Lounging by the pool or waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom aren’t what most able-bodied individuals would consider to be complicated tasks, but for bilateral amputees, the process of changing into their prostheses for these activities can be cumbersome. For injured soldiers— a record number reported major limb amputations in 2011— the transition back to civilian life also includes learning how to manage their new limbs.

Prior to the start of the conflict there wasn’t a large bilateral amputee population, and their level of care typically ended with an adaptable wheelchair, Dave Laufer, director of orthotic and prosthetic service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, told FoxNews.com. But as more soldiers returned home with missing limbs, Laufer and his team were inundated with requests for something better than what was available.

“When you and I go home from work… you take your shoe off,” Dave Laufer, director of orthotic and prosthetic service at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, told FoxNews.com. “An amputee shoe is attached to his leg. When bilateral amputees take their shoes off they’re now sitting on a chair and they’re stuck.”

To stand upright for any task, amputees first have to roll a liner onto their residual limb, put on the prosthetic socket, then attach their prosthetic limb before standing up on both feet to ensure stability of the fit before walking again.

Read more at Fox News

Image courtesy of sbs.com.au

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