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Finding the soft spot
Date:5/18/2010

iously, he determined the best bone structures for surgeons to create when amputating a limb, and the new device can recommend the optimal angles at which reconstructed soft tissues and future artificial limbs will attach comfortably to the stub. This is especially important because sharp pieces of bone deliver a very intense mechanical load to soft tissues such as muscles, fat and skin, and can cause serious discomfort and pain.

Prof. Gefen's tool helps alleviate the pain in advance by showing doctors how to best adjust the prosthesis and evaluate the performance of different prostheses considered for a given patient.

The need for such a monitor is especially urgent in diabetes patients, because many of them lose the sensation of pain altogether in their outer extremities. "These patients simply can't tell doctors where it hurts," says Prof. Gefen. The affected body areas are prone to conditions like gangrene and sepsis if not caught and treated early enough -- which lead to death in some who are in the advanced stages of diabetes.

Prof. Gefen has also developed a "smart insole" which works to protect the foot from bunions and harm by calculating where the most vulnerable tissues are in the foot, so that special protection can be focused on these particular areas. The same smart insole, which has already passed clinical trials, can also be fitted the butt of an artificial limb to provide comfort and care to the wearer.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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