HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Albert Guzman lost his leg in a motorcycle crash last year. The 28-year-old Coconut Grove resident was recently fitted with a prosthetic device with new technology that he said has changed his life by allowing him to play sports and ride his motorcycle again.
Guzman is a patient of the Hanger Clinic: Prosthetics & Orthotics, a national provider with 44 clinics in Florida. He recently received the Freedom Quattro Microprocessor Knee by Proteor, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of prostheses.
Jorge Gonzalez, a specialist in prosthetics at the Hanger Clinic in Broward County, said Guzman was the first person in the United States to be commercially fit with the Freedom Quattro MPK.
“The process has been very easy,” Guzman said in Spanish.
The Hanger Clinic is named after its founder, James Hanger, who lost his leg during the Civil War. He designed, created, and patented his own prosthesis in 1871 and founded a company based out of Washington, D.C. Gonzalez said Guzman’s case shows the tremendous progress in the field, which has gone from wooden barrel staves to bionics.
The new Quattro “has been amazing for Albert. It has over 20 modes and abilities that he can customize,” Gonzalez said. “It gives them really good resistance when it comes to things like sitting and standing, walking on inclines, uneven surfaces.”
Proteor USA, a subsidiary of The Proteor Group, based in France, is distributing the device, which is only suited for patients who weigh less than 300 pounds. It took years for the device to make it to Guzman.
The Quattro was possible after Proteor agreed with Ottobock, a German prosthetics company, last year to acquire a portion of the prosthetics portfolio of Freedom Innovations, which Ottobock had acquired in September 2017.
Freedom Innovations, based in Irvine, California, developed the first version of the Quattro and filed a new trademark application in 2018. Proteor and Ottobock combined teams and developed the Quattro that Guzman is using.
Quattro’s new apps allow Guzman and his clinicians to monitor, customize, and access reports of activity with remote three-month data capture and e-mail capability. It also has a customized real-time response and a battery life of two to three days.
The pre-orders started on Sept. 1. Brett Rosen, the clinic manager, said the Quattro is IP 67 rated, which means the device’s connectivity products are waterproof and protected against solids such as dust and sand. There is a time limit underwater.
“He is able to take it in and out of the water up to three meters (9.84 feet) for 30 minutes, so down here in South Florida if he is caught in a rainstorm he is good. If he is ... in and around the pool and he gets splashed on, he is good ... the same thing in and around the beach,” Rosen said. “We knew that this technology would be the right fit for him.”