Shriners Hospital personalizes prosthetics for children

- There is a remarkable lab inside Shriners Hospital in Tampa that helps make children’s imaginations become a part of them.

Prosthetics of all different kinds and colors are fitted for each particular child, who may have a disability or maybe even lost a limb due to a disease or an injury. The hospital creates them for the tiniest legs to children up to 18 years old.

One of the early stages in producing a personalized prosthetic is creating or receiving the mold of a child, then it can be transformed in a couple of different ways: with plaster or a CAD/CAM, made out of foam. It allows hospitals around the southeast U.S. to send the child's file to Shriners Hospital, so their mold can be carved out of the foam.

Medical staff say after, “incredible athletes come out of here.”

It may have a Star Wars theme or even a tie-dye pattern. The purpose is to cater to each child’s interests, making their fitted prosthetic a little extra special. 

“The work that is being done here is really remarkable,” explained Dino Scanio, an orthotist in the hospital’s Pediatric Orthotics & Prosthetics Services. “Every day, you are improving a life.”

Scanio told FOX 13 his son is a patient who chose his own pattern for his braces.

“It’s important that we keep the kids engaged in their own care,” he said. “So, they have that awesome opportunity to pick a pattern for their prosthesis or for their orthotics. It helps the child be part of the plan of care and part of the team.”

For those interested in donating to the hospita's efforts, learn more on Shriners Hospitals for Children’s website.

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