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Valley veteran receives first 'power knee' in state

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-01 12:22:31-04

After losing his leg to cancer, Bruce Lenth, a Navy veteran, didn't know what his future would hold. Still, he remained optimistic.

"I never really grieved over any of it," he said. "I just felt my life would change. It wasn't going to end."

A couple of years ago, Lenth was diagnosed with cancer in the femur and eventually had to amputate his leg.

"The way they described it — it's the size of two watermelons and it was in my hip so the only option at that point was to take the leg," Lenth said.

After the operation, Lenth started working with Limb Lab in Scottsdale.

"These people are phenomenal," he said. "They reach out to get better technology for people like me."

On Thursday, Lenth became the first person in the state to receive a Power Knee.

The motorized prosthetic is supposed to make getting around easier and more natural.

"For a while, I thought I was going to be stuck in a wheelchair the rest of my life," Lenth said.

Now, he is confident he'll be able to start hiking again.

The Power Knee was created by Össur, an Iceland-based orthopaedics company offering mobility solutions.

The company's director of clinical education, Justin Pratt, was on hand Thursday for Lenth's fitting.

"The Power Knee itself has a motor inside that is capable of responding similar to human anatomy... and with this technology, users are able to experience longevity in their day, more stability in their gate cycle," said Pratt.

According to Pratt, the technology will also help users walk around on different terrains not always accessible with passive devices.

Lenth told ABC15 that he hopes to use his new prosthetic to hike near his wife's hometown in Italy.

"I'll probably sit down and cry, knowing that I accomplished something... that has been my number one goal since day one," he said. "Just doing that will mean the world to me."