Devon man shows off pioneering prosthetic
The first UK patient has been fitted with the pioneering Michelangelo hand.
Christopher Taylor, 58, of Ivybridge in Devon, lost his right hand in a jet ski accident in August 2009 and was fitted with the new prosthetic by Dorset Orthopaedic’s consultant prosthetist and director of clinical services, David Hills, after trialing it for several months.
Created by prosthetic and orthotic innovators, Ottobock, the hand offers never-before-seen complex gripping kinematics, positioned using muscle signals.
Devon man Christopher Taylor has become the first UK patient to be fitted with the pioneering Michelangelo hand
As a self-employed lifting equipment engineer, Taylor regularly climbs ladders and works on top of industrial buildings and cranes. The unique four movable fingers and a thumb that can be independently positioned, will allow him to continue working safely.
During the trials, he quickly and easily mastered control of the prosthetic by using natural muscle movement and contraction in the remaining part of his arm. He said: “The more I use it the better I get at controlling it.”
He said he also enjoys watching the life-like movements of the hand. “The fingers move in line like a natural hand and I particularly like the way I can very quickly change the type of grip needed for a variety of everyday tasks, as easily as moving my remaining good hand,” he added.
Medics at Dorset Orthopaedic used their expertise to add to the comfort of the hand by introducing a unique silicone ‘comfort fit’ technology.
Hills said: “Traditionally, upper limb sockets are made from rigid materials such as glass fibre. We have, however, developed 100% silicone sockets, which are proving to be much more comfortable due to their flexibility especially around bony areas such as the elbow.”
Geoff Harding, business manager of prosthetics at Ottobock Healthcare, added: “This is a hugely exciting medical innovation, and we’re delighted that Christopher has found the Michelangelo so comfortable and easy to us. We hope that Christopher’s story shows other hand amputees that real, effective solutions are available and we look forward to watching his progress with Michelangelo.”
We hope that Christopher’s story shows other hand amputees that real, effective solutions are available
The Michelangelo Hand uses advanced software that increases the responsiveness and predictability of the hand, making it much easier to operate. The fingers are made of both hard and soft materials mirroring bones, joints, muscles and tendons. Other unique features include:
To complete the realistic look of the hand, PVC prosthetic gloves are available in six different skin tones. Alternatively a translucent prosthetic glove is available to show off the extraordinary technology, should the wearer prefer to illustrate its futuristic design.