Richard Sire, a certified prosthetist and orthotist, works with patients who have lost limbs or whose motion is limited by chronic pain or disability. He designs braces and artificial limbs to help patients regain movement and gain a sense of normalcy.
Sire, along with partners Kathleen Pelz and Kyle Sullivan, recently opened a satellite office next to Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch and hopes to open a permanent facility where he and his team can manufacture prosthetics and braces on site like they do at their Walnut Creek and Pleasanton operations.
“We’ve had so many patients referred to us from this area, so it made sense to open an office here,” Sire said. “Instead of having them drive all the way to see us, we decided it was time to meet our patients here.”
Pelz said they hope to establish a permanent Antioch office by next year. “People don’t think about the field of prosthetics or orthotics until they’re faced with it. But when your motion becomes limited or impaired, you want to have someone nearby who can help you. We work with patients to help them regain function and mobility and we’re on call 24/7, so whenever our patients need us, we’re there.”
While no license is required to practice prosthetics and orthotics in California, Sire is nationally certified and one of few practitioners in the country trained to work with the i-LIMB Hand, a prosthetic arm device by Touch Bionics – the first of its kind – equipped with five individually powered fingers. The device gives its user increased grip and the ability to point.
“The i-LIMB offers unlimited grip patterns and uses state of the art technology to restore mobility,” Sire said. “It’s revolutionary. People who use this device are able to pick up things more easily, and with the point feature, they’re even able to type. It’s practically as good as a real hand.”
Sire said he enjoys the challenge of finding the best solution to help his patients live the lives they want to live. “We meet so many people who have been through so much, and once you hear their stories and what they’ve had to overcome, your own problems seem insignificant. With recent advances in technology, we’re able to custom design prosthetic and orthotic devices to help people live their lives to the fullest.”
“Our patients help put things in perspective,” Pelz added. “When you fit a patient with a prosthetic device that allows them to lift an egg for the first time after years of not being able to because the fingers of the old prosthetic were too stiff – to see the look on their face and to see their excitement, to see that look of relief – that’s why we do what we do. We want to make life easier for these people.
“It may not seem earth-shattering to most people because we take the little things for granted, but when a patient regains mobility and isn’t in pain, that means the world to that person.”
For more information about Diablo Prosthetics and Orthotics, Inc., call 925-930-7700.