Blurring the lines between man and bionics

Alex lost his right foot after an accident in a quarry when a stone slab fell and tore his foot from his body

(WTNH) — Alex Boyd can play basketball like anyone else. He pivots, dribbles and runs. The only difference is that Alex is an amputee and is the first in Connecticut to have a mechatronic ankle.

Alex lost his right foot after an accident in a quarry when a stone slab fell and tore his foot from his body.

Before Alex was fitted with his new prosthetic, it was tested at The Hanger Clinic for a year and a half by John Redfield.

“I broke it a couple of times, they took it back, they re-engineered it, gave it back to me and this is the final product,” Redfield said.

“What we are able to do with this technology is combine a series of electronic sensors in mechanical valves that a microprocessor then takes information from, and combines and controls to change the way the ankle moves and behaves to the patient,” said Lou Passariello, who trained Alex on the high-tech prosthetic. “It’s got a little bit of artificial intelligence so it learns a little bit as he moves and knows how to be a little bit more intuitive.”

After a number of prosthetics, this advanced ankle-foot has him walking on all kinds of terrains. There is even an app available to make adjustments as needed. “It doesn’t always feel comfortable and I may have to adjust it to make it a little softer,” Boyd said.

For more information on this new prosthesis, you can visit The Hanger Clinic website.

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