Today’s more sophisticated feet, which add more functions, are secured inside a cosmetic shell.
Most people never see their prosthetic foot without this exterior shell.
For an amputation above the ankle, a standard prosthetic foot can meet your needs.
You should consider multi-axial capability as well as shock absorption.
If a practitioner or therapist has not yet identified your activity level, here are some very basic indications.
If you’re on the border between two activity levels, consider products designed for both levels.It must act as a shock absorber as you strike your heel to the ground, adapt to uneven terrain, provide a smooth rollover from heel to toe, and provide a rigid lever for propelling forward when you finish your step (“toe-off”). Some prosthetic feet are designed to mimic the ankle, which allows the foot to move in multiple planes.Multi-axial capability in a foot allows you to raise and lower the forefoot; move the forefoot to the left and right; and roll the foot slightly to the inside and to the outside.Being light, strong, and small, and yet functional and durable is the challenge.Early designs for prosthetic feet were often a solid piece of wood.The cosmetic shell, which stretches around the foot prosthesis and is held in place, serves two purposes: What’s inside the shell can vary dramatically. The materials in a prosthetic foot differ by activity level.Prosthetic feet are designed to meet the needs that fit your lifestyle and activity level. Wood, plastic and foam are usually found in feet designed for individuals who have low activity levels and require stability.Activity Level 1For those with the most limited mobility, prosthetic feet designed for maximum stability help maintain balance when standing or taking short, cautious steps at minimal speed on level floors.With safety as a priority, opt for these characteristics in a prosthetic foot: Activity Level 2To walk for a limited time and limited speed and be able to negotiate obstacles like curbs or uneven ground, you would benefit from a prosthetic foot that offers stability and comfort, meaning it protects the joints and residual-limb tissue.Carbon fiber feet meet the functional needs for shock absorption and energy efficiency, and are lightweight as well. A prosthetic foot has to feel good for you to meet your activity goals.Comfort allows you to be more active, and the function of your prosthetic foot directly affects comfort. Prosthetic feet are designed to mimic a human foot at a specific activity level.