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Phone: 309-661-9975
Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates
Call 309-661-9975
Toll Free 866-274-0285
Fax 309-661-9920

A Dolphin Tale

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I recently returned from Mexico for a much needed vacation. I got to experience many different things including jet skiing and snorkeling, but the best experience by far was swimming with dolphins! I know, you’re reading this thinking, “What do dolphins have to do with feet?” Well I’m here to bring some breaking news that you may not have heard of- dolphins can be fitted for prosthetics!

Prosthetics are artificial body parts used to replace limbs or other parts of the body that people, or animals in this case, have lost due to disease injury, or birth defects.  In some cases, the prosthetic replacement may be purely aesthetic, but in many circumstances the prosthetic is necessary to restore functionality of the body part.  Common prosthetics that our office deals with include leg and foot prosthetics.  But while I was swimming with dolphins in Mexico, I learned of a new prosthetic.     

Our excursion instructor told us about a dolphin he knew that had an unknown disease that was deteriorating her tail fin, otherwise known as the 'fluke'. The best option was to amputate her tail fin, which would leave her with little to no functionality left.  She would just be able to float, unable to swim, jump, or dive. This would have taken away the animal’s joy in life and probably left her extremely depressed. The amazing people a Bridgestone Tire produced multiple prosthetic fins that the dolphin was fitted for. Finally one of the artificial fins fit her perfectly! Thanks to Bridgestone Tire the dolphin was now able to swim and do tricks again!

Just like in this ‘dolphin tale’, prosthetics can restore normal functionality to numerous different body parts-in humans and animals!  Prosthetics can help get a person back to the things they love doing.  Not just restore the normal functions of walking or writing, but allow a person to return to their passions in life- swimming, hiking, biking- whatever that may be.  If you or a loved one has any problems with an ill-fitting prosthetic please contact our office to see how we can help!

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