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Prosthetic user with C-Leg is walking
What to know

Prosthetic legs

Learn about the different kinds of prosthetic legs and how they help people regain their mobility, rebuild their confidence, and explore their world again.

Learn about the different kinds of prosthetic legs and how they help people regain their mobility, rebuild their confidence, and explore their world again.

About prosthetic legs

What they are and how they work

A prosthetic leg is a device used to support users who are missing all or part of their limb due to an injury, accident, illness, or congenital condition.

Prosthetic legs can empower people with limb differences in many different ways. They can help users regain their mobility and independence, pursue their favorite hobbies and pastimes, get back to their jobs, and improve their overall quality of life.

These devices come in a variety of designs and formats that meet different user needs and support different activities and goals. And while they’re not for every individual with a limb difference, prosthetic legs can be an important tool that helps users live fulfilling lives and pursue important goals.

Components

Key parts of a prosthetic leg

Prosthetic legs can come in many different configurations, depending on the user’s lifestyle, interests, and the size and shape of their residual limb.

Typically, depending on what the user needs, a prosthetic leg has up to three main components:

  • A socket with a corresponding liner and suspension mode, which provide a secure and comfortable fit for users

  • A prosthetic knee joint, which enables safe, stable mobility

  • A prosthetic foot, which provides support and stability

These components can vary in design and functionality, but the right combination can help a user get back to a healthy, active, independent life.

Key component
A man putting his socket with a liner onto his limb

Socket and liner

The socket together with the liner and the corresponding suspension mode are the most individual part of every prosthetic leg. The liner is worn directly onto the limb and its main task is to protect the residual limb. The liner together with the right suspension mode ensures the safe connection to the socket, which takes over the limb volume and the body weight. Furtheron the socket has a connection adapter to the prosthetic components like knee joint and foot as well as functional adapters.

Types of prosthetic legs

Two main kinds of prosthetic legs

There are two main types of prosthetic legs: mechanical prostheses and microprocessor-controlled devices.

Mechanical prostheses provide all the core capabilities users need to walk safely and securely. Advanced microprocessor-controlled technologies are even more powerful, including many that can mimic natural walking movements. Prosthetic feet and knees are available in both forms, providing a range of options to suit different users and their needs.

Closer look

Mechanical prosthetic legs and feet

These devices use a range of hydraulic and other mechanisms to provide the support and stability users need to stand, walk, and perform many different daily activities.

Mechanical knees and feet are typically strong, durable devices that can withstand significant wear and tear. While they may not have the advanced features of some microprocessor-controlled devices, for many users mechanical prosthetics still offer a reliable and valuable option that can help them regain mobility and independence.

They are available in various sizes and configurations that meet different users’ needs. Ottobock offers several different options, including the Dynion knee joint, Taleo foot, and Maverick Comfort AT foot.

3139296 (HQ)
Mechanical knee Dynion
Mechanical knee

Dynion

The Dynion knee joint is a versatile and dynamic monocentric prosthetic with rotation hydraulics. It allows walking down stairs and ramps, walking dynamically in all directions, cycling, and swimming in various types of water.

The Dynion knee joint is a versatile and dynamic monocentric prosthetic with rotation hydraulics. It allows walking down stairs and ramps, walking dynamically in all directions, cycling, and swimming in various types of water.

Taleo prosthetic foot for left side prosthetic leg
Mechanical foot

Taleo

The Taleo prosthetic foot is designed for active users who navigate varied indoor and outdoor environments and place a high value on effortless walking and the ability to go wherever life takes them.

The Taleo prosthetic foot is designed for active users who navigate varied indoor and outdoor environments and place a high value on effortless walking and the ability to go wherever life takes them.

Maveric prosthetic foot
Mechanical foot

Maverick Comfort AT

Created for those with limited build height, the water-resistant Maverick Comfort AT prosthetic foot combines a gentle rollover for comfortable walking with a high energy return.

Created for those with limited build height, the water-resistant Maverick Comfort AT prosthetic foot combines a gentle rollover for comfortable walking with a high energy return.

