Lou. war veteran says he feels like ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ with prosthetic

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by Renee Murphy

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 17 at 9:50 PM

LOUISVILLE Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Louisville soldier says he feels like the “Six Million Dollar Man”.  It’s a medical breakthrough that’s helping him and other war vets who’ve lost limbs.

His new ankle is a sign of what’s to come by way of bionics.

Always active, TJ Terhune loved running around with his son and loved serving this country.

He had two tours of duty in Iraq before getting a knee injury.

When he returned to America he learned he had cancer in his leg and his ankle had to be amputated.

A major advancement in prosthetics is giving TJ a way to step forward with ease.

“There is no comparison. This is top of the line,” TJ said.

The prosthetic is battery powered and gives TJ more mobility than traditional prosthetics.

“So what you have is a combination of computers, sensors, motors, springs inside of the ankle that allow a 24 degrees range of motion so the ankle moves,” Brian Frasure, with iWalk the manufacturer of the BiOM, said.

First TJ takes a few steps and he can walk in almost complete symmetry.

“It feels natural it replaces the ligaments the calf muscles what I lost,” TJ said. 

“The purpose of this type of technology is to restore natural motion restore energy return that will allow them to become more stable more active,” Frasure said.

Now the real test comes for this vet when he goes outside - where the ground is uneven and he has to maneuver hills, but he also found success outside too.

“It’s a lot easier to move, less fatigue won’t be tired at the end of the day. I feel like with this new one I can get out and do a lot more. I feel as close as I can before the amputation,” TJ said.

The most exciting part for TJ about this process is his son's reaction.

“He loves it. He thinks it’s cool,” TJ’s son said.

This type of technology in prosthetics is the biggest breakthrough in 20 years.  The last time there was a breakthrough like this was in the ‘80s.

As more Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans return home they will be able to use these types of prosthetics that are life changing.

 

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