Scientists are working on treatments for amputees as we speak. A lot of veterans are now suffering from this problem, which has encouraged more development in this area. One of the biggest problems plaguing a lot of amputees is the simple fact that a prosthesis is not a real leg. Your brain accepts it as such to a certain extent, just like your brain begins to treat a laptop as an extension of your body if you use it often enough. It’s one of the advantages of being a tool-using species.
However, one of the problems with this is that your brain still expects your prosthesis to act like a leg. You still expect to feel sensations in your leg. You still expect to be able to balance on it just as easily. You aren’t used to coping with all of the problems that are unique to a prosthesis. Engineers are working on creating prostheses that essentially do act as real legs.
These new ones will have an interface between the brain and a computer. You will essentially be able to communicate with the prosthesis and send it signals as if it were a natural leg. You will be capable of experiencing sensations as a result of this new prosthesis.
All I can say is that I’m enthusiastic about these developments. I know that a lot of these legs are not going to be available tomorrow, but I still do hold out hope that I will be able to take my first few steps with them. Spending all of your time holding out hope for a cure that isn’t going to happen isn’t a healthy way to cope with a disability, but maintaining a realistic level of enthusiasm for the developments in science is fine by me.
There are plenty of disabilities that are much more manageable today thanks to scientific advances. Even amputees today are much better off than we were in the days where you literally had to rely on a prosthesis that was made of wood and you had to worry about problems like wood rot. I hope that amputees of the future look back at us and regard us with the same sympathy and horror, thanking their lucky stars that they never had to go through what we went through.