Wounded Warrior tests new prosthetic

SAN DIEGO - A Camp Pendleton Marine who lost an arm and was blinded in one eye while trying to diffuse a roadside bomb in 2012 is the first person ever to be approved by the FDA for an implanted device to control his prosthetic.

Myoelectric sensor devices have been used in the past but were erratic because they were usually on top of the skin and subject to interference.  

"Now I have three different ranges of motion. I can turn my wrist, I can move my thumb independently; it's much better than what I had before," said Marine Staff Sgt. James Sides from Walter Reed Hospital.

Sides was implanted with a device developed by the Alfred Mann Foundation.

"What they did was refine the technology that currently existed, but it's pretty awesome," said Tristan Wyatt, who heads the prosthetic department at the VA Medical Center in La Jolla.  

Wyatt lost a limb after coming under attack in Iraq in 2003.  

"It's encouraging to see the technology develop," he said.

Wyatt added that with the war winding down, he hopes research and development money isn't curtailed.

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