Ottobock celebrated a quarter-century of the C-Leg on May 10 alongside the launch of the latest iteration of the revolutionary C-Leg.
Ottobock’s C-Leg is a revolutionary prosthetic microprocessor knee for amputees and those with limb difference. Canadian engineer Ph.D. Kelly James invented the prototype of the C-Leg and presented it at the ISPO (International Society for Prosthetics & Orthotics) World Congress in Chicago in 1992. Ottobock continued to develop the C-Leg over the following years and in 1997, it went into series production and was launched globally for users around the world.
As the first microprocessor knee with both stance and swing phase control, the C-Leg set a new and unparalleled standard for natural movement and intuitive control. Now 25 years since the launch, Ottobock continues to pave the way with the latest updates to C-Leg 4.
Professor Hans Georg Näder, owner and Chairman of the Board of Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA, recognized the potential of this innovation early on: “With the C-Leg, we introduced a new dimension of walking for transfemoral amputees, a true milestone in prosthetics. Mechatronics puts people first – they no longer have to think about every step, and they gain freedom and safety for an active everyday life. The C-Leg is rightly regarded as the gold standard in prosthetics today.”
Since its launch, over 100,000 prosthetic fittings have been performed with a C-Leg, making it the most fitted microprocessor-controlled knee joint (MPK) worldwide. It’s also the most studied prosthetic knee in the world, with over 94 percent of users showing a preference for the C-Leg over their previous prosthesis1.
“Every technology I had used up to that point quickly reached its limits. No knee joint lasted longer than seven or eight months,” said Bernd Schwien, known as “Patient Zero,” or the first C-Leg user. “This gave me confidence and security. For the first time after my accident, I no longer needed to consciously think about my movements.”
The legacy lives on with the latest iteration of the C-Leg, which includes over ten new updates. Intuitive support, personalization, and ease of use are at the heart of the update, with new features such as supported descent on ramps and stairs, Stumble Recovery Plus, and a series of customization options.
“The C-Leg is a prime example of human empowerment. Cycling with the family again, strolling through the weekly market, or working in the garden, the C-Leg breaks down barriers in everyday life,” says Martin Böhm, Chief Experience Officer. “It enables the small moments that many of us take for granted. And they make life wonderful.”
Learn more about the C-Leg right here.
1Wismer, N., Mileusnic, M., Sreckovic, I., & Hahn, A. (2016). First results on next generation C-Leg. Poster presentation at OTWorld, Leipzig, Germany.