West Texas Rehab: Prosthetics & Modern Technology


Born with a birth defect, Scott Dover has only known the use of a prosthetic leg. Scott says he was never treated any differently and engaged in extracurricular activities playing baseball, riding a bike and competed in wrestling. As an adult, Scott maintains a healthy lifestyle with an exercise routine six days a week.

"In my youth I used to joke around about it I would say I got my leg caught in a bear trap and had to knaw my leg off or something like that but now I just kinda educate people and kinda tell them I was born with a birth defect, but you know even though I got a "robot leg" I can still do anything that I want to do," West Texas Rehab Patient Scott Dover said.

The construction of prosthetics has evolved tremendously from the traditional wooden carved socket from the civil war era to what Scott now uses, the C-Leg Microprocessor Controlled Hydraulic Unit. Built to adapt dynamically to walking speeds in real time which allows for a smoother more natural movement and more posture stability. Sensors in the C-Leg detect when the patient trips or stumbles. The sensors then cause the knee to lock to help the patient recover and prevent a fall.

"The components that we're using now have improved greatly over the last twenty years they've become a lot more effiecient they've become a lot more lightweight...stronger so they allow more motion that allows patients to walk more fluid have more natural gait. We didn't have that option in the past," Certified Prosthetist and Orthotist Eric McLarty said.

The microprossesor links to the computers at West Texas Rehab through bluetooth technology that allow the prosthetist to make activity mode adjustments. The C-Leg battery life lasts up to 45 hours and is charged similar to a cell phone. The software uses gait cycle algorithms that determine resistance, beneficial to active lifestyles. Scott says he has had a variety of prosthetic legs, but the C-Leg has helped him maintain his health and doesn't let anything hold him back.

"I've had people you know when I come here to the gym they say, 'Oh you're an inspiration' and all that I really don't see myself as an inspiration I'm just kind of like everybody else. You can live without one of your limbs it's just a matter of kind of embracing it it's all in your head you know if you put in your mind you can do it, you can do it," Dover said.

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