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Man Replaces Disabled Limb With Bionic Prosthetic

Man Replaces Disabled Limb With Bionic Prosthetic

Elective bionic reconstruction replaces useless limbs with bionic ones…

A Serbian man who lost the use of his hand in a motorcycle accident 10 years ago, has opted for a unconventional surgery to amputated the limb, and replace it with a bionic hand.

Milo, 26, lost the use of his arm when he skidded off his motorbike and struck a lamp post in 2001. He sustained injuries to his right shoulder, arm and leg. Although his arm and leg healed, the injury to the shoulder, or brachial plexus, left is arm useless.

Milo underwent an operation to transplant muscle and nerve tissue from his leg into his arm, which helped him regain the use of his arm, but the hand never recovered.

After 7 years getting by with his intact but useless hand, and Viennese doctor, Professor Oskar Aszmann, proposed the procedure to remove the limb and replace it with a bionic hand that can responds to nerve signals in the arm.

bionic reconstruction bionic hand

Man Replaces Hand With Bionic Prosthetic

Milo underwent a trail period in which he was able to test the device parallel with his dysfunctional hand. He has now undergone the amputation and will have the bionic hand fitted in a few weeks once the stump has healed.

The bionic hand, manufactured by the German prosthetics company Otto Bock, incorporates two sensors that are placed on the skin above the nerves. These sensors respond to signals from the brain that tell the bionic prosthetic to grab, pinch and mimic the movement of a human hand.

According to a BBC news report, Milo is not the first patient to have undergone the bionic reconstruction surgery at the hands of Prof. Aszmann. The doctor performed same procedure on a 24-year-old Austrian named Patrick.

Talking with the BBC Patrick expressed his satisfaction for his new bionic hand:

“My reaction was ‘Oh my god, I’ve got a new hand!’…

“I can do functions which I did with my normal hand with the prosthetic arm,” he said, recalling his response to first being fitted with a bionic hand…

“I think it was very cool – I did not do things with my hand for three years and then you put on the new hand and one moment later, you can move it. It’s great.” [BBC]

Not everyone is happy with the controversial procedure, even Prof. Aszmann’s colleagues. They argue that instead of voluntary amputation, more efforts should be made to preserve the original limb. Prof. Aszmann however, believes that would inevitably involve years of pointless surgeries that would still ‘leave these patients with useless biological limbs.’

Still, all controversy aside, to think we have reached age in which people are opting to replace their biological limbs with bionic replacements surpasses astonishment.

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  1. Neil Bowlder: Bionic hand for ‘elective amputation’ patient. BBC, 05/18/2011.
  2. Clay Dillow: Patient Elects to Have Hand Amputated to Make Way for a Bionic One. Popular Science, 05/18/2011.

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