Microprocessor-controlled prosthetic legs and feet

Microprocessor-controlled prosthetic legs and feet are highly advanced devices that use computerized systems, sensors, and hydraulics to mimic a natural walking gait. These high-tech prostheses offer a more sophisticated level of control and customization.

Devices like Ottobock’s C-Leg, Genium X3, and Empower offer a dynamic range of motion that feels natural. Designed to adapt to different terrains, they use different mobility modes to adjust to different speeds, activities, and situations . They can even detect and adjust to changes in terrain, offering greater stability and balance.

Rebecca walks down a slope with her C-Leg Microprocessor Knee in the Stance Phase.
The C-Leg 4 Microprocessor-Controlled Knee from Ottobock
Microprocessor knee

C-Leg 4

The C-Leg 4 is the world’s most trusted microprocessor knee. It offers exceptional, proven reliability and the performance users need to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.

The C-Leg 4 is the world’s most trusted microprocessor knee. It offers exceptional, proven reliability and the performance users need to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.

The Genium X3 Microprocessor-Controlled Knee from Ottobock
Microprocessor knee

Genium X3

Built on the breakthrough functionality of the Genium platform, the Genium X3 offers a smooth, intuitive walking experience and versatile support in everyday situations.

Built on the breakthrough functionality of the Genium platform, the Genium X3 offers a smooth, intuitive walking experience and versatile support in everyday situations.

Meridium prosthetic foot
Microprocessor foot

Meridium

Designed for moderately active people who value intuitive adaptation offering a feeling of natural movement.The Meridium microprocessor controlled foot provides a smooth hydraulic rollover and makes walking feel effortless.

Designed for moderately active people who value intuitive adaptation offering a feeling of natural movement.The Meridium microprocessor controlled foot provides a smooth hydraulic rollover and makes walking feel effortless.

Finding the right fit

Getting a prosthetic leg or foot

When it comes to prosthetic legs, keep in mind that no two users need the same solution. Every prosthetic leg should be customized for the person who will be using it.

The right prosthetic leg will depend on a variety of factors, including the person's limb difference, lifestyle, and preferred activities. Creating the right prosthetic solution is a team effort, involving the user, their doctor or surgeon, their physical therapist/ergotherapist, and especially a certified prosthetist/orthotist (O&P professional).

An O&P is a clinical professional with specialized training in designing and fitting prosthetic legs. This expert works with you and your care team to identify the right set of prosthetic leg components, and then custom-build a socket that keeps you comfortable, safe, and active.

Your O&P professional will also be able to explain the fitting and training process, as well as how to properly care for your prosthetic leg on a daily basis. With the help of an O&P professional, you can feel confident that you're getting the right device for your needs.

Want to connect with an O&P professional who can help you find the right prosthetic leg? Click below to find an Ottobock Care clinic near you.

Prosthetics fitting Patient Care
Prosthetics fitting Patient Care
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Education and resources

More information on prosthetic legs

Ready to keep exploring? Discover the inspiration, community, and products you need for life with a prosthetic device.




Prosthetic user with Genium X3 is standing
Deep dive

Explore our microprocessor-controlled knees

Read more about the innovation behind Ottobock’s cutting-edge microprocessor knees (MPKs), and meet the four devices that have set the global standard for this technology.

Read more about the innovation behind Ottobock’s cutting-edge microprocessor knees (MPKs), and meet the four devices that have set the global standard for this technology.

A silicon prosthetic foot being built
Deep dive

Understand the value of a prosthetic foot

Get a complete overview of a prosthetic foot, including finding a foot that suits you, mobility grades, Ottobock’s cutting edge prosthetic foot portfolio, and FAQs.

Get a complete overview of a prosthetic foot, including finding a foot that suits you, mobility grades, Ottobock’s cutting edge prosthetic foot portfolio, and FAQs.

A prosthetic hand and a human hand grasp each other with the little finger
Connect with others

Find community with Movao

Join a platform where amputees and their loved ones can connect locally and globally with like-minded people about similar interests and challenges.

Join a platform where amputees and their loved ones can connect locally and globally with like-minded people about similar interests and challenges.