Waterproof leg could change lives - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Waterproof leg could change lives

Waterproof leg could change lives

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We all know electronics and water don't mix.  But now there's some new waterproof technology that could be a life changer for amputees.  It's a waterproof leg.

Jim Milliken is a Vietnam Veteran, who lost both legs to a landmine in 1968.  He's had about a dozen prosthetic legs since.  Wednesday, he tried out the newest thing on the market, the Ottobock X3.

Talking about the prosthetic leg Milliken said, "this is really nice."
 
Why is it so nice?  Milliken's prosthetist, Norbert Fliess explained saying, "This one is completely waterproof."
   
Fliess, of American Limb & Orthopedic Company, said before this new technology if an amputee wanted to get in a pool, go to the beach, or even just take a shower the leg had to come off.  "He could actually get in the shower and take a shower standing up with this type of prosthesis, where before he wasn't able to do that."

Standing in the shower sounds good to Milliken.  "Boy that would be something for me to try.  I haven't stood up to take a shower in a really long time"

He said the new technology could change lives, especially for new amputees coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.  "It'd be almost as good as having a regular leg.  So many more things you could do with it."

There's just one issue.  The waterproof leg costs between 60 and 80 thousand dollars and a lot of the time insurance won't pay.
Fliess said, "If I could I would put this on every above knee amputee I could...we still have that problem in the United States, we don't put some of the best stuff on some of our patients and I wish we could."

So Milliken and other amputees will have to wait until the new technology becomes more attainable.

"I'd like to see that day," said Fliess
  
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