Diabetes and peripheral arterial disease are two prevalent chronic medical conditions afflicting the global population. Lower extremity disease secondary to diabetic microvascular and peripheral vascular disease often result in transmetatarsal foot amputation (TMA). Management after TMA requires extensive rehabilitation often with the aid of prosthetics. Current prosthetics lack the comfort and suspension patients required; they do not adequately support gait, balance, proprioception, and can negatively impact post-amputation limb health. To address these drawbacks, our team designed a Transmetatarsal Foot Prosthetic (TMAP) that enhances proprioception, balance and gait while improving limb health. The new prosthetic is integrated into a compression sock with contractible strings placed within the sock acting as tendons to distribute the patient’s weight evenly as they walk. As the patient steps forward, placing weight on the prosthetic results in the “tendons” extending to redistribute the weight across the foot. Placing weight on the back of the foot results in retraction of the tendons.
The prosthetic is flexible and utilizes an elastic band to aid in weight distribution. Sensors embedded in the insoles detect changes in weight distribution across both feet. Heart rate/pulse oximetric sensors within the compression sock monitor the health of the limb. Data is collected and stored in real time on a mobile app, to be retrieved by therapists during scheduled appointments.
The prototype, currently in its developmental phase, will be completed by early March. In conclusion, the TMAP will improve gait and balance, increase comfort and proprioception, and improve limb health post-amputation.