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Prosthetic offers a step into the future

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HAMDEN-- For Brenda Adelson, call it a step in the right direction.

Adelson lost her leg six years ago while on a humanitarian trip in the west African nation of Mali. Now, she is the first patient in the country fitted for what is called the C-4 Microprocessor Leg.

bionic legThe futuristic prosthetic leg is made by a company called Otto Bock, and like a Segway, the leg uses gyroscopic technology to help a patient walk. "The longer I wear it the more natural it feels," Adelson said just two hours after trying it on in a Hamden medical office. "The leg just responds better."

Dave Motycka, a prosthetist and orthotist from New England Orthotic and Prosthetic Systems, was proud to be the specialist chosen to outfit his longtime patient, Adelson, with the C-4 leg.

"The advancements of the faster software, the ability normalize someone's gait, it is leaps and bounds from years ago, I wish everyone could get into this technology," Motycka said. "It's essentially a Segway attached to your body, which swings and reacts the same way."brenda adelson

Motycka proudly watched as Adelson walked his office stairwell, up and down, with relative ease--quite a feat for an above the knee amputee. "This gets her as close to normal as she can be with her walking."

Adelson said she hopes her new leg will someday be available for all amputees in need. "Given the right resources, amputees can be more active," she said.

brenda adelson legThe new prosthetic technology doesn't come cheap: depending on insurance coverage, the leg can cost upwards of $20,000.

This summer, Adelson said she is planning on competing in a triathlon. "I used bike and run and motorcycle and downhill ski and I want to be everything I did before."

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