Robert C. Dean, Jr., Sc.D.
Synergy Innovations, Inc.
Among the 220,000 lower-limb amputees, and approximately 60,000 new amputees/year in the U.S., many are dissatisfied with their prostheses. They endure constant pain and discomfort, which they assume to be unavoidable. The comfort, energy efficiency and security of prosthesis are directly related to the fit of the socket. Yet, the consistent, precision fit of a socket has proven elusive because of natural fluctuations in the size of an amputee's residual limb. The result is chronic discomfort and an expensive, often never-ending, search for a more comfortable prosthesis. To correct this basic defect, we have innovated a Smart Variable- Geometry Socket (SVGS) for lower-limb prostheses. The SVGS is a socket that automatically compensates for volumetric variations of the residual limb. It creates a consistent and precise fit, which lowers the need for, and cost of, continued rehabilitation and greatly improves the quality of life for lower-limb amputees.