George Villarruel, Collier Practitioner
CP, Director of Prosthetics
East Bay: 925-943-1119
Pediatric Care and Upper Extremity Prosthetics Specialist
- Certified Prosthetist since 1993 with experience in fitting patients at all levels of lower extremity amputation
- Previous pediatric 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
Do you have a question for George? Email George your question.
Upper Extremity Certified Specialist
George is an American Board Certified Prosthetist with over 25 years of experience focused solely in the practice of prosthetics. As the Director of Prosthetics for Collier, he is responsible for lower and upper extremity prosthetic patient care. His 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. 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. 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 specialist in upper and lower extremity prosthetic 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, a degree in Psychology has always emphasized 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.