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  1. ITV Report

Computerised knee first for Cumbrian hospitals

John Miller (centre) is the first patient to have a new computerised prosthetic knee Credit: North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust

Computerised prosthetic knees are being given to Cumbrian NHS patients for the first time.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is the first in the county to offer the prosthetics, previously only available to serving and ex-service men and women.

The Microprocessor Controlled Knees or MPK prosthetics use an internal computer to monitor the wearer’s walking pattern and make automatic adjustments when changing walking speed or using stairs.

John Miller, 61 from Workington was the first patient to receive one of the prosthetic knees six weeks ago. He said: “It has made a huge difference to my life.

“I used to fall about eight or nine times a month but I’ve not fallen once since I got the new knee.”

Niki Tebbutt, clinical specialist physiotherapist in amputee rehabilitation for the Trust, explained the importance of the MPKs:

It is really about all the things many of us take for granted such as walking down stairs or just being able to get out of a car easily and safely. The new prosthetics aren’t for everyone and require a lot of hard work and dedication. We have to carefully choose each patient as the criteria for selection is very strict, with four weeks of physiotherapy and prosthetists’ input needed to help patients learn how to adapt to the new knees and get the most from them.

– Niki Tebbutt