Tag Archives: PTSD

War And Sports Shape Better Artificial Limbs

Last year I posted about the technological advancements of prosthetic limbs. Patients have been electing to remove more of their healthy flesh so that they can be fitted with more athletic and functional extremities. James Dao continues the story.

Rehabilitation programs that revolve around sports and athleticism help amputees emotionally recover from lost arms and legs. Even when wounded soldiers or civilians were not athletic before the injury, playing sports after sustaining one offers immense confidence and physical resilience. The reporter also discusses the scientific leap that has greatly improved the quality of prosthetics. “Computerized knees and ankles” Dao writes, “adjust to terrain and activity.” “Lighter and more malleable materials have allowed amputees to wear synthetic legs longer — and even run marathons.”

The author mentions two caveats to these developments. Quoting a physical therapist and an anthropological who studies military rehab programs, Dao reminds us that “traumatic stress disorder or anxieties about employment” cannot be treated with athletic programs alone. He also teaches us that the cost burden for soldiers is covered by the military, which offers extensive treatment and a variety of artificial limbs for various physical activity (skying, climbing, swimming.) For civilians however, their options are much more limited. “Buying an advanced device can cost more than $30,000; customizing them for various sports costs thousands more,” Dao reports.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Neuroimaging Further Reveals The Cost Of War

brain scan traumatic brain injury

Wired.com

Writing on wired.com, Spencer Ackerman reveals the staggering number of traumatic brain injuries our soldiers have endured, and the imaging technology that helps doctors diagnose them.

Here are indications of the lingering costs of 11 years of warfare. Nearly 130,000 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and vastly more have experienced brain injuries. Over 1,700 have undergone life-changing limb amputations. Over 50,000 have been wounded in action. As of Wednesday, 6,656 U.S. troops and Defense Department civilians have died.

That updated data…comes from a new Congressional Research Service report into military casualty statistics that can sometimes be difficult to find — and even more difficult for American society to fully appreciate. It almost certainly understates the extent of the costs of war.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,