A traumatic accident changed his life forever, but a microprocessor controlled leg has put his active lifestyle back on track.
Glaswegian Jim Bruce enjoys the usual everyday activities that most people do, like going to the gym, doing the gardening and supporting his local football team Glasgow Rangers. Except the difference is, he does it all with a prosthetic leg.
In 1995 Jim had a freak trauma accident that would change his life forever.
Whilst working with heavy machinery his leg was severely injured by a fork lift causing extensive damage to his knee and shin.
Jim explained, "I went straight into intensive care following my accident; I couldn't feel a thing. I think I was in shock and passed out shortly after being admitted. When I woke up I knew something was seriously wrong. Doctors kept injecting my leg but I still couldn't feel anything and I could see the physical severity of my injury."
After a week of doctors trying their hardest to save his leg, they had no option but to amputate above the knee. Although his foot was absolutely fine, the damage to the leg and knee was so extensive that it was irreparable.
"When they told me they were going to amputate my leg, it felt strange but didn't really hit me until afterwards. It was only after the amputation that it dawned upon me that this would change my life forever. I was in hospital for three months which gave me time to reflect and then it was another seven weeks until I got my first NHS leg. The amputation had a huge impact on my day to day life. It left me unable to do the small things I didn't even realize that I would miss, like using a step ladder and doing DIY."
Jim's first NHS leg used a hydraulic system which he found very tiring and often stumbled and fell. Later on in life, Jim found out about the C-Leg microprocessor knee from Ottobock from his active involvement in the amputee patient community and was given the opportunity to try it at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
"Everybody was talking about the C-Leg in the amputee community which uses something called a microprocessor to control the knee. I was lucky to be able to try it out and I was immediately impressed and knew it would improve my lifestyle significantly and let me get back to some of the activities I enjoyed prior to my amputation. With the C-Leg I can be active again; I'm back at the gym and have a bluetooth remote control that lets me change the settings to use the treadmill or the rowing machine. I'm also having gait training which is helping me build up speed and pace and improve my walking pattern."
As well as getting back to his active lifestyle, Jim has been giving back to the community by volunteering on the prosthetics course at the University of Strathclyde. He regularly participates to help aspiring prosthetists learn. Although Jim was lucky enough to gain a C-Leg privately, he hopes in the future microprocessor knees will be available on the NHS to all amputees.
"I really hope that in the future the NHS will be able to provide C-Legs or other microprocessor knees. It has helped me to continue the active lifestyle I led before my injury, and I believe that if a patient had a C-Leg as their first leg it would help greatly with healing and lead to faster recovery times. I would recommend a C-Leg to anybody in my position."
To learn more about Ottobock products visit www.ottobock.co.uk or call T: 01784 744 900