Biggest Questions for Amputees in 2024, Quarter by Quarter

You’ve got questions about 2024; we’ve got ansss . . . . ok fine, we’ve got questions, too. Solutions to our burning inquiries should be arriving at roughly 90-day intervals. Here’s how the calendar shapes up, quarter by quarter.

Q1: Is prosthetic insurance reform ready to go national?

Last year, four states enacted laws requiring insurers to cover more prosthetic devices for more amputees. The 2024 cycle should bring a bunch of new states into the fold, perhaps a dozen or more. If enough of the country gets with the program, federal legislation can’t be far behind.

Q2: Will the statistics about limb loss finally add up? 

The commonly cited numbers about limb-loss prevalence—507 amputations a day, 186,000 a year, an overall population of 2.1 million US amputees—are based on 15-year-old data. New, more accurate estimates are due out this year, perhaps during Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month.

Q3: Can adaptive sports reach the tipping point with American viewers?

NBC Universal will air a record-breaking 1,500-plus hours of live coverage from the Paris Paralympics, including six prime-time hours on the flagship network (with the rest on cable and streaming outlets). Ratings were just so-so for the 2021 Games; will US sports fans tune in this September?

Q4: Is a breakthrough technology ever going to actually break through?

Years gallop by, while the future seems to advance by inches. Maybe osseointegration, powered prosthetic legs, mind-controlled bionic hands, smart sockets, 3D-printed devices, or some other game-changer will vault from the fringes of amputee life to the center by the end of this leap year.

Image: paninastock/stockadobe.com
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