New technology at Health Sciences North benefits prosthetic patients

When Sudbury’s JC Roy went on a vacation to Mexico last April, he never expected the trip would result in him losing part of his leg.

Hospital says new method reduces wait times, impacts patients

Kristin Schafer, a certified prosthetist at Health Sciences North, works with patient JC Roy. The hospital is now offering 3D scanning technology to help fit people with prosthetics. (Supplied/HSN)

When Sudbury's JC Roy went on a vacation to Mexico last April, he never expected the trip would result in him losing part of his leg.

Roy developed an infection in his foot, which eventually got into his bones and moved up his leg.

Eventually, his doctor told him he'd have to have his leg amputated below the knee.

"I cried like a baby," he said.

Roy was treated at Health Sciences North in Sudbury. The hospital is now creating prosthetics and orthotics using 3D technology. It says the software is safe, easy to use and reduces wait times for patients.

"There was no pain [and] it was accurate," he said.

Now, Roy says his prosthetic leg feels "excellent."

"This is a journey, when someone tells you you're going to lose a leg," he said.

"Every step is a major step. Life is not going to end, you know. It's just one leg. I still have another one and I'm making a lot of progress with my new prosthetic."

Wait times 'cut in half'

The technology means staff can use the 3D scanner to make a digital impression of the limb being fitted for a prosthetic.

Kristin Schafer, a certified prosthetist at the hospital, says it's a better method than what was being done before.

"We used to use plaster," she explained.

"What used to take two hours, now takes 20 minutes. Wait times for new patients have been cut in half."

Not only is it faster for patients, David Filipovic, a certified orthotist at the hospital, says, the end result is much more accurate and reliable than the older technology.

"[The old] process was sometimes uncomfortable for patients, especially those with cognitive disabilities, sensitive skin or patients with chronic pain," Filipovic said.

"This technology is a game changer, as it results in more accurate and repeatable treatments with the added advantage of storing a permanent digital record."

Kristin Schafer, a certified prosthetist at HSN, says wait times have been cut in half for patients like JC Roy, as a result of new 3D technology the hospital is using to create prosthetics. (Wendy Bird)

With files from Wendy Bird


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