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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

CSM 2010--Addressing Young Amputees

Published February 18, 2010 4:14 PM by Rebecca Mayer
One of the most memorable patients I have met during my time as a writer with ADVANCE was a young man named Adrian June from Phoenix, AZ, who tragically lost both of his legs when he was struck by a train. I tried to capture his spirit in this article that ran nearly three years ago. I will never forget his determination during his rehab sessions and the pure gratitude he had for his prosthetic legs. He was blessed with some of the best and greatest technology he could afford. And he was thankful on a daily basis for how his "legs" helped him return to his life.

Today I attended a session at CSM 2010 called "Research Innovations to Improve Amputee Care" presented by the Federal PT Section of APTA. Presenters Benjamin Darter, PT, PhD, and Jason Wilken, MPT, PhD, discussed current research efforts to improve prosthetics and how to best use virtual reality technology to enhance rehabilitation. Researchers at The Intrepid in San Antonio, TX, also aim to accurately measure outcomes for the young, traumatic amputee population.

These researchers are committed to making those who wear prosthetics as comfortable and functional as possible. Dr. Wilken explained that 60 percent of the amputee population will experience a fall at least once annually. Further, many of these falls happen among the younger population because those amputees tend to push the limits more than their older counterparts. I don't what June's life looks like today but I hope he hasn't lost his spirit. I am glad to know that along with many other young amputees, June's ability to function is continually being addressed by the experts at The Intrepid.

posted by Rebecca Mayer

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