WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published December 13, 2011, 08:54 PM

Roseau Man First in Region to Get State-of-the-art Prosthetic Knee

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A Roseau man is able to take the next steps in his life, literally, thanks to a ground-breaking new prosthetic knee.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A Roseau man is able to take the next steps in his life, literally, thanks to a ground-breaking new prosthetic knee.

On Tuesday at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, 55-year-old Mike Rudebusch got the first Genium bionic prosthetic in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

The updated prosthetic allows users like Mike to walk up and down stairs, take small steps and walk backwards. All things that have been impossible for amputees.

"I don't want to be any different than anyone else," Rudebusch said.

And now, Rudebusch won't seem different. The key to the new device is advanced computer sensors controlling the knee.

"There's sensors within the prosthesis, and it can tell if someone is standing on their heel or their toe, or if their knee is bent, and then the computer will analyze that and provide more or less hydraulic resistance to the knee joint. So, if you were going to stumble and fall, it can sense that and adjust the knee joint so you don't fall," Altru prosthetics manager Paul Edman said.

Rudebusch lost his left leg in an accident working at a grain elevator. His new prosthetic is a huge step up from the different systems he's been using for the past 22 years, including the C-Leg he's had for the last decade.

I had my doubts about what it would do, but it's doing more than I thought it would do. It's incredible," Rudebusch said.

So far, he's thrilled with the result of the state-of-the-art system, but he acknowledges the long road ahead.

"Your body hasn't done this stuff in 20 years, so it's all re-learning. Learning how to walk and go up stairs and stuff like that, it will be a progression," Rudebusch said.

Rudebusch was immediately surprised at the difference updates made. He and his doctors agree that the prosthetic will only improve over time.

"Almost right off the bat it felt normal, like I would normally walk," Rudebusch said.

"I think the initial reaction is very positive, but the more you wear it and the more you get comfortable with it, it's going to be even better," Edman said.

Mike says he's grateful for the opportunity to have a more normal life, and wants to work until he's 65.

Tags: