Boston Marathon Amputees Face New Reality

The Wall Street Journal—April 18, 2013

As people injured by the Boston bombings recover, many who lost one or more limbs face a long and grueling road ahead.


Amputees and patients with major trauma to extremities face potentially long recoveries and the prospect of serious complications.

Difficult decisions begin in the emergency room. "You try to salvage as much length as you can," said John Lyden, orthopedic trauma surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. "Then you have to watch it to make sure it heals."

It may take months of rehabilitation to become accustomed to new prosthetic legs, and patients may cycle through several devices before finding one that works, say prosthetists, who design and fit patients with artificial limbs.

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