By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Design
A Washington-based company has devised a weight-redistributing leg brace that offers full mobility to the user and replaces conventional crutches.
Aside from the difficulty of moving around, it's awfully hard on the underarms.
Forward Mobility intends to do away with all that. The Edmonds, Wash.-based company, which originally began as a bicycle manufacturing outfit in the 1990s, has designed and manufactured a line of medical mobility products that includes a collapsible wheelchair and a seated scooter for lower-body injuries.
But it's the Freedom Leg, released at the MedTrade industry show in October, that's got people truly excited.
Functioning like a hands-free brace, the 2.5-lb. Freedom Leg is an off-loading prosthetic that allows for full mobility without assistance, all while strengthening the upper muscles of the injured leg.
So how's it work? It's supposed to transfer the body's weight away from the injured part of a person's leg and toward the upper, uninjured part.
Here's a video to demonstrate:
It's not quite a knee brace, but it does the trick. It's expected to retail for about $350.
The intentions of the product match the company's philosophy. The company uses an organization in Vietnam called Kids First Enterprise to manufacture its devices. Twenty percent of that organization's workforce has disabilities, and all of its profits go to projects that support the disabled and disadvantaged.
Nov 9, 2009
Have you heard of 'Jaipur' foot? It costs hardly $7 in India; and does incredible job. Recently a modified version was developed by a US university along with inventors of Jaipur foot. For details read Time Magazine Nov 2009 under 'World's best 50 Inventions of 2009' - The $20 Knee.. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1934027_1934003_1933963,00.html
Shouldn't Emma have something under her other foot to compensate the height difference? It looks like she will have a distorted pelvis/lower back region if she does too much hobbling around with that. Looks like a great invention though. BC
It may be great for those who have injuries to their _LOWER_ leg or have problem knees and/or ankles but for a person whose had their Femur, Pelvis and/or Spine broken and/or disabled that contraption is completely USELESS!!! Have YOU ever had your Femur broken? I have. BOTH of them! ...in separate incidences 20 years apart. So, I too, know what it's like to BE there and DO that!
I've personally tried the product and was amazed at the ease of use. As FWD Mobility's largest distributor we are anxious to offer the Freedom Leg to our portfolio of crutch alternatives. Tom schwab www.GoodbyeCrutches.com
WHATEVER IT TAKES !! I HAVE S.C.I. @ C-5 C-6 LEVEL I CAN WALK..BARELY... LETS GET RID OF WHEEL-CHAIRS TOO FIX SPINAL CORDS WITH STEM CELLS? WITH-IN 5-10 YEARS...
Actually, I never mentioned an evil agenda, just that it was bulky and overpriced, and why. I dont expect it hidden, just less likely to catch on everything and have an adjustable socket that closes on the leg rather than Velcro. You ever used that stuff day in day out? I do, its hateful. I also have 20/20 vision, thanks, I need it for the SMD electronics in the equipment I build, mostly for my daughter who is profoundly disabled. Dealing with a disabled young adult, helping her with everything she needs from cleaning her backside, moving around, to helping her communicate is gutty and often unpleasant even with the aid of basic technology. Oh, and I do understand the principles of leverage as well, I looked it up on Wikipedia... I guess a decade of that as a single parent can make a bloke cynical, thanks arcrews. But point taken...
Here we have a TV doctor who is hobbling around with a cane. What a terrific product placement that would be. Terry Thomas... the photographer Atlanta, Georgia USA http://www.TerryThomasPhotos.com
Unobtrusive in the video is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, it could be under the clothes, but THEN YOU WOULDN'T SEE IT! So that would be a useless demo video. This is aimed at the individuals who struggle with using crutches, and oftimes injure themselves and slow their rehabilitation from not using them when they should. Most people never use crutches long enough to get proficient. Most crutch users are not permanently disabled. Hexhammer67 needs some anti-cynicism pills and to get rid of those tunnel vision glasses he must wear..
Brilliant! Clearly the person who thinks it's just a splint doesn't grasp the mechanics at work. Well done! And I, for one, do not see the evil agenda in your business plan.
Thats a splint, wich is about as old as broken limbs is. Feeble and expensive, the only reason its seeing the light of day is because its made by the disabled. I live and work in the disabilities sector so I've seen a few stupid ideas in my time, before you ask why so scathing. Not that its a stupid idea, actually its common sense. And a lot of money for a bent stick and some velcro... If this is aimed at the disabled sector, its a shameful attempt to rip it off - for that money I'd expect carbon fibre and unobtrusive. For those who find impaired mobility a novelty, I'm sure its marvellous, but I'm afraid I'm not so easily impressed.