Thanks to plastics, prosthetic limbs can be stronger and more lightweight than ever. Prosthetic designs used to rely primarily on heavier materials, but plastics have helped transform prosthetics and created new opportunities for functionality and customization.
Prosthetic designer Steve Byers of the Ohio WillowWood Company is helping make this possible. Watch Steve discuss the process of prosthetic design to see how plastics are contributing to the mobility of amputees (or read the transcript below).
Prosthetic Design Video Transcript
Hello, my name is Steve Byers and I’m a prosthetic designer for Ohio WillowWood company. And as the name implies, original prosthetics were made from willow wood product and materials. But today’s amputee benefits from many other advancements in the industry and the materials utilized in the everyday prosthetic.
Some of the more common products and materials that are used are plastic-based. The carbon fiber and resins that are incorporated into the springs that are used for the footplates and the actual prosthesis—these combine to be a very lightweight prosthetic but that is also very strong. The other advantage that plastics provides is that it allows you to shape and create many different forms that can be anatomically correct for a patient and an amputee so that they are having something that is as close to their lifelike limb as they have lost.