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Amputee Adam the first in Derby to trial ground-breaking prosthetic

Published 23/03/2018

An amputee has expressed his gratitude at being selected to become the first Royal Derby Hospital patient to successfully trial a Microprocessor Controlled Knee (MPK) provided by the NHS.

NHS England has approved funding for the ground-breaking artificial limb to be trialled at different Trusts nationwide; with the prosthetic offering a life-changing alternative to other less-technologically advanced prosthetics. 

The MPK is fitted with an internal computer and sensor that monitors the wearer’s individual walking pattern to help limit falls and allow them to walk at different speeds and help facilitate walking down stairs. 

Due to a range of strict guidelines imposed by NHS England, only amputee patients that meet specific criteria are eligible to trial the prosthetic knee joint, which was not previously available in Derby due to each unit costing up to £14,000.   

Adam Woloczkow, 36, became the first Derby Teaching Hospitals patient to be fitted with the MPK in January, after meeting the strict criteria required to be available to take part in the NHS England funded trial. 

He said: “I feel extremely lucky that I’ve been able to gain access to such cutting-edge technology. The different is huge from what I’ve had before; the fluidity of movement is amazing and it is much more natural. It’s changed my life significantly and has really helped give me my independence back. It’s amazing that this is now being made available to some patients in Derby.”

Mr Woloczkow, from Spondon, had his left leg amputated above the knee and also severely damaged nerves in his upper body – leading him to lose the use of his left arm – after being hit by a lorry while driving a motorbike on holiday in the Philippines in September 2014. 

After spending a month at Chong Hua Hospital, in Cebu City, he then spent a further month at the Royal Derby Hospital, where his long rehabilitation began that would eventually see him walk again a year later.    

He said: “At the time, I felt unlucky because I was so healthy before, but I am so lucky to still be alive. It’s unbelievable that I survived and there’s got to be a reason that I’m still here. It was unbelievably hard when I first lost my leg but you have to get through these things in life. It’s so mad to think how far I’ve come and I’m so grateful to the amazing staff at the Royal Derby Hospital’s Amputee Rehabilitation Centre. They have done everything to make sure I am okay and really make you feel like you can get back on with your life. This knee has given me a new life and I’m so grateful to have been given this opportunity.”      

Senior Specialist Physiotherapist Karen Clark said: “As a team, we are all incredibly proud of what Adam has achieved since his amputation and what he continues to achieve with his commitment, determination and spirit. Despite only using the MPK for a short period of time, Adam has already described how it has enhanced his quality of life, which is always our goal with all the prosthetic treatments we provide.  It is a lovely feeling to be able to provide him with an MPK, which would have been beyond our budgetary capabilities before this special NHS England funding was granted. Unfortunately, due to strict selection criteria for the funding, not every amputee patient will be eligible for an MPK trial. Our team is, however, committed to getting as many eligible patients as possible accessing the MPK trials, so that they can hopefully enjoy the benefits that Adam is experiencing.”

Last Modified 23/03/2018