How the combination of hydraulics, microprocessors, and waterproof materials create more choices for amputees

Posted on 23 January 2023

Prosthetics like the ElanIC, Echelon, EchelonER, and AvalonK2 combine waterproof materials with hydraulic ankles to give prosthetists and patients even more options that align with their lifestyle

Many amputees find themselves facing limited choices on a regular basis. Sometimes it can be a limit in where they can go, given the severity of a slope or the ruggedness of terrain. Sometimes it can be the conditions, like the depth of a stream when hiking, or if it’s raining outside. There can also be a limit to the distance a prosthetic can handle, or the comfort level of a prosthetic before it becomes unbearable.

These situations can be viewed as a minor consideration or a complete hinderance, depending on the options in prosthetics that are made available to them. The choice to run, walk, and hike places that are accessible to others should be just as available to those using prosthetics as they are to anyone else. And while prosthetic limbs may not be a complete biological imitation of an organic limb, the objective of Blatchford and other manufacturers is to get it as close as possible.

Some prosthetics like the Elan and ElanIC utilise a microprocessor that adjusts to the specific user’s gait and adapts to terrain to allow for better mobility. The adaptability of the technology in these prosthetics is engineered to make the life of an amputee that much easier, giving them back their freedom of movement.

With solutions like these, the option of choosing an active lifestyle is no longer limited by previously available technology. Instead, their lifestyle choices are bolstered, allowing them to enjoy the fullness of an activity like hiking. There is less concern about the obstacles along the way while walking down the road because the microprocessor in the prosthetic ankle is there to reduce stumbles and falls and to provide the support that’s needed.

Other prosthetics from Blatchford, like the Echelon, EchelonER, and AvalonK2 are not only hydraulic ankles that replicate natural motion, but they are made to be waterproof. This means that amputees using these ankles can leave them on in the shower, rely on them despite the rain, and are completely safe for submersion. Additionally, the ElanIC goes one step further by combining all three aspects of hydraulic power, microprocessor intelligence, and waterproof materials.

The combinations of biomimicry from microprocessors, hydraulic ankle technology, and waterproof materials make the options seemingly endless for which prosthetic may be the best fit. When there’s no longer a concern for getting the prosthetic wet, this hinderance of choice goes out the window. Now the amputee no longer worries about whether they can walk out in the rain, or if the trail they’re on goes through a stream.

Innovative solutions like microprocessor hydraulic ankles and knees along with waterproof prosthetic materials create more options for amputees. Now they have the choice to take more involved paths, or to venture places with varied conditions. Blatchford recognises the world doesn’t exist in a lab. Amputees live in the real world with everyone else. Blatchford prosthetic solutions are designed to operate in the real world and, as a result, provide the amputee with real world choices.