A completed leg (image copyright: Rotary Jaipur Limb project)The basic Jaipur Limb is a below-knee prosthesis fabricated from durable, high-quality, high-density polyethylene pipes. The socket design used is either total contact, which is vacuum-formed using a polypropylene sheet, or open-ended, using HDPE. This custom-made shank and socket is fitted with the Jaipur Foot. A functional below-knee prosthesis looks like a normal limb, allowing for the range of movement required for normal human locomotion. The total contact socket provides better sensory feedback to the wearer and prevents oedema. An above-knee prosthesis can also be fitted where necessary. Construction is similar with the addition of an innovative and versatile self-lubricating knee joint made from an oil-filled nylon polymer, which was designed by a team at Stanford University, USA.

How a Jaipur foot is made (image copyright: Rotary Jaipur Limb project)The Jaipur Foot was developed at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital, Jaipur, in 1968, by a group of eminent orthopaedic surgeons including Dr P K Sethi, director and professor of rehabilitation, SMS Medical College, and Ram Chandra Sharma, a highly innovative craftsman. The foot is non-articulated foot and made up ofthree variable density blocks. The hind and forefoot blocks are made of layered microcellular rubber and the ankle block is made of laminated wood. These blocks are reinforced with tyre cord and encapsulated with a skin-colored cushion compound. The entire structure of the foot is then vulcanized.

Jaipur foot (image copyright: Rotary Jaipur Limb project)Although the design was developed to meet the socio-cultural needs of handicapped people in India — with their unique needs for a prosthetic that would permit them to squat, sit cross-legged, walk on uneven terrain, work in wet muddy fields, walk without shoes, and so on — it has proved to be a ‘universal design’ and can interface with prosthetic technology used around the globe. The Jaipur Foot distinguishes itself from other artificial feet by not having a central keel, thus permitting mobility in all planes despite being non-articulated. The dorsiflexion at the ankle, a special feature of the foot, addresses the cultural and lifestyle needs of Oriental people; however, this positively influences the performance of amputees even in Western societies.

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