When they are faced with the prospect of living without a limb, such as Aimee Copeland, who lost multiple limbs after contracting a rare flesh-eating bacteria, many patients turn to prosthetics, in order to regain some semblance of a normal life.
With technology becoming more sophisticated, Newser reports that there is an increasing trend in people asking for more of their limb to be removed than necessary, in order to fit into more advanced prosthetics.
The New York Times reports that Ann Kornhauser, 63, who lost her left foot after doctors discovered a tumor, lived for years with a foot prosthetic.
She told the Times that her prosthetic foot would give her so much pain that she would cry in the car on the way home from the store, just thinking about how she had to carry the groceries into the house.
She stated that her prosthetist gave her another option: have her leg amputated below the knee, in order to fit a new prosthetic that had a fleshy, real look and feel. After thinking about it for two years, Ann decided to go through with the operation. She told The Times that:
“All my family said was,’You’re going to be sitting there without a leg.’ But they didn’t know what I knew. I knew it was going to look like a leg and that people ran marathons on them. I knew that I would have a life.”
Now, Ann Kornhauser walks around with a mechanical prosthetic, which comes with a fleshlike appearance and an adjustable ankle.
According to The New York Times, David Rozelle, an Army captain had his right food amputated in 2003 following a land mine accident in Iraq. Rozelle was able to gain a bit of his life back, competing in triathlons, and even returning to duty in Iraq. However, he eventually turned to his doctor, asking to have nine inches of his leg removed, in order to fit into a new prosthetic. His doctor was surprised.
The New York Times reports that Major Rozelle stated:
“The medical community is focused completely on salvaging limbs. There’s actually a disadvantage to having extra limb length, because you can’t fit correctly into prosthetic devices.”
Rozelle went through with the second procedure, and now owns several different prosthetics, which he uses for various activities, like running and skiing.
[Image courtesy of The New York Times]
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