To meet the needs of an increasing number of amputees, Naval Medical Center San Diego is expanding its prosthetics lab where service personnel are fitted with artificial limbs and trained to use them.
In 2007, when the hospital opened its Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care (C-5) facility, the prosthetics department was designed to support 40 patients with single amputations.
Currently, the department is treating 100 active-duty personnel and 50 retirees, many with multiple amputations, officials said.
In 2011, C-5 fitted patients with 418 prosthetic devices, including feet, ankles, legs, hands and arms. In the first nine months of this year, the figure was 470.
To meet the increasing need, a therapy pool is being filled in to provide two additional treatment rooms, a check-in area, a storage space and a second set of parallel bars for a cost of $240,000, officials said.