Lower Extremity Prosthesis

Types Of Amputations Durham

Types Of Prosthetics Durham


AK (Above Knee) | Transfemoral Amputations

A transfemoral amputation, commonly referred to as an Above Knee (AK) amputation is accomplished by cutting directly through the femur bone of the upper thigh. The primary prosthetic concern with this type of amputation is that the patient is required to control and manage artificial joints (knee & ankle). Also, weight bearing on the residual limb typically causes pain so the socket design must accommodate for this.

Knee Disarticulation

The knee disarticulation is an amputation performed between bone surfaces, rather than by cutting directly through bone. With this amputation, the residual limb generally can tolerate some weight bearing, providing a long mechanical lever controlled by strong muscles. By retaining a full length femur the thigh muscles tend to be stronger, because they are released at their distal attachments, rather than bisected in the muscle belly.

BK (Below Knee) | Transtibial Amputations

A below knee amputation,
commonly referred to as a BK or a BKA, is surgically accomplished by cutting through the tibia and fibula of the lower leg. A large portion of BK amputations are due to peripheral vascular disease and poor circulation of the lower extremity. Although retaining the knee joint imporves overall function and ability, muscle contractures of the knee and hip can inhibity recovery and physical therapy.

Partial Foot Amputation (PFA)

A partial foot amputation is often a result of advanced vascular disease, secondary to diabetes. A partial foot is characterized as an amputation occuring at the fore, mid or hind foot, not including the disarticulation of the ankle foot, which is specificed as a Syme’s. PFA’s are historically known to have a signifcant failure rate and various complications, including ulcerations, skin breakdown, contracture and proximal amputations.


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Lower extremity amputations are significant life altering events.  Without prosthetic intervention, many amputees find their quality of life is drastically impaired.  Providing an amputee with a prosthetic leg allows them to return to walking and immediately improves their quality of life.  After training and learning how to use their new prostheses, our patients are able to do the thing in life they love to do.  It is an amazing and inspiring process that we are very passionate about!

As seen in the anatomy photos above, there are different levels or types of lower extremity amputations.  Each type of amputation presents its own challenges to overcome for the patient and the practitioner.  This is where it is critical to have a Prosthetist that truly cares and listens to their patients.  Depending on the level of amputation and ability of the patient, the design, function and type of prostheses will vary.  Every patient presents with their own unique needs and our Limbionics’ practitioners provide personalized treatment solutions that are custom to each patient.  No two prostheses that we design and deliver are ever the same.

For optimum results, a comfortable and well-fitting socket design is crucial.  Also, selecting the right components and prosthetic parts are important to the fit, function and comfort of a patient’s prostheses.  Limbionics’ practitioners take this role very seriously and we are dedicated to giving our patients the best prosthetic treatment possible.  We are experienced in the full spectrum of prosthetic  intervention, from basic prostheses, to advanced microprocessor and bionic technology, to specialized sport specific prostheses.  One important core value of our company is to stay on the cutting edge of technology and be able to provide these new prosthetic advancements to our patients. 

We are certified and able to provide all of the following prosthetic devices below.  Click any of the images to find out more about that specific prostheses.  Our practitioners are happy to discuss treatment options with you and help you decide if one of these prostheses are right for you.  If you’re not sure what your insurance will cover or what type of prostheses you need, please call us to speak with a Prosthetic Treatment Expert to get the answers you need.  You can find out full contact information HERE or give us a call at this number (919) 908-8976.


The weatherproof RHEO KNEE 3 provides advanced natural knee function. It continuously adapts to the user and the environment while providing excellent stability and safety.


The Elan foot mimics natural muscle resistance and ankle motion by adapting hydraulic resistance levels to enhance stability while standing, on slopes and uneven terrain.

The result of a collaboration between the US military and Ottobock, the Genium X3 has been called the world’s most technologically advanced microprocessor prosthetic leg.


The POWER KNEE is the only motor powered knee joint.  It provides active motion and powered stance stability to replace lost muscle function, enabling users to go further.

The BIOM Foot & Ankle System emulates the function of lost muscles and tendons.  It mimics normal ankle movement to enable the user with a more efficient and natural stride.


The SYMBIONIC LEG 3 was designed to enable users to experience greater safety, symmetry and confidence when walking, without needing to adapt their walking style.