Unfortunately work accidents, car accidents, illness, and various other incidents result in the loss of limbs for many people. Whether a person lost their arm in a car accident or lost a foot due to uncontrolled diabetes, being an amputee completely changes the course of a person’s life. With the help of modern prosthetic devices, amputees can continue to live an independent, happy and active life. The correct prosthetic and training can even enable an amputee to continue participating in their favorite sports and competitions.
Like all other amputees who are becoming accustomed to their new prosthetic devices, amputee athletes must start slow. Once their body has healed completely, many patients and their physicians look toward prosthetics to help the patient regain their independence. The progression doesn’t happen overnight, athletes with prosthetic limbs literally have to learn to walk before they can run. Exercise, physical therapy, and numerous consultations with surgeons, physicians, orthopedists, and the right prosthetic will afford any individual – athlete or not – the proper style, size, and fit for their new prosthetic device.
Controlling a Prosthetic
Athletes have more control over prosthetic devices than ever before. With today’s technology and the development of prosthetic body machine interface devices, patients can control their prosthetic limbs by contracting their natural muscles. Science is steadily advancing toward the day when prosthetic limbs will be controlled by thought alone, and when they will be able to provide the wearer with sensory feedback. Until then, however, athletes work with trainers to learn how to control their prosthetic device in relation to their sport of choice, whether it is running, basketball, or any other sport.
Anything is Possible
With determination, time, and resources, anything is possible. There are many athletes who go on to live their athletic dreams, despite their prosthesis. Geoff Turner, for instance, is an athlete with a prosthetic leg. Despite the loss of his leg in a motorcycle accident, Turner has participated in numerous marathons and triathlons. On an average week, he runs and bikes a total of 80 miles or more.
Prosthetic devices for athletes are anything but cheap. Normal prosthetics, designed for everyday wear, are often covered by insurance companies. Custom prosthetics designed for running and athletic training; however, are often paid for out of pocket, but the way they are able to transform an persons life often makes them well worth the investment.
To learn more about both everyday use and special athletic prosthetics speak with the experienced staff at Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics. Wherever you are in Michigan it’s likely you won’t have to travel far to visit one of their 22 Michigan locations.