Bionic leg makes walking more natural for amputees

“A new surgical technique could dramatically improve walking in below-knee amputees and help them better control their prosthesis.” The American site Stat News is one of many media outlets to report the results of a clinical trial that allowed amputees to control their robotic prosthesis with their brains, without conscious effort, and thus improve their walking experience.

Described in Nature Medicine 1er Julythis trial involved fourteen participants who had undergone below-the-knee amputations. Half of them were fitted with a robotic leg that could be fully controlled by the brain and spinal cord.

The results: These participants were able to walk faster than those with standard robotic legs, were more stable on uneven terrain, and had better proprioception, or spatial awareness, of their residual limb. Even their phantom pain, the pain felt in the limb that is no longer present, was reduced.

In a popular article, Nature detailed :

“The nerve signals that appear in the remaining part of the limb are amplified by a computer, allowing the wearer to move the prosthesis using his thoughts and natural reflexes.”

The video below shows the difference between participants with a standard prosthesis and those fitted with the

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