In the prosthetics industry, new technology is being introduced at a fast and furious pace. Mike Bugg, Owner/CEO of Orthotech Prosthetics & Orthotics, feels that although multiple new componentry are available, the three key advancements for the everyday walker and average amputee are the Symphonie Aqua Casting System, hydraulic feet, and advanced micro-processor knees.
In the winter of 2018, Bugg attended the American Orthotists and Prosthetists Conference in Orlando, FL, where he previewed the Symphonie Aqua Prosthetic Casting System. “I recognized the technique as nothing short of cutting-edge and groundbreaking, helping to create a more comfortable-fitting prosthetic socket,” Bugg stated. He knew immediately he wanted to bring this system to his patients in Michigan. “Every amputee would agree that a comfortable socket is the most important component of a prosthetic.”
The German Symphonie Aqua System technology is now being utilized in the USA and Orthotech is the only prosthetic company in Mid-Michigan currently offering it. “In this system, the patient is casted standing upright while bearing full weight on the residual limb,” Bugg explained. “The limb is gently guided into a cylinder with a water-filled bladder. Even pressure is then applied around the patient’s residual limb with the assistance of an online app which takes into account a patient’s height, weight and redundant tissue. The final result is a more precise socket fit.”
Clear benefits of the Symphonie system are a more comfortable-fitting socket, fewer modifications to the cast, and less trips back to their prosthetist for adjustments.
“Prosthetic technology is never one-size-fits-all, and a great prosthetist should always take into consideration a patient’s lifestyle and quality of life.”
Relatively new to the industry, hydraulic feet have been a game-changer. “They are nothing short of amazing, especially to a seasoned or active amputee,” Bugg said. “Hydraulic feet give an amputee the sensation of a true ankle.” This technology allows an active amputee to excel on uneven terrain including, ramps and hills. It allows the foot to remain flat on the ground, and can be adjusted to variable speeds, for increased comfort and control.
Not new to the industry, micro-processor knees (C-Legs) have continuously improved over the last decade. Today’s components are much lighter, in some cases waterproof, include Bluetooth technology such as intermittent cadence control, adjustments for sit-to-stand, bike-riding, etc.
Insurance coverage criteria for micro-processor knees (C-Leg), however, continue to be a challenge for both the patient and the prosthetist. “A C-Leg is not the best choice for a basic, everyday walker or a new amputee,” Bugg revealed. “Insurance requires detailed documentation from a patient’s doctor and/or therapist that confirms they will benefit from the features of a micro-processor.”
Bugg stresses that “prosthetic technology is never one-size-fits-all, and a great prosthetist should always take into consideration a patient’s lifestyle and quality of life.”
A second-generation and American Board Certified (ABC) prosthetist, orthotist and pedorthist, Mike Bugg has been practicinge for over 35 years. His passion for prosthetics originates from his grandfather who returned from WWII as an amputee. Bugg prides himself in offering the latest in prosthetic technology at five Orthotech locations throughout Mid-Michigan.
For more information on Orthotech, call 844.654.4936 or visit orthotechllc.com.
Provided by Orthotech Prosthetics & Orthotics