This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Exercise After Burn Injury. Cheri Blauwet, MD, researcher, discusses Muji Karim and Exercising with Prosthetic Limbs.

Jeffrey Schneider, M.D.

Project Director, Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System Center

Medical Director, Burn & Trauma, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

I had the privilege of being able to care for Muji as a patient here at Spaulding. And he’s really a very resilient individual. He was faced with amputations, losing both of his lower legs and part of his hand. And, you know, he was someone who met each challenge with sort of more energy and determination than we could always anticipate.

You know, we would set a goal for him like, you know, your goal today is just to stand on these new prosthetic legs, and he would get up and he’d say no, my goal is to, you know, walk 50 feet today, you know. And he would find a way of doing those sort of things. And so I think from early on he was just internally motivated to, you know, not let this beat him. And he was sort of going to conquer this and find a way of, you know, being who he was, which, you know, for him he defined I think a lot of himself by being an athlete. And he didn’t let having a burn injury and bilateral lower extremity amputations get in the way of him getting to be an athlete.

Cheri Blauwet, M.D.

Director, Kelley Institute for Adaptive Sports Research

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

So, individuals who have experienced an amputation, you know, of course with that your mobility is changed. And I always like to say it’s not necessarily changed for the better or worse; it’s just different than it was before. And there are many opportunities for getting involved. Of course, if someone is pursuing use of a prosthetic, then there are myriad types of sports prostheses that can be used for different types of activities.

You know, designers are even making prostheses now that can be used for cross country skiing or alpine skiing, for example, where the prosthesis actually hooks into the ski; for biking, either mountain biking or road biking; certainly for running, either, you know, more recreational running or competitive running. So because of innovation in technology, the use of prostheses for being active for physical activity and exercise is really growing, and it’s an exciting area that we look forward to seeing where it all develops.

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