The most widely used knee mechanisms for through-knee amputees can be characterized as three principal types of design. These types are metal side bars with heavy duty joints, conventional knee mechanisms for above-knee amputees and special polycentric linkage mechanisms for through-knee amputees. An investigation in Sweden in 1979 showed that over 50% of the fittings were using the special polycentric linkage mechanisms for through-knee amputees. The stability diagram illustrates how voluntary and involuntary stability can be utilized by using different polycentric linkage mechanisms for through-knee amputees. The polycentric linkage mechanism can be designed for different stance phase characteristics as well as incorporation of different swing phase control mechanisms. The cosmesis of the available designs is acceptable but there is need for lighter and more compact designs especially for the young and small amputee.
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