Gaining Traction with Paul’s Prosthetic Leg
At 80 years old, quickly loading a dishwasher, shucking half a bushel of corn, or getting down on hands and knees to garden can be difficult.
For Paul McCarl, it’s no sweat. And that’s not considering his leg amputation.
The Decision to Make a Change
Paul, a Greencastle, PA resident, had his left leg amputated below the knee due to severe circulation problems, a health issue many older individuals often encounter.
“I dealt with poor circulation and gangrene ‘till it was lose my leg or lose my life,” explains Paul.
He chose to sacrifice his leg. But with that sacrifice came a new lease on life.
An Advanced Approach to Prosthetic Fitting
Paul’s team at Ability Prosthetics and Orthotics in Hagerstown, MD, including lead practitioner, Chris DiGioia, CP, CFo, helped fit him for his first prosthetic, and he loves it. And considering his age and overall health, it’s changed his life.
“I drive. I take showers by myself. I’m up and down stairs…carefully,” he says with a chuckle. “I can do almost everything I could do before, but better.”
“Young, healthy people want components to enable them to run or walk fast over uneven terrains,” says Jeff Quelet, one of Ability’s founders. “They want a lot of joint flexibility. But these components can add weight to the prosthesis.”
“So, we design lightweight devices that are easier to use for older patients who may not be as strong and may have hand dexterity issues.”
A Patient for Life
Ensuring Paul had the best fit involved weeks of testing, tweaking, and observation. But since a person’s weight and anatomy change over time, Paul’s team will continue seeing him for life, adjusting his prosthetic as needed.
This way, Ability can ensure he’ll continue to enjoy the little things — like take care of his garden, load a dishwasher, or shuck a piece of corn.