Next generation of the POWER KNEE(TM) in early release at Walter Reed Army Medical Center



    LTC Greg Gadson is the first to receive world's most advanced Prosthetic
    Legs

    ALISO VIEJO, CA, April 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Ossur, a global leader in
non-invasive orthopaedics, announced today that LTC Greg Gadson was fit last
week at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with the second generation of the
POWER KNEE by Ossur, the first technology to actually use sensors, power,
artificial intelligence and actuators to provide amputees with the ability to
walk naturally and safely without even thinking about it.
    Ossur is the world leader in bringing the most innovative prosthetic
solutions to market. In 2006, working in partnership with Victhom Human
Bionics, Ossur introduced the POWER KNEE, representing the most advanced
technology of its kind with the ability to replace lost muscle function and
provide increased safety. Used mostly within the Department of Defense and the
Veterans Healthcare Administration, the POWER KNEE marked a new milestone in
amputee mobility, safety and advancing natural motion through a powered gait
process.
    Just three years later, working closely with Walter Reed Army Medical
Center (WRAMC) and in collaboration with partner Victhom Human Bionics, the
next generation of the POWER KNEE has been developed. "The second generation
is smaller, sleeker, quieter, lighter and is expected to become widely used by
both unilateral and dual amputees," stated Lt. Col. (Dr.) Paul F. Pasquina,
chief, Integrated Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Walter Reed
and the National Naval Medical Center, according to Inside Nova.
    Lieutenant Colonel Greg Gadson is the first in the world to receive the
commercially ready prosthetic knees and will soon be followed by other
patients at WRAMC. LTC Gadson was serving in Baghdad in May of 2007 when the
truck he was riding was struck by a bomb, leaving him on the side of the road
bleeding and in and out of consciousness. Ten days later, he was at Walter
Reed Army Medical Center with first his left leg amputated, then his right.
His undoubting spirit and triumph over tragedy has made him a role model and
leader among champions. Notwithstanding the 2008 Super Bowl Champions, the New
York Giants, who credit Gadson with giving them the motivation they needed in
what became a legendary season. "LTC Gadson was a leader on the football field
at West Point. He was a leader to his battalion in combat. And he's been a
leader in our rehabilitation environment," added Pasquina.
    "It's sort of like driving a school bus and then someone puts you in a
sports car," Gadson explained. "You still know how to drive, but it's quite a
different feeling. I just hope this is a path for people to really expand
their lives," Gadson said.
    "Ossur is committed to providing these men and women with the most
advanced technology available. Their sacrifice and dedication to their country
has inspired us to work even harder to optimize their mobility," said Jon
Sigurdsson, President and CEO for Ossur. "The result will be that the entire
amputee population will eventually realize a more natural and safe form of
walking," he added.
    "Victhom is very proud that its collaboration with Ossur has produced
such an exceptional product that will significantly improve the quality of
life for above-the-knee amputees. Using state of the art technologies and the
latest scientific development in artificial intelligence, the new design of
the second generation of the POWER KNEE delivers significant improvements in
terms of weight, height and noise reduction as well as in power autonomy and
ease of use" stated M. Stéphane Bédard, COO of the Biotronix business unit for
Victhom and inventor of the Power Knee.
    The second generation of the POWER KNEE is the world's first and only
motor-powered, artificially intelligent prosthesis for above-knee amputees
that restores lost muscle function and enables amputees to perform normal
daily functions without even thinking about their next movement. This
breakthrough provides unprecedented stability, safety and confidence for any
above knee amputee.

    HOW DOES IT WORK?

    Advanced Torque and Accelerometer Sensors: Through advanced sensor
technology, optimized safety is realized as Ground Contact Sensors allow the
user to control and manage the action of walking naturally without thinking
about it. The POWER KNEE will provide maximum support in any given angle of
flexion as soon as contact with the ground is established. This is essential
for amputees who feel unstable or need to walk with canes. A free and natural
gait is now realized!

    Artificial intelligence: The artificial intelligence of the POWER KNEE
operates on high and low-level layers in order to continuously observe the
whole state of the respective human-system interface. The improved
intelligence allows the prosthesis to focus, even more than before, on user
safety, system stability and system adaptability. The user just walks, the
prosthesis does the rest.

    Actuator Technology: Powered knee motion through actuator technology is
possible simply by lifting the thigh muscle. It generates power according to
the patients needs to adequately endure different portions of locomotion.
Portions requiring specific power management are level ground walking, stair-
and incline a- or descending, sitting down and standing up. In other words,
the amputee can now call upon muscles to actively lift and stimulate
simultaneous muscle activity of the stump and the POWER KNEE to walk up
stairs, inclines and ramps. It also allows amputees to naturally move from a
sit to stand movement with ease and without negative impact on the sound side.

    The second generation of the POWER KNEE is now in early commercial
release at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where Ossur will work with the
rehabilitation team to provide the units to other patients as they become
available. A full commercial release is expected by 2010.

    About Ossur

    Ossur (ISX: OSSR) is a global leader in non-invasive orthopaedics that
help people live a life without limitations. Its business is focused on
improving people's mobility through the delivery of innovative technologies
within the fields of braces, supports, prosthetic limbs and compression
therapies. A recognized "Technology Pioneer," Ossur invests significantly in
research and product development; its award-winning designs ensuring a
consistently strong position in the market. Successful patient and clinical
outcomes are further empowered via Ossur's educational programs and business
solutions. Headquartered in Iceland, Ossur has major operations in the
Americas, Europe and Asia, with additional distributors worldwide. Website:
www.ossur.com

    About Victhom Human Bionics

    Victhom (TSX: VHB) discovers, develops and manufactures bionic devices
involved in the treatment of a variety of physical and physiological
dysfunctions. Victhom's Neurobionix division focuses on the development and
commercialization of technologies and products involving implantable devices
that feature neurosensing and neurostimulation components, integrated with
artificial intelligence. Victhom's Biotronix division develops biomechatronic
products to support or replace peripheral limbs in what is known as the
orthotics and prosthetics market.
    Website:  www.victhom.com




For further information:

For further information: Ossur Americas: Tabi King, Director of
Education, (858) 775-2573, tking@ossur.com; Victhom Human Bionics Inc.:
Normand Rivard, Acting President & CFO, Victhom Human Bionics Inc., (418)
872-5665, normand.rivard@victhom.com

Organization Profile

Victhom Human Bionics Inc.

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