Harmonie-Rose becomes youngest in world to use prosthetic legs with computerised knees

Harmonie-Rose Allen practices kicking a ball with her computerised legs. Credit: ITV News

A girl, 8, from Bath has become the youngest person in the world to use prosthetic legs with computerised knees.

Harmonie-Rose Allen had all her limbs amputated after she contracted meningitis when she was ten months old.

She was fitted with microprocessor knees three months ago as part a trial at Dorset Orthopaedics. The internal computer, designed by manufacturer Ottobock, can constantly monitor Harmonie-Rose's movements and makes adjustments to the knee's resistance.

Harmonie-Rose said: "I love them. On a scale of one to ten - it's a ten! I'm really enjoying them."

The new prosthetic legs allow Harmonie-Rose to bend her knee while walking for the first time. It means she has more control when sitting down, can independently stand up from the floor on her own and walk in a more natural way.

Harmonie-Rose's mum Freya Hall said: "Harmonie trialled them for about a month at home just to see if they were the right thing for her. Basically they changed her life within a week.

"We knew straight away. Harmonie was able to walk along so much more comfortably."

Staff at Dorset Orthopaedics believe she is the youngest in the world to use this type of technology.

Matt Hughes, who is Managing Director of Dorset Orthopaedic, has been working with Harmonie-Rose since she was three years-old.

Mr Hughes said: "Previously she was wearing legs that had fixed locked knees with really springy carbon fibre feet.

"She was functional in terms of she could get around. But she was not walking in a symmetrical normal fashion because her knees were locked.

"For her to then be able to do simple day to day tasks like sitting and standing was difficult to do and to do safely."

Mr Hughes adds that by giving her knees which are still constrained but give some control have allowed her to move in a more conventional way.

But Harmonie-Rose says the biggest benefit to her new prosthetic legs is that she can wear knee length socks and tights for the first time, something she says is truly "amazing."

Freya added: "It's opened up a lot of opportunities that we take for granted every day."