This prosthesis has been made for a knee disarticulation (through-knee) client. This means that the client has retained the full length of her femur (thigh bone), but has no functional knee joint by which to control her prosthesis. This full femur length allows us to lower the socket trimlines to improve range of movement and comfort around the hip and pelvis.
Standing on a snowboard requires very specific componentry for an amputee. The crouch position makes the knee joint unstable, so this knee unit has a complex interaction of springs and shock absorbers to keep the rider stable and secure on rough and bumpy terrain. These springs and shock absorbers are adjustable to each rider’s weight and riding style to improve control and comfort while minimising fatigue.
The rider’s body must also be positioned correctly over the prosthesis and board to maximise stability and control. The rider uses their body weight to lean onto the board’s edges for turning and controlling the snowboard, but this is very difficult without direct ankle and knee control. If body weight is too far forward or backward then the rider will become unbalanced leaning the board onto its edges.
Fine tuning a snowboarding prosthesis is very difficult to do inside a medical clinic. Our Canberra facility is uniquely positioned only 40 minutes from a small snowfield. This allows us to do on mountain tuning and setup for the best possible results.