes, ramps, and stairs;
  • sitting and standing;
  • improved energy efficiency.

…all managed by increasingly sophisticated sensors and microprocessors. In short, microprocessor knees have finally reached the point where they can restore lost capabilities to millions of people. The only drawback is that they are still too expensive.

Below, you will find brief descriptions and links to more detailed articles on the top microprocessor knees currently on the market.

Ottobock Kenevo Knee

Ottobock’s Kenevo knee is the first bionic knee designed for users with lower mobility grades, meaning persons who walk at no more than half-speed.

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Ottobock Genium Knee

The Ottobock Genium Knee uses microprocessor technology to help users walk with a more natural gait, improved safety, and reduced energy consumption.

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Ottobock C-Leg Bionic Knee

Introduced in 1997, with more than 75,000 fittings worldwide, the C-Leg is a proven bionic knee with excellent stability and dependability. At between $40,000 and $50,000 US for a complete solution, it is in the middle tier of pricing for bionic knees.

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Ossur Rheo Knee XC

Ossur’s Rheo Knee XC is the premium version of its sister product, the Rheo Knee. Added features include increased support for higher-level activities.

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Ossur Rheo Knee

Ossur’s Rheo Knee is the only bionic knee to use a magnetorheological fluid (MRF) to manage its level of resistance. This makes the Rheo Knee more reactive to movements of the residual limb than its hydraulic competitors.

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Ossur Power Knee

Ossur’s Power Knee is the only bionic knee that augments the user’s residual limb with electric power, which helps reduce energy expenditure.

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Nabtesco/Proteor Allux Knee

The latest version of Nabtesco’s Allux Knee (Allux 2) was launched in the U.S. in June 2017. Now distributed by Proteor USA, the Allux has some interesting features, especially its use of a 4-bar linkage system.

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Freedom Plie Knee

The Plie Knee has some unique features that draw both supporters and detractors. With its acquisition by Proteor USA now complete, we are waiting for some indication of its future.

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Related Information

For information on bionic feet/ankles, see Current Options for Bionic Feet.

For a complete description of all current lower-limb technologies, devices, and research, see our comprehensive guide.

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