Transtibial Prosthesis Suspension Failure During Skydiving Freefall: A Case ReportBy Gordon, Assaf T.; Land, Rebekah M.; Assistive Technology, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 25-27
Publication Date: Spring 2009
Report describes the failure of an everyday-use prosthesis suspension system during the freefall phase of a skydiving jump. The individual in the case was a 53-year-old male with a left transtibial amputation secondary to trauma. The amputee used his everyday prosthesis, a transtibial endoskeleton with push-button, plunger-releasing, pin-locking silicon liner suction suspension and neoprene knee suspension sleeve, for a standard recreational tandem skydive. Within seconds of exiting the plane, the suspension systems failed, resulting in the complete prosthesis floating away. Factors which may have led to the suspension-system failure include an inadequate seal and material design of the knee suspension sleeve and liner, lack of auxiliary suspension mechanisms, and lack of a safety cover overlying the push-button release mechanism. Recommendations for increasing safety of the prosthesis suspension system during skydiving include (1) the use of a rubberized knee suspension sleeve or the addition of a secondary suspension to the thigh and/or waist; (2) the change to a vacuum-sealed, negative-pressure suspension or the use of a preflexed liner to prevent bunching in the back of the knee and excessive pressure over the kneecap; and (3) the addition of a safety cover to the button release mechanism.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)