A Case for Body-Powered Hooks

Web Development inMotion

by Sean McHugh.
In recent years, there have been many exciting advancements in the world of upper-limb prosthetics. Much of the focus has been on developing myoelectric hands with enhanced grasping capabilities. These new hands use batteries and motors on lightweight frames, and each looks and operates more like the human hand than previous models. Will these new devices make traditional body-powered cable hooks obsolete? Maybe eventually, but at present there are still many reasons why upper-limb amputees might prefer using body-powered hooks. For example, hooks better tolerate harsh work environments where more delicate electronic hands are at risk of damage by water or dirt. Harness and cable activation provides reliable operation without the need to charge or change batteries, and the minimalist design of most hooks affords a relatively unobstructed view of objects being handled. Very little has changed in the design of split hooks since they were patented in 1912 – until recently, that is. Brad Veatch and his team at PhysioNetics, LLC (Littleton, Colorado) have taken a fresh look at this old technology and created the Vari-Pinch Prehensor™ or more commonly, the V2P.

Prosthetic Devices for Upper-Extremity Amputees

Web Development Military inStep

Updated 12/2014
by Rick Bowers –
Passive prostheses are generally considered to be devices that are worn purely for cosmetic purposes. Functional prostheses, on the other hand, are devices that enable an amputee to perform tasks. These devices may or may not also serve a cosmetic purpose.

The First 12 Months After Upper-Limb Amputation

Web Development inMotion

Volume 21, Issue 1 January/February 2011
by Dan Conyers, CPO, and Pat Prigge, CP
Your life has changed – you’ve lost an arm. Now what? What will you be able to do? How will others see you? Will life ever be “normal” again? While it is over- whelming to face so many unknowns, be reassured that there are many people and organizations that can help guide you and your family along the path of recovery and rehabilitation. Over the next 12 months, your life is likely to include several recurring themes: medical care, emotional challenges, prosthetic care, and occupational and physical therapy.

Am I “Handicapped”? Nursing With One Hand

Web Development inMotion

Volume 19 · Issue 6 · October 2009
by Susan Elaine Fleming, RN, MN, CNS
Many people feel that they were destined for a career in nursing. I am one of those people. My destiny was to be a nurse. Growing up in the 1960s in a Los Angeles suburb and sandwiched between two brothers, playing outside meant playing “Army.” I gave my rifle – a birthday present – to my brothers so that I could play “the nurse.” As my older brother was entering kindergarten, I watched how he learned to tie his shoes. At 4 years old, without giving it much thought, I taught myself to tie my shoes with one hand.

Upper-Limb Solutions: No Manual Needed

Web Development inMotion

Volume 19 · Issue 5 · September/October 2009
by Sean McHugh, member of the Amputee Coalition’s Upper Limb Loss Advisory Council
When you buy a new car or a washing machine, it comes with an owner’s manual to guide you through your ownership experience. The manual contains diagrams and instructions that you can use to familiarize yourself with basic operations, tips about how and when to use advanced features, maintenance schedules to keep things running at their optimal level, and often a toll-free phone number to call for support if you have trouble finding answers to your questions on your own. After a construction accident in 2002, I became the owner of a brand-new, custom-made, prosthetic right arm and that new and very foreignlooking device did not come with an owner’s manual.

Builds Home With One Arm 01

Just Do It

Web Development inMotion

Volume 19 · Issue 3 · May/June 2009
by Erin DeMay
Marty Davis, 46, is a self-employed contractor who not only builds others’ homes with his brother, but has been constructing a home for himself and his wife, Ruth, in Massachusetts. In his job, Davis frames houses, builds walls, hangs shingles, and sets up scaffolding and beams. Unlike many in his profession, however, Davis hones his construction skills with only one arm.

The Future Is Now

Web Development inMotion

Volume 17 · Issue 7 · November/December 2007
by Élan Young
“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Never mind the much-hyped remake of the television series Bionic Woman. In 2006, Claudia Mitchell became the real thing. Although Hollywood and human fantasies endow bionics with superhuman strength, Mitchell, a 27-year-old student and former Marine, is happy to use her new prosthesis to get back to living a normal life. Although its range of motion is still limited in comparison to the real thing, all she has to do is think about moving it, and it does. Continuous advancements in prosthetic and biomechanical technology are reaching beyond the realm of what once would have been dismissed as science fiction. This has given rise to speculation that one day upper-extremity amputees may be able to regain all the function and sensation in a bionic arm that a natural arm provides. According to the experts, this futuristic dream is not far from becoming a reality.

Upper-Limb Prosthetics: Part 2

Web Development inMotion

Volume 17 · Issue 4 · July/August 2007
by Douglas G. Smith, MD
If an upper-limb prosthesis could truly replace the human hand and arm, the job of healthcare professionals would be easy. We would give people exactly what they lost. Unfortunately, prostheses can perform only a fraction of the countless functional motions our arms and hands do automatically.

Introduction to Upper-Limb Prosthetics: Part 1

Web Development inMotion

Volume 17 · Issue 2 · March/April 2007
by Douglas G. Smith, MD
Basically, lower-limb prostheses are required to do two things: enable a person to stand and walk. But the demands of upper-limb prostheses are vastly different. As we’ve noted in our previous two articles, hands perform a wide variety of tasks, from the delicate and complex to the strong and forceful. An ideal prosthetic hand would do all of these things. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet created a device that can perform the tremendous array of functions routinely done by our natural hands.