In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to assume that consumers want the most modern, most automatic, most high-tech option available. I recently experienced this when my husband and I went shopping for a reclining couch. The salesperson assumed we would prefer the powered options, which featured the smoothest reclining mechanism, handy USB charging ports, and effortless operation, all at a price comparable to the manual model. However, despite its advantages, the location of outlets near where we would put it and concerns about long-term reliability of the power model made it a suboptimal choice for us.
While a couch is obviously not comparable to a prosthesis, some of the same assumptions can be made in the high-stakes realm of lower-limb prostheses, where mobility and stability are crucial to patients’ quality of life. But here too, the most appropriate solution for an individual patient is not automatically the most high-tech device available given his or her K-level and insurance coverage. In this issue of The O&P EDGE, we look at the many factors that influence component selection, patient perspectives about prosthetic aesthetics, and the fall risk faced by lower-limb prosthesis users.