Download Full Text (463 KB)

Download skelchner_audio_introduction.mp3 (1.4 MB)


Amputations, specifically lower limb amputations, are common in Sub Saharan Africa and across the broader global community largely due to infection and disease. Our project, The Prosthetic Knee Team, partners with the orthopedic workshop at the CURE International Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya to create a prosthetic knee design for a specific type of amputation known as a Knee Disarticulation (also called through-knee). Currently, the orthopedic workshop is only able to provide one very expensive prosthetic knee option for these patients, and they often elect to undergo a second surgery, a trans-femoral amputation, because the cost of the second surgery and trans-femoral prosthesis combined is less than the currently available through-knee prosthetic. The goal of our project is to provide the orthopedic workshop with a manufacturable prosthetic knee design that provides through-knee amputees with a cheaper prosthetic option and removes the need to have a second amputation above the knee. Throughout the past two semesters, our focus was on organizing collected data, researching knee-disarticulations, and communicating with our client to more fully understand the scope of our project. After determining that moving forward our project will be manufacturing the prosthetic knees at Messiah College’s machine shop and shipping them to CURE Kenya to be fit on patients, we began to brainstorm potential design ideas. We are presently working on modifying and improving our chosen design to best meet all of the specifications laid out by our partner. Those specifications include minimized thigh-lengthening, low weight, maximized stability and durability, and aesthetically pleasing.

Publication Date



undergraduate research, collaboratory, college, university, innovation, global, improvement, messiah college, messiah university


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Development Studies | Engineering | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Urban Studies and Planning

Prosthetic Knee