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Prosthetic Advancements May Help Victims

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Trauma surgeons and doctors at Boston hospitals are treating dozens of patients following Monday’s marathon bombing. Many are being treated for amputated limbs.

A local prosthetic manufacturer says most of those patients will return to full function. At the workshop of Spectrum Orthopedics and Prosthetics, they build and custom fit prosthetics right here in Medford. They say that those who lost limbs during yesterdays tragedy will likely go back to normal life, and may even be able to run marathons again.

Experts at spectrum say that prosthetic technology is widely available and advancing quickly. Some of the models made here use advanced microprocessors to detect impact and bend limbs.

Patients who are treated for limbs that are either amputated or subject to trauma go through about one to three weeks of rehab after being fitted. From there it takes about a year to eighteen months to return to nearly completely normal function, that means walking, driving, climbing stairs, and even performance activities.

“These people can have tremendous hope that this particular industry will advance with them and that the outlook is good,” Forest Sexton, the Spectrum Prosthetics founder.

Sexton says that most insurance plans cover prosthetics. In fact, they’re required to do so here in Oregon. However, blade-like performance prosthetics for competitive sports usually aren’t covered, and can go for over ten thousand dollars.

Doctors in Boston say they’re still performing operations on some of those injured in yesterday’s blasts. Sixteen surgeries were performed at Boston Medical Center alone on Monday. Another five were scheduled for Tuesday, with more in the coming days.

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  1. Connie says:

    Prosthetics may help the victims greatly….but to say that they will return to normal lives is a horrible statement. Very few people who are victims of incidents like this “return to a completely normal life” This is a stupid statement from someone in a the leath industry!

  2. Connie says:

    Prosthetics may help the victims greatly….but to say that they will return to normal lives is a horrible statement. Very few people who are victims of incidents like this “return to a completely normal life” This is a stupid statement from someone in a the health industry!

    1. Tina says:

      I think you misinterpreted the information. He stated that because of the technology in prosthetics, many of the victims ‘will likely go back to normal life.’ Meaning they will be able to function with a prosthesis. My husband was hit by a drunk driver and consequently a below knee amputee. He does live a normal life with his prosthesis. I think it is horrible that one would not give hope to those who have suffered a tragedy. We do not want to give false hope, but encouragement is essential in recovery…and that what providers of the health industry do….encourage and give hope.

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