Patients with artificial leg can feel
Scientists from Austria, developed an artificial leg that allows patients to feel sensations from the foot. The first man who got this artificial leg is Wolfang Rangger. He said that it actually works and the feel is like from the real foot. Prof Hubert Egger from the University of Linz. Said that at the bottom of the foot are sensors that stimulate nerves. This is the first artificial leg that offers this possibility to its patients.
In order to work, surgeons must move nerve endings in the stump of a patient close to the skin surface. Then, 6 sensors are fitted to the foot. They measure the foot and toe movement, but also pressure on the heel. These signals are transferred to the micro-controller which sends them to the stimulators in the shaft. Then, signals stimulate nerve endings and they send signals to the brain. Professor Egger said that signals tell the brain that the real foot is still there.
Wolfgang Ranger was a school teacher. He lost his leg due to stroke and blood clot. He is testing this artificial leg for 6 months, in the lab and at home. Wolfgang Ranger said that he can walk on gravel and ice without fear from slipping. He also rides a bicycle, run and climb.
Another benefit is the reduction of the ‘’phantom limb’’ pain. The brain in patients without a limb, search information from the missing leg or arm. With this, artificial leg, it doesn’t have to do this anymore. Instead, the brain gets real signals. This discovery is presented in Vienna, but it still isn’t published in a science journal.
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