An electrical accident in 1984 drastically changed the life of a 14-year old boy. Today, the most technologically advanced prosthetic hand in the world is changing his life again.
AUSTIN, Texas, March 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- "It's the closest thing to a second hand I've had since I became an amputee thirty years ago."
Those are the words of Andrew Carter, an attorney at a major motion picture studio in Los Angeles, and the CEO of his own medical device venture. He's referring to the Michelangelo Hand made by leading prosthetic manufacturer Ottobock and fit by Hanger Clinic in Encino, California.
The Michelangelo was recently FDA-cleared and made available to upper limb amputees following completion of rigorous evaluation and testing standards. A significant innovