Tulsa Officer Adjusting To New Leg

Wednesday, May 20th 2009, 9:50 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Police officer David Turner is on a journey most can't imagine.

The News On 6 reported in March how Turner sustained a severe ankle injury while chasing a suspect, which led to his decision to have his leg amputated below the knee.

His surgery was seven weeks ago, and Turner has high hopes for his new leg.

"Be able to run, go up and down hills, run through a field," he said.

Turner says his surgery went well and his recovery is faster than expected. The pain hasn't been bad and he had prepared himself to lose his leg, although there have been a few surprises.

"The big toe did itch a couple of times, and that will drive you crazy," he said.

Turner is wearing a limb logic system that has a vacuum seal, which means the new leg stays firmly in place. The True Step foot has carbon fiber toes and heel and gives optimal balance.

"It's got bumpers in the front and back so on uneven ground, it keeps his foot flat, won't throw him in any direction," said Mark Chimento, Innovative Prosthetics.

Turner's scar is healing, and he's been back at work on light duty with crutches for two weeks and has even remastered driving.

"I gauge by the sound of the engine and the speedometer, and I have to lift my leg back and forth," he said.

He says the biggest challenge is teaching his brain and muscles to work in a new way and he hopes to be back at work in full capacity in six to eight weeks, with a lot of work between now and then.

"I've got a lot of rehab to do," Turner said. "Right now, it seems like I've taken the first step up Mount Everest."

After getting back to work, Turner is eager to begin ballroom dancing again, expecting to be as light on his feet as ever.

The leg won't be his final one. Several adjustments will be made as he heals and the swelling decreases.

The News On 6 will check in with him again when he's back in uniform and behind the wheel of his squad car.