Use of a spring as an energy harvest/release mechanism for
transfemoral prosthetics designs is gaining traction. While springs theoretically
can minimize the energy flow deficiency during the stance phase
knee flexion, there are problems associated with controlling the release of
energy harvested by springs.
The purpose of this review is to discuss the importance of controlled energy
flow at the knee joint, recent attempts to harvest/return energy and the
emphasis on the role of the ankle prosthesis in achieving assisted gait.
Study Design: Literature Review
Methods: Use of a spring in emerging prosthetic knee designs are presented
in terms of their energy regeneration abilities along with their advantages
Results: Use of a spring in knee prosthetics can cut power demand significantly
as they mimick the musculotendonous structures by harvesting and
returning needed energy.
Conclusions: Controlled energy flow at the knee joint could not only provide
natural movement of the amputated limb but could also create positive
power peaks at the knee joint. These features cannot be produced by any of
the current generation of controlled damping prosthetic knees.