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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Houston VA Presents Latest in Bionic Prosthetic Technology

November 28, 2007

WHAT:

Demonstrations of advanced bionic prosthetic technology by veterans and non-veterans including Vietnam veteran and former U.S. Marine David Lemak with the Proprio “Bionic” Foot™; Brian Frasure, winner of numerous medals at three Paralympic Games; and Retired Special Forces SGM Brad Halling who lost his leg in Somalia when his Black Hawk went down. Halling will compare his experience as an amputee veteran in 1992 with that of today’s combat wounded. He is now a prosthetist who can explain the functional benefits about the Power Knee™, a new and ground-breaking device that replaces lost muscle function.

WHEN:

Tuesday, December 4, 2007, 1 p.m.

WHERE:    

4th Floor Auditorium
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
2002 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030

 

BACKGROUND:

The MEDVAMC hosts a 2½ day comprehensive workshop, December 4-6, 2007, of advanced bionic prosthetic technology. Attendees will learn how to improve functional outcome of amputees through knowledge of microprocessor, artificial Intelligence, and powered technology.

In 2006, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) was the first VA medical center to fit a patient with the Proprio “Bionic” FootTM, just weeks after Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

VA health care specialists have access to the latest technologies. These include microprocessor components such as the RHEO Knee®, Power Knee™, and the C-Leg. These computer-controlled rheomagnetic, pneumatic, and hydraulic systems are regulated by internal feedback. Sensors in the pylon and the knee itself send information such as toe load, knee angle, and other information to an onboard microprocessor. 

No less important than new prosthetic technology is the overall care an amputee receives during rehabilitation. The model for that care has changed over the years to improve services to VA patients. The goal is not only to teach amputees to walk or use an artificial arm and hand, but to integrate body, mind, and machine. Continuing care and long-term support from VA multi-disciplinary teams have shown that patients often can improve their functioning months or years after their injuries or amputation.

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