Extensive experience with limb differences and blunt trauma care.
Our Director of Prosthetics, George Villarruel, CP, is a dedicated professional clinician with over 30 years of experience in upper and lower extremity prosthetics with pediatric, adult and geriatric patients.
Experienced with fitting patients with different lower and upper amputations whether congenital or traumatic due to cancer, peripheral vascular disease or infection. Levels of amputation may include Boyd’s, Symes, fibular hemimelia, PFFD, hip disarticulation and their appropriate treatment protocols.
George Villarruel has trained our team in all aspects of care for young prosthetic patients and their families. His extensive background in psychology and pediatric prosthetics helps him understand the patient’s perspective to better heal on the outside and the inside.
- Certified Prosthetist since 1993 with experience in fitting patients at all levels of lower extremity amputation
- Previous pediatric prosthetics specialist at Shriners Hospital for Children, Northern California
- Member of the Child Amputee Prosthetics Project (CAPP)
- CCS Paneled Prosthetist
- B.S. Psychology 1986
- Bilingual in Spanish
George is able deliver top quality patient care for non-English speaking patients, which leads to more positive outcomes. We know how confusing the process can be and we do everything we can to minimize problems resulting from poor communication. Our staff of prosthetists will work with you and your team of providers to resolve challenges and help you meet your goals.
- He has a long history of work and experience with congenital defects and fitting prosthetic limbs
- George communicates clearly leading patients through the lengthy process of therapy, fittings and gait training
- Serves the Hispanic community with education and communication in Spanish at whatever level needed
The key to patient success is asking questions and being understood. By leading patients through their care journey in their primary language, George can provide them with a sense of confidence and security that they are being understood. There are a lot of nuances while wearing a prosthesis that could get lost in translation. When the parent can comfortably explain their questions and observations with the practitioner the process is a lot less stressful.
Upper Extremity Certified Prosthetics Specialist
As the Director of Prosthetics for Collier and Laurence, he is responsible for lower and upper extremity prosthetic patient care. His patient age-experience ranges from infancy to geriatrics.
George is a long-standing member of Association for Children’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Clinics (ACPOC) and is an authorized provider for California Children’s Services (CCS Certified). Much of George’s experience has been in an institutional setting working side by side exchanging ideas and thoughts with physicians, surgeons, physical and occupational therapists and other health care providers in an interdisciplinary approach that provides optimal prosthetic outcomes for his patients.
Lower Extremity Certifications, Knees
- Freedom Plie Knee
- Otto Bock C Leg 4, Genium and X3
- Ossur Rheo knee
- Biom Powered Foot
- Otto Bock Triton Smart Foot
- Ossur Proprio, Pro Flex Foot
- Lower Clinical Education Concept
Upper Extremity Certifications, Elbows
- Motion Control Utah Arm 3+
- Liberating Technologies Boston Elbow
- Otto Bock Dynamic Arm
- Touch Bionics Quantum Hand
- Steeper Bebionic Hand
- Otto Bock Michelangelo Hand
- Lower Clinical Education Concept
Early in his career, he was a member of the prestigious Child Amputee Prosthetics Project (CAPP). It was here he began to develop his creative solutions approach to prosthetics. He learned that all limb-deficient patients are unique and need a creative solution to solve their limb loss. This is especially true with the congenital pediatric amputee population, which due to the nature of their amputation, did not necessarily create amputees with normal musculature, nerve innervation or bony structures. A firm knowledge and fundamental understanding is vital in order to provide optimal function from a limb that is structurally different or has been altered surgically. Thus, the importance of a creative solution to these unique and complex anomalies is imperative.
The sheer volume of patients seen in an inpatient setting such as Shriners Hospitals for Children has established George as a prosthetic specialist in upper and lower extremity prosthesis care. Working closely on an everyday basis with occupational and physical therapist has provided an insightful perspective in creating a prosthesis which functions beyond the scope of a prosthetist practice but to include what other interdisciplinary members expect the patient to achieve in a successful prosthetic outcome. This is the case in which George has developed a specialty in upper extremity prosthetics working with occupational therapist whose practice was dedicated exclusively to upper extremity amputee patients.
For George, his degree in Psychology has helped him emphasize the importance of the relationship between a practitioner and his or her patient. The job of a prosthetist is to treat the patient as a whole individual and not just as a technician replacing a missing part. A patient with goals and aspiration needs to be educated about the process of what is happening to them and to provide a picture of what can be achieved together. This is what an experienced prosthetist can offer a patient.
Many people believe that prosthetics is all about the componentry and technology available in the industry but these are just parts which can be exchanged with the turn of a screw. Instead, it is the design of the socket that is generated by the collaboration of prosthetist and patient that has the greatest affect on the success of the prosthetic outcome. A prosthesis with the most sophisticated components or latest technology is of little value if the socket does not provide the needed suspension or proper control of the patient’s amputated limb.
Bilingual in Spanish, George takes great satisfaction in providing his Hispanic patients the ability to communicate in their native language about the prosthetic process they are experiencing as amputees seeking prosthetic care. In order to maximize the functions of complex and sophisticated components Spanish speaking only patients truly appreciate his experience and ability to explain the operations of their prosthesis. Taking this prosthetics journey in one’s primary language provides George’s patience a sense of confidence and security that they are receiving the best in patient care.
Continued Patient Care Brings Consistent Progress
George follows his patients’ progress and provides continued care and psychological support which leads to a much higher rate of success for patients with a prosthesis. Read more here about Harmony’s story.
Looking for a solution or a second opinion?
Contact one of our specialists at 916-979-9729 or email us.