La Crosse patients try out new prosthetic limb technology

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — New technology for patients dealing with limb loss was tested in La Crosse today. While prosthetics have improved significantly over the years, it is also about patients finding community.

When Leslie Green, Hanger Clinic‘s patient advocate and bilateral amputee, lost her legs, she felt alone.

“Hearing the words ‘We’re going to amputate your leg,’ the minute you hear that. It’s nothing short of abject terror,” Green said. “Instant aloneness, because you’re told this is going to happen, but nobody has anything to give you to make your way through this.”

Things have changed since then technologically. And also, thanks to Green’s advocacy, the community has grown.

“My goal… to change people’s perception and experience,” Green said. “From the moment that they diagnose someone as needing an amputation, that person no longer has to be alone in figuring it out. We’re right there to come alongside.”

Navigating a prosthetic is a learning curve both physically and mentally.

“It takes time to develop gait, and it takes practice, and it takes belief that you can do it,” Green said.

At Hangar Clinic in La Crosse on Thursday, patients tested out new prosthetic limb technology. The new models for knee and foot involve microprocessor tech. That allows for easier movement.

“We’ve had a lot of really successful trials and a lot of really positive feedback,” said Craig Armstrong, a prosthetist with Proetor. “Lives are often changed, and that’s one of the things I like about working in this industry.”