Expertise in Motion: Firm Builds New Limbs for Amputees
June 14, 2021
Presented by Arthur Graham via Zoom seminar
The program is free and open to the public, but you will need to sign up here.
“Watching someone walk for the first time after an accident, it’s one of the most exciting things for us”, declares Arthur Graham, Clinical Manager of Next Step Bionics and Prostheses of Newton. “We’ll have quite the audience in the room; everyone wants to be there as cheerleaders.”
Graham has spent his career designing and fabricating artificial limbs (prosthetics), building and managing a thriving branch office, and caring for patients from the initial fitting of their devices through their years of therapy and practice.
Arthur Graham will trace the history and current state of the art of prosthetic design and preview the incredible advances in technology that are just around the corner, ready to bring new levels of flexibility, strength, and natural movement to amputees.
In addition to serving veterans, who make up about 20% of their practice, “our patients come from all walks of life”, Arthur observes, “and the joy of this job is no two patients are the same.” Patients range from a 3-year old girl who was born without a limb to a 90-year-old woman who lost her leg above the knee as a result of an auto accident.
Next Step is a contracted provider to the Veterans Administration, maintaining a close relationship and assisting their veteran patients to receive all their entitled VA medical benefits. “The VA prescribes the prosthetic, and we build it,” Arthur explains, “then we continue to see the veteran for adjustments and follow up.”
The technology has come a long way toward making prosthetics closer and closer to a functioning natural limb. Two recent advancements are the Power Knee, delivering powered extension when standing up, controlled resistance when descending, and active flexion and extension during walking (or as Arthur says, the ability to “push off”, which is hard for patients to do); and Osseointegration, similar to a dental implant with a titanium rod, implanted in the bone of the residual limb, that attaches to the prosthetic appliance, eliminating the socket, increasing comfort, improving fit, and preventing skin sores.
A native of Scotland, Arthur studied and worked in England before moving to the US. In 2003 he teamed up with Matt Albuquerque, the founder of Next Step Bionics and Prosthetics, based in Manchester, NH, and took on the job of expanding their practice to Newton, Massachusetts. An adjunct faculty member at Northeastern University since 2002, Arthur teaches prosthetics and orthotics to fifth-year physical therapy students. He is the former president of the Massachusetts Society of Orthotics and Prosthetics. Next Step has since expanded to two more New Hampshire locations, Warwick, RI, and soon, Worcester, MA. In 2019, Next Step was acquired by Ossur, the second largest prosthetics company in the world.