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This young woman enjoys expressing her artistic side through clothing. Her self confidence was hampered by a serious injury to her arm and partial hand loss. With her new prosthesis, she is able to turn the focus back to her style, her art and the things that characterize her.
Stefan Knauss is co-owner and co-founder of Aesthetic Prosthetics. He grew up locally in Altadena, CA and first showed interest in the field of prosthetics as a high school senior. He designed and built a prosthetic hand out of wood, string and medal and his work earned 4th place in a scholarship competition. Stefan has also always been interested in art, meticulously painting small lead figures as a boy and eventually taking classes at the Art Center College of Design. After earning a bachelors from Occidental College, he decided to pursue his interest in a prosthetics career. Since the prosthetics school would not accept students without prior work experience in the field Stefan worked as a technitian for one year. He then moved across the country to study prosthetics and orthotics at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. After completing his studies, he moved back to California, found employment at a local prosthetics office for a year and became certified in prosthetics and orthotics by the American Board of Certification for Prosthetics and Orthotics. His hopes were to express artistry in the field. Eight years after he began working for a “conventional” prosthetics company, he finally realized his bosses had little commitment to a vision that prosthesis should look real.
Now married, Stefan moved back to Chicago with his wife, Beth, so he could study Anaplastology with a focus on hands at the Department of Maxillofacial Prosthetics at the University of Illinois. There, he spent countless hours studying silicones, developing strategies to create the most durable, yet realistic product possible and became well versed in the art and science of Anaplastology. After graduating with a Masters of Associated Medical Sciences, his wife gave birth to their first child, Conner and they moved back to Pasadena. Stefan and Beth opened Aesthetic Prosthetics in 1999 and Stefan worked largely out of his garage at home. He eventually rented an office space in Monrovia before opening our current office at 1095 N. Allen Avenue in Pasadena in 2002. His daughter, Perle was also born in 2002.
Throughout the history of Aesthetic Prosthetics, Stefan has continued the search for new products and new techniques to improve the realism and quality of our work. In 2008, Stefan patented his mold making technique for sealing in our hand detail with a detailed skin surface. Many of the processes used at our company were formulated by Stefan and are unique to our practice.
Outside of work, Stefan enjoys archery, horseback riding and horse psychology, spending time with his teenage children, extended family and beloved Boston terrier-pug cross, Nugget. Ever the innovator, he has also recently created his own brand of mill for working with HCR silicones.
Every client should have personal goals for what they hope their prosthesis will do for them; restore appearances, help them to avoid intrusive questions, or get back to their favorite sport. In this case, the client wanted to regain basic functions like holding keys and being able to shake hands again. This client didn’t have the desire to have a highly realistic hand or something myo-electric. He wanted something simple and straightforward to make his hand look whole again. A single color, custom made, utility partial hand made from highly durable silicone rubber was the solution for him.