Navigating uneven ground poses unique challenges for amputees, particularly those who are active and enjoy outdoor activities. The new META Arc foot has been designed to address these issues with its integrated, biomimetic ankle joint and lightweight, dynamic spring frame. Its revolutionary design is aimed at K3-K4 patients and was designed by a team at the University of Washington, led by physical therapist and UW School of Medicine Associate Professor, Murray Maitland PT, PhD, in partnership with prosthetics design and manufacturing group WillowWood. The META Arc returns more than 95% energy, with a split keel for superior stability and ground compliance on various terrains.
We asked Help For Heroes Welfare Services Manager and patient Colin Branch to share his experience with us about the new to Ortho Europe META Arc foot:
How did the META Arc compare to other prosthetic feet you have worn?
Ascending stairs with the META Arc foot was comfortable and easy. Descending stairs was also good. The design of the side flex helped with any return steps at the bottom. Again, walking up and down slopes was the same. The level of side flex almost eradicated all the hip rotation and onset of back pain due to the ground being undulated. The META Arc provided an energy return within the foot that allowed me to walk at speed with ease. Turning and pivoting is much easier and by far much more comfortable than any other foot I have worn.
How did the foot perform when playing games with your son?
On picking up my son Layton (10yrs) I was confident to do so. My son was also confident to be picked up. Gameplay was also easy such as playing swingball. This game is relying on you as a player to be free on pitch and rotation and being able to lean and move quickly to react and play. With the META Arc, this was made simple and very enjoyable for myself and my son.
What else did you get out of using the META Arc?
Confidence in walking on different levels of ground, as I live in the countryside. Using the META Arc was simple and very effective. The side flex that the foot produces was extremely noticeable. I was able to walk for longer with no back pain or discomfort. I also went camping where the ground was extremely unlevel, again the META Arc performed very well and had no issues at all. This also included setting up and packing down my caravan and awning. For the four-day camping trip, I managed the following steps:
Friday = 19620 steps
Saturday = 20295 steps
Sunday = 16197 steps
Monday = 15276 steps
This is the furthest I have walked since my stump revision operation in March last year!
How is it with normal everyday activities?
On completing normal daily activities (I work for a military charity) I found the META Arc to be extremely responsive and reliable. Sitting to standing and vice versa was again very easy and above all else, very comfortable.
How would you summarise your experience with the META Arc?
The META Arc, in my opinion, will allow me to have a better quality of life and give me the support I need in my job as the Welfare Services Manager for Help For Heroes.
For more on META Arc visit the Ortho Europe Website here.