What Do You Really Know About Prosthetics? | Connecticut Public Radio
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What Do You Really Know About Prosthetics?

Nov 12, 2015

It's not uncommon to see someone wearing a prosthesis, especially after wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sent many veterans home minus a limb. While losing a limb is a life-changing event, a good prosthetist can "carve" a prosthesis with just the right fit. It's a long process that can take years to perfect. 

Limbs today vary from simple body-powered prostheses moved by cables to a "fully robotic arm that has 26 joints, can curl 45 pounds and is controlled by the wearer's mind." As the stigma of a prosthesis lessens, amputees are seeking enhancement over replacement, opting for limbs that transcend what's biologically possible, even if lacking the aesthetic of a natural limb.

These new advancements are not for everyone. They're costly. Insurance doesn't always cover them, and the majority of amputees are better-suited for lower-tech models. 

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Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.