Experts have a wealth of information when facing decisions about amputee and artificial limb care, but hearing from real prosthetics patients about their personal experiences may prove even more helpful. Jean, a long-time patient of POSI, had an above knee amputation following a motorcycle accident in 2005. She sustained multiple injuries including nerve damage, collapsed lungs, broken jaw, a severely damaged leg, and shattered pelvic bone. Kevin Towers is her prosthetist. We’ll let her tell her story.
“I was thrown from my bike and run over by three other bikes. My left leg was pretty much gone at the scene. I was taken, by helicopter, to Albany Medical Center where they proceeded to save my life!
I coded five different times. My left arm was severely injured. I broke several ribs and my lungs collapsed. My liver was lacerated. I broke three bones in my lower back and two bones in my neck. My face was egg shelled. My jaw was broken. I am now legally blind in my right eye because of nerve damage. My pelvis was shattered and they could not do surgery to fix it due to my condition, so I had an external fixator for three months to help it heal.
The pelvis fracture is why my artificial limb and prosthetic situation is so unique. My pelvis healed separated, so one side is lower than the other. I also have a piece of bone that healed in a downward, crooked position and needs to be captured correctly in order for me to walk without a crooked gait.
I was using a local prosthetist who works for a well-known company. I was happy at the time with my artificial limb because I didn’t know someone could do better. One day an associate from rehab met me in the parking lot and told me about a new prosthetist she was using (Kevin Towers at POSI). I asked my therapist about him and she knew he was well respected and did good work.
When my physiatrist told me I was due for a new socket for my artificial limb and I decided to go for a consult. Seeing Kevin would take me about 2.5 hours round trip. The distance made me a little hesitant.
Once I met Kevin and had my consult, I was convinced it was worth the trip! Kevin was very nice and convinced me he could help. He was willing to cast me for my artificial limb and see what he could do even before I committed. I liked their offices because they did all of the artificial limb work there. My old prosthetist had to send everything out to be made.
Kevin and I met several times and we made three test sockets before going to the permanent one. I immediately noticed a difference in my walk. And what a difference in my look! My old socket made me look like my left hip protruded out and now I looked even on both sides! My gait changed immediately. I proceeded to have rehab.
My life has changed! I am not saying that we didn’t have bumps in the road in the artificial limb prosthesis fitting process, but Kevin does not stop until he gets it right. He takes all my questions and thoughts into consideration and we make changes accordingly. I feel like we work as a team instead of someone making all the decisions for me. The personal touch I receive at POSI is so nice to have! I never feel rushed and always feel like I am a part of all the decision making for my prosthetic leg.”
Prosthetic Orthotic Solutions International (POSI) was founded in 2000 by Kevin Towers, CPO; Jim Alaimo, CPO; Benjamin Harder, CP; Kevin Barnes, CP; and Edward Wisniewski, CP to share their knowledge and expertise of prosthetics and artificial limb development for those in need of these devices.
The POSI team uses the latest developments in technology and devices to further assist their patients, such as the BiOM feet and Genium Microprocessor Knees. They are set apart from clinics using similar next-generation devices by their personal connection with their patients.
One patient traveled cross-country from Montana to New Jersey to receive two new prosthetic arms. A wounded warrior couldn’t get the attention he needed at Tripler Medical Center in Hawaii so he flew to New Jersey to get it from POSI for his prosthetic. Many others, previously feeling “lost in the shuffle,” found the staff at POSI truly listened to their problems and concerns. The message from these patients is basically the same, “I never received this level of personal attention anywhere else.”
With over 100 years of collective experience in the artificial limb and prosthetic development and counseling industry, the POSI staff is truly devoted to helping their patients achieve their mobility goals and enrich their lives. With two full-service facilities in NJ and PA easily accessible from the Philadelphia Int’l Airport, theirs truly is an International medical facility.