Redirecting nerves from the thigh muscle to control an experimental robotic leg makes it easier to use and more like a natural leg, researchers report.
The leg's movements are guided by the patient's original nerves, which have been redirected to a small area of the thigh muscle. The robotic leg senses the unconscious muscle movements and translates them into movements for the knee and ankle of the 10-pound device.
"This technology offers a seamless transition to walking around, climbing stairs, and descending stairs and moving around on slopes and even repositioning the prosthesis without thinking about it. That's something no other device offers now," Levi Hargrove of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago told Reuters Health.