The Surgeon Speaks
Date: December 4, 2012
Johnny Matheny’s experience demonstrates how far we’ve come in medicine—particularly in terms of the technology we can offer to improve quality of life for the patients.
Not so long ago, the best-case scenario for a patient in Mr. Matheny’s circumstances would have been learning to rely completely on his remaining arm. But, as physicians, we know that patients deserve better than the limited options science might provide at the time. And that’s why we’re constantly striving to expand those options, so that our patients might experience a better reality.
Likewise, Mr. Matheny and his original surgeon were equally ambitious about improving his lot. As a result, we succeded in reinnervating his muscles and nerves, thus providing sensation that most amputees never experience again. Best of all, he’ll soon be able to put all those feelings to good use when he receives a new bionic arm later this year.
Of course, while none of this would be possible without the hard, brilliant work of the Applied Physics Lab, much of the credit goes to Mr. Matheny himself. Without his determination, he could not have soared through his physical therapy. And without those things, a bionic arm—no matter how technologically advanced—would sit wasted.