Prosthetic feet are classified by K-levels, which show how active a user each foot is designed for. Your clinician and doctor will evaluate you to determine which type of foot is appropriate for you based on your daily activities and goals. Talk to your clinician about the things you want and need to be able to do, so they can guide you to the ideal foot. If you know your K-level, you will have an idea of which feet you are a candidate for.
K1- Feet designed for users who don’t walk much, mainly only inside their home, and to move from bed or chair to chair. These feet are very lightweight for users with weakness.
K2- Feet designed for the limited community ambulator- meaning they walk outside the home and can handle certain small obstacles such as curbs, but generally do best on smooth, flat surfaces and have difficulty changing speeds.
K3- Feet designed for the average active adult. These feet are made to help users handle rough terrain like grass and gravel, steep slopes, and some low-activity sports. Users who are candidates for K3 feet are usually strong enough to walk long distances or remain on their feet for a long time.
K4- Feet designed for much more strenuous activities than ordinary walking. These are often specialty feet, such as running blades, and are made with more durability in mind for high-impact activities like running and jumping. Children, extremely active adults, and athletes are typically who need K4 prostheses.
There are many different feet available in each category, and your prosthetist will use your input and feedback to select one that gives you the best feel and gait possible, and meets the demands of your daily life.
At Mid-Florida P&O, we custom fabricate each prosthetic socket (the part that is shaped for your limb to fit snugly inside) in our labs. We use a variety of high-tech materials in this process, including carbon fiber, acrylic resin, and thermoplastics. These materials allow us to make you a socket that is strong, comfortable, and ultra-lightweight.
A finished socket is usually made of carbon fiber, and can be finished to reflect your personal style. You can choose between some basic colors, or bring fabric or a T-shirt with your choice of design to be fabricated into your socket. Some materials work better than others, so talk to your clinician about what you want your finished socket to look like! The natural appearance of a carbon socket is textured black. Generic skin tones can also be made, although they will not be an exact match to your skin. If you choose the fabric route, it’s all up to your imagination!
Fabrics specifically made for personalizing your socket can be found at Fredslegs.com