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Remembering Carl Caspers, a Dedicated Pioneer of the O&P Industry

Our dear friend and O&P trailblazer passed away on June 10, 2023.

There is no accurate way to measure the impact that Carl Caspers has had not only on Ottobock, but the entire O&P industry, the countless lives of patients his worked improved, and far beyond. Our hearts are heavy with this loss, but the legacy of Carl Caspers will live on in the work we do every single day, for a very, VERY long time.

At 18 years old, Carl experienced an accident that required a transtibial amputation—an event that could have been a setback but was ultimately life-changing for Carl and the future of prosthetics. Carl’s nearly lifelong mission to bring science and technology to the forefront of O&P was fueled by his own experiences as an amputee. Early on in his journey, he experienced painful side effects and multiple surgeries due to the state of his prosthesis. He became driven to find (or create) a solution to help him do more of the things he loved, like power lifting and riding motorcycles.

It didn’t take long for Carl to pursue an education and career in O&P. Equipped with a new perspective and a drive to improve the lives of people just like him, he paved new paths between O&P, science, and technology. Carl built TEC Interface Systems where he focused on using scientific methods to create and improve socket technology as we know it today. Including urethane liners and vacuum technology, he claimed 18 U.S. patents (49 patents total worldwide), resulting in the well-deserved moniker “Father of Vacuum Suspension.”

Leading with curiosity and an innovative spirit to match, Carl earned numerous awards for his work, including a spot in Fast Company’s ‘Fast 50’ and the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame. His accolades in O&P include the 2014 AAOP Titus-Ferguson Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2022 AOPA Lifetime Achievement Award. As an industry, we are still reaping the benefits of his brilliance.

Carl Casper was a teacher, an innovator, a leader, a connector, a husband, a father, an adventurer, and so much more. We will miss you, Carl, and we look forward to watching your contributions immortalized in the lives that your work impacts every day.

You can read Carl’s full obituary here.

A group photo of O&P industry leader, Carl Caspers, and his family