The Sound of Prosthetics in Action

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Our SoundClips series continues with listener Sandy Diamon, a nurse. She offers the sound of veterans snapping on their prosthetic legs, something she hears in her work.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Today's sound clip is a sobering reminder of the dangers for American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ms. SANDY DIAMON (Physical Therapist): My name is Sandy Diamon. I live in western Massachusetts. I'm a physical therapist and in my role as a physical therapist, one of the things that I do is fit veterans that are coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan. And I help - with the help of a prosthetist - to fit them with an artificial leg or a prosthesis and get them walking again.

(Soundbite of amputee attaching artificial limb)

Ms. DIAMON: One of the most common ways that the prosthesis is attached to a residual limb is something called a locking pin suspension system.

(Soundbite of amputee attaching artificial limb)

Ms. DIAMON: And the way that works is there's a gel liner with a metal pin about one and a half to two inches long on the end of that liner that the liner is sort of rolled on to the residual limb by the patient. And it's a very - it's an intimate fit. The veteran will guide the pin into a hole in the prosthesis and in that hole is a gadget or another mechanism that will catch the pin at several different places and lock the residual limb into the prosthesis. That's the sound that I love and all these returning veterans love.

(Soundbite of amputee attaching artificial limb)

SIEGEL: That was listener and physical therapist Sandy Diamon in western Massachusetts and the sounds of amputees attaching their artificial limbs. For more about our series SoundClips, you can go to npr.org.

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