Due to improvements in protective body armor, “up-armored” vehicles, and medical practice coupled with the advances in the military trauma/combat casualty care systems, great gains have been made in combat survival rates. Yet combat-casualty survivors often suffer complex orthopedic and extremity injuries and have high rates of amputations secondary to various explosive devices. Thus, the number of service personnel surviving with amputations has increased; current estimates exceed 1,200 surviving amputees.
Military personnel with a limb amputation are unique from most of the amputee community because these individuals are young men and women interested in continuing active lifestyles. While a primary goal of many military personnel having an amputation is to lead normal, productive lives and performing comparable activities of daily living as to their non-amputee cohorts, an important secondary goal is the potential to return to active duty status and continue their military service.
The Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering concentrates on the residual limb health. In addition, research here is focused on developing an adaptive socket system that detects in-socket residual limb motion and dynamically adjusts internal socket negative pressure to optimize fit and performance.