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Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital offers hope to amputees

Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital offers hope to amputees
Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013
The New Paper
By Kane Cunico

SINGAPORE - On the surface, it is a nondescript workshop inside a refurbished building at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Yet the 3,700 sq ft centre - about the size of three five-room HDB flats - is where hope blooms for people who have lost limbs to injury or disease.

Welcome to TTSH's Foot Care and Limb Design Centre (FLC). It might be littleknown, but it is the only centre with a specialised workshop which makes and assembles customised prosthetics.

"There's a design for everything," says Mr Trevor Binedell, FLC's unit head of the prosthetics and orthotics department.

While he acknowledges that there will be limitations when it comes to replacing full functionality, he notes that "anything" can be replaced, or re-attached.

The centre can produce high-quality sockets for patients and where needed, it can import high-tech parts to assemble high-performing prostheses.

At first glance, the FLC seems like any ordinary clinic, complete with a typical patient's waiting area.

But walk around the corner past a rehabilitation circuit and through a door, you'll see workers in a bright white room equipped with a computer-aided moulding design machine, an infra-red oven, lamination machines, carbon fibre tools, vices and clamps.

And limbs. Lots of prosthetic limbs everywhere, stored on shelves, tables and in boxes.

According to Mr Binedell, the centre fits around 300 patients a year.

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