August 1, 2012

We are discussing prosthetic limbs, particularly legs. A man who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident has turned his own experience into a career as a counselor and trainer for a prosthetics manufacturer. He explained in a recent news story that things have changed a lot since he was first given an uncomfortable and unstable wooden leg.

Since his first experience, the technology has evolved, introducing hydraulics and new materials, like silicones. These days, his prosthesis is a titanium leg with silicone sockets that also incorporate carbon fibers to absorb energy. All of these advances make for a more comfortable, more lightweight and, importantly, more stable limb. As he regained functioning in his life, he decided to dedicate his life to helping other amputees.

Think about what the microchip did for cell phones and computers, and you will get an idea of how much micro-technology has improved the joints in artificial legs and arms. This man’s focus is legs, of course, and he said the new knees give his clients more control and greater stability. The prosthetics industry has moved away from a standard, one-size-fits-all approach; arms and legs are customized, improving a client’s experience and outcome.

Insurance companies are taking notice. The new prosthetics may be more expensive, but they significantly reduce the risk of falling and breaking a hip or shoulder, he explained. A little more investment up front will save money and quality of life later on.

The trainer’s message is not that losing his leg was a good thing. His message is that it was not the end of everything for him. He believes that the advancing technology offers hope for a faster recovery from the physical and emotional damage that can come with a car accident or motorcycle crash.

Source:, “Prosthetics improve significantly from previous years,” Bobby Shuttleworth, Aug. 20, 2012

Our firm handles accidents similar to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Portland car accident page.


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