Below Knee Limb Loss and Prosthetic Limbs
Below knee limb loss refers to the amputation or absence of the leg below the knee. You may hear this type of surgery referred to as a "below knee amputation" or "BKA".
This type of amputation can come be a result of complications of vascular diseases or other conditions that affect blood flow, such as diabetes or peripheral arterial disease. Chronic vascular problems can lead to tissue death in toes, feet and legs. There are other ways that a BKA can happen, such as a trauma event, cancer, infection or congenital (born with a limb difference).
A below knee prosthesis is comprised of a suspension sleeve (or belt), socket, shin tube/pylon and prosthetic foot.
Standard Features of a Below Knee Prosthesis
Suspension (not shown) – This holds the artificial limb on to your residual limb. There are different types of suspension. Neoprene or textile type sleeves work due to their friction or “grab” to the thigh and top of the prosthesis. Sometimes a belt or strap may be used to suspend the socket.
Socket – This is the part of the artificial limb that your residual limb fits into. It can be made of thermoplastic, metal or laminated material.
Liner – This is a removable inner socket made of flexible material most often used for below knee artificial limbs.
Shin Tube/Pylon – This lies between the socket and the prosthetic foot. It is made of strong lightweight material such as carbon fibre, aluminium or titanium.
Prosthetic Foot & Ankle – There are many different types of feet and ankles available. Your individual needs will influence the choice made. (Scroll down on this page to view Blatchford's prosthetic foot options.)
Biomimetic Design in the Ankle and Foot
The human ankle foot complex contains 28 bones and 33 joints that work in sequence to provide balance, stability and a seamless walking experience. With only a few moving joints and springs, our prosthetic feet are able to mimic the biological human ankle and foot.
Blatchford's hydraulic ankles respond to the design specifications that natural movement dictates, fine-tuning joint position to align the body for optimum posture and comfort.
By continuously adjusting to absorb and release energy, our hydraulic ankles allow for an efficient roll-over, remaining perfectly aligned with the user for the next step to help reduce the risk of falls.
Blatchford's prosthetic feet include:
o Microprocessor-controlled hydraulic ankle/foot - Elan, ElanIC
Feet with resilient/cushioned ankle function:
o Hydraulic ankle/foot with ergonomic keel for better posture - Avalon K2
o Multi-axial foot with flexible keel - Navigator
o Multi-axial motion foot/ankle - Multi-flex Standard
o Cushioned feet with flexible keel and adjustable heel cushion - Stellar
o Hydraulic ankle paired with an elevated vacuum system - EchelonVAC
o Biomimetic hydraulic ankle/foot with shock absorber, rotation, and split toe - EchelonVT
o Biomimetic hydraulic ankle control and split toe - Echelon
Feet with dynamic foot springs:
o Low profile foot with ankle joint and split toe - Espirt
o Lightweight blade for moderate impact sports - Javelin
o Lightweight and responsive sports blade, also suited for everyday use - BladeXT
o Active foot with integral shock, absorption, rotation, and flexibility - EliteVT
o Active blade, flexible and lightweight for high energy return - Elite BladeVT
o Lightweight activity foot for efficient energy return - Elite2
Blatchford's Ambassadors of Mobility
Our Ambassadors are busy telling their stories and helping others in their community. They are raising public awareness around limb loss and care about making a positive difference in people's lives.
They are inspirational, motivational and unstoppable positive forces in the lower limb amputee community!
Please consider joining our Ambassadors of Mobility! We'd love to have you share your experience as a caregiver in the amputee community!
Biomimetic hydraulic ankle/foot with shock absorber, rotation and split toe for terrain conformance.
Feet and Ankles
• Hydraulic control of dorsi-flexion and plantar-flexion
• Dorsi-flexed toe for swing phase
• Rotation and vertical shock absorption
• Tripod action for conformance and
• Smooth hydraulic and spring action
• Slimline foot design
• Responsive e-carbon foot springs
• Sandal Toe Foot Shell
Foot Shell and Glide Sock included.
The Blatchford Community
For over 130 years Blatchford has designed and produced some of the world's most advanced artificial limbs and mobility solutions. Learn more about resources available to help you and/or the amputee in your life!