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Wednesday, 24 May 1972
Page: 2053

Senator CAVANAGH asked the Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation, upon notice:

(1)   Is the Duncan knee joint, referred to in correspondence of 1st March 1972 from the Minister for Air to Senator Cavanagh as a product of the Repatriation Deartment Development Unit, a knee joint using a tennis ball system.

(2)   Was research on this knee joint done in Sydney by the Repatriation limb fitting centre, in 1958, by funding the development of the process to an ex-naval officer named Duncan.

(3)   Was the knee joint derided by Dr Robert Klein; if so, has any research been done on this knee joint since 1960.

(4)   How many such knee joints have recently been supplied to ex-service personnel.


Minister for Repatriation has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   No. The Duncan knee joint Ls a swingphase control knee incorporating an intermit 'ent friction brake.

(2)   No. The Duncan knee joint was developed in 1959 at the Repatriation Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre, Melbourne, by a prosthetist named Duncan. Mr Duncan has been employed al the Central Development Unit since its establishment in 1961.

However, separate research on a knee joint incorporating a tennis ball system was in fact undertaken in the Repatriation Artificial Limb Appliance Centre at Sydney around 1958. This unit was subjected to extensive evaluation but, in view of the availability of other more satisfactory knees, it was decided not to proceed with general production.

(3)   No. In fact, the Duncan knee joint became general issue from May 1960 until 1965 when the Department commenced to phase it out following the availability of a more satisfactory commercially produced knee unit, viz., the North-Western University knee.

(4)   Duncan knee joints have not been supplied recently to ex-service personnel.

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