Segments in this Video

Historical Advancements (02:49)


Prosthesis advancements often coincide with military conflicts; after World War II, lamination technology was borrowed from the aerospace industry, revolutionizing socket materials. Amputee Van Phillips discusses inventing Flex-Foot and Cheetah Foot in response to ill-fitting models.

Modern Advancements (06:34)

Child amputees must replace prosthetics during growth; amputated soldiers test new models at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Phillips revolutionized the industry, using carbon fiber components and integrating aerospace engineering into innovations; introduction of micro-processors further transformed the field.

Inhibiting Perceptions (05:32)

United States insurance companies limit limb replacements, not approving high tech models; many are unaware of issues patience face. Amputees recall condition circumstances, and how the C-Leg helped them; Phillips explains stigmas, and recent attitude shifts resulting from advanced prosthetics.

Amputee Therapy (06:45)

Prosthetist Dan Bastain trains Jason Roeill to use a computerized arm; the newest technologies are tested at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before they are available to civilians. The Solo-Step allows patients to run safely while therapists assess movements. Phillips discusses how muscular and ligament structure are included in newer designs.

Motorized Lower Limbs (04:57)

Amputees recall condition circumstances and benefits of electronic prosthetics. Doctor Michael Goldfarb discusses Vanderbilt Powered Knee and Ankle Prosthesis, restoring functionality of legs without wearing down joints.

Requiring Adjustment (05:03)

Physician David Kim encourages prosthetic fit improvements; socket comfort aids with limb function and carbon fibers do not adapt to muscle contraction and relaxation. Amputees discuss perspectives on technology progression and social aspects of their conditions.

Revolutionary Hand (03:50)

Introduced in 2007, the I-Limb allows for unlimited grips with individually motorized fingers, and controlled by Bluetooth. The technology allows new capabilities, giving balance and stability control to users.

Target Reinnervation (09:55)

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has collaborated with thirty organizations to integrate technologies, developing prosthetics controlled by intact but severed nerves. They research implantable electrodes and brain interfaces; neurally integrated designs emulate natural limb dexterity.

Future Advancements (07:25)

Doctor Rickard Branemark develops osseointegration, designing prosthetics without sockets. Scientist Yoky Matsuoka creates anatomically correct hands, mimicking biological tissue structures to replicate palm flexibility. Military promotes progression, buying and testing prototypes, making technologies more quickly available to civilian amputees.

Credits: Out on a Limb (01:09)

Credits: Out on a Limb

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Out on a Limb

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This program explores the amazing evolution of prosthetics and advancements in robotics and neuroscience that are helping adults and children who have lost a limb. A science story and a human story, this documentary shows the transformative impact of technology for those who use prosthetics. The film interviews inventors such as Van Phillips, the creator of the Flex-Foot and Cheetah Leg that was used by Oscar Pistorius at the 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as researchers who are developing prosthetics that can be controlled through thoughts alone. From laboratories such as Johns Hopkins Center for Applied Physics to real world applications at military hospitals and even a camp for children who are amputees, Out On A Limb takes viewers on a journey that reveals what’s on the horizon and beyond, as emerging technologies and developments in neuroscience provide opportunities that never existed before.

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: FMK190175

ISBN: 978-1-64623-600-8

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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