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.