Can You Continue an Athletic Life Post-Amputation? Absolutely.

by Brent Woods

Once upon a time, losing a limb spelled the end of an athlete's career or an atheletic person's hobbies, but these days, prosthetics have advanced to the point where they are capable of a tremendous amount of specialization, giving rise to a new form of prosthetics that can be specialized for nearly anyone's desire to continue participating in his or her favorite sports. If you're facing life with a prosthetic, you need to know that you can still continue enjoying your previously athletic life with the right kind of prosthetic.

You have more choices than ever before about the type of prosthetic you want to use.

Up until recently, people had to essentially work with prosthetics that were either externally driven through mechanical means and still relatively limited in function or wear essentially lifeless prosthetics that had no real function except for cosmetic purposes.

However, the industry demands started to evolve largely because there has been an increased need for prosthetics among active people. Athletic people who suffer devastating injuries or cancers that require amputations have been unwilling to settle for minimal functionality. Soldiers coming back from overseas in recent years also provided an expanded market for prosthetics tailored around the otherwise healthy and fit individual who wants to remain athletic.

Athletes have taken prosthetics to the field and revolutionized prosthetics in the process.

Professional athlete "Monster" Mike Shultz was one of the pioneers of athletic prosthetics after his own extreme-sports career took a tragic turn in 2008; he had to have a leg amputated. Finding existing prosthetic options too limiting for his chosen career and unable to give him the range of motion he wanted, he began experimenting with his own design until he came up with a version of the prosthetic that was lightweight, flexible, and able to withstand the physical demands of an athlete.

For example, Oscar Pistorius took his prosthetic running blades all the way to the Olympics and was able to complete in disabled and non-disabled events alike, becoming the first double amputee to compete in the regular Olympic games in 2012. At one point, there was even a question about whether or not he should be allowed to compete against runners with biological legs because there was a question about whether or not his prosthetics gave him a special advantage!

The science behind such prosthetics is increasing rapidly.

Experts in the field of prosthetics note that the technology behind sport prosthetics has jumped "leaps and bounds ahead" of where it was even five years ago, far eclipsing anything done in the decade or longer before. Custom prosthetics are being designed for virtually any purpose, and the change is due to looking at the traditional design of prosthetics in a new way. Older prosthetics required so much energy to use that they'd quickly wear down an athlete, even if they gave minimal functionality. New prosethetics are incorporating sophisticated computers that can anticipate what a user needs to do and how to calculate the right amount of pressure necessary to achieve that goal. This is allowing athletic users an agility that's akin to biological limbs.

If you want to continue living an athletic lifestyle and return to your chosen sport or career despite amputation, discuss the possibility of an advanced sports prosthetic with a professional such as one at Human Technology today.