Bionic foot gives local man hope for return to active life

Bionic foot gives local man hope for return to active life

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The foot mimics Miller's natural gait, thanks to a microprocessor in the device called the iWalk. The foot mimics Miller's natural gait, thanks to a microprocessor in the device called the iWalk.
"It's going make a big difference just to be able to get out and go and do things," Chris Miller said. "It's going make a big difference just to be able to get out and go and do things," Chris Miller said.
A vacuum system makes the device as comfortable as possible while helping to make a walk outside on different terrain as normal as possible. A vacuum system makes the device as comfortable as possible while helping to make a walk outside on different terrain as normal as possible.
"He can walk fast and it'll move faster. He can walk slow, it'll move slower," said Hangar Clinic Manager Alan Hammer. "He can walk fast and it'll move faster. He can walk slow, it'll move slower," said Hangar Clinic Manager Alan Hammer.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - So many soldiers have suffered devastating injuries from improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq. That has prompted the government to get behind a big push for new technology to help each soldier lead as normal of a life as possible.

Civilians like Chris Miller are benefiting too.

A car crash ten years ago led to the amputation of Miller's right foot. Since then he has been searching for the right device to match the active life he used to lead.

Miller has been anticipating that ever since he heard about the lifelike bionic foot.

6 News was there when he tried it on for the first time.

"Whatever energy you put into it at best it will give you 50 percent of that back," Miller said. 

The foot mimics Miller's natural gait, thanks to a microprocessor in the device called the iWalk.

The foot is manufactured by Biom and is sold by Hangar Prosthetics and Orthotics.

"He can walk fast and it'll move faster. He can walk slow, it'll move slower," said Hangar Clinic Manager Alan Hammer. "Or if he's going up stairs it'll actually power him up the stairs."

A vacuum system makes the device as comfortable as possible while helping to make a walk outside on different terrain as normal as possible.

"It's like having my calf muscle back," Miller said. "It's really been a big difference."

For someone like Miller who has tried to get around with other prosthetics without much luck, this foot seems to be the answer.

"It's going make a big difference just to be able to get out and go and do things," he said.

While it's a big deal for Miller to be able to negotiate a sidewalk right now, his next step is to go fishing and maybe even climbing.

He says it will happen sooner rather than later.

Miller first heard about the bionic foot in March.

Each situation is different, but sometimes insurance will cover at least some of the cost.

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