In an effort to improve the quality of life for wounded warriors with limb loss, the U.S. Senate has directed the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to have uniform standards of production and performance for prostheses and prosthetic sockets. In its National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, the Senate Armed Services Committee (Report 112-173) encouraged the DoD to continue clinical and technological research and development for prostheses, and to report to Congress outlining:
- The establishment or verification of consistent, acceptable standards of quality for the design and fabrication of military prostheses and prosthetic sockets;
- The identification of standards for human performance using limb loss and limb salvage prostheses and prosthetic socket performance based on the individual mobility level, size, weight, functional goals, and occupational specialty of members of the armed forces;
- The processes in place for the demonstration and validation of prostheses and prosthetic socket manufacturing techniques that reduce weight, reduce cost, and strengthen key load-bearing areas of the socket to reduce the risk of failure and enhance mobility; and
- An overview of the DoD’s efforts to document each prosthesis, prosthetic socket, alignment, and associated fabrication settings for all military amputees in their electronic health record.