قناة صدى البلد البلد سبورت صدى البلد جامعات صدى البلد عقارات Sada Elbalad english
الإشراف العام
إلهام أبو الفتح
رئيس التحرير
طه جبريل
الإشراف العام
إلهام أبو الفتح
رئيس التحرير
طه جبريل

Specialists unveil first artificial leg you can actually feel

صدى البلد

Specialists have unveiled the world’s first prosthetic leg capable of simulating feeling of a real limb and inhibiting phantom pain.
The artificial leg, developed by Professor Hubert Egger at the University of Linz, was unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna on Monday.
In order to install the prosthetic, the nerve endings from an amputee’s stump were initially rewired into healthy tissue in the thigh, bringing them closer to the surface of the skin. Then a lightweight artificial limb was fitted with six sensors that connect the sole of the artificial foot to stimulators in its shaft next to the stump.
When a patient fitted with the limb applies pressure or walks, the sensors relay signals to the brain, simulating a lifelike feeling for the patient.
"In a healthy foot, skin receptors carry out this function but they are obviously missing here. However, the information conductors -- the nerves -- are still present, they're just not being stimulated," noted Egger.
"The sensors tell the brain there is a foot and the wearer has the impression that it rolls off the ground when he walks, he added.
"It feels like I have a foot again. I no longer slip on ice and I can tell whether I walk on gravel, concrete, grass or sand. I can even feel small stones," said Austrian amputee Wolfgang Rangger, who lost his right leg to an accident in 2007.
Professor Egger added that the new device can also relieve patients from phantom pain, usually caused by the amputation.
Amputees suffer from phantom pain because brain sensitivity increases as it attempts to find information about the lost limb, he explained. “Plus, the amputation is often tied to a traumatic experience like an accident or illness, and the mind keeps reliving these memories.”
According to Egger, just days after one of his patients started using the new limb, the phantom pain vanished.
"I was barely able to walk with a conventional prosthesis, didn't sleep for more than two hours a night and needed morphine to make it through the day," said Rangger, who has been testing the artificial leg for the last six months.

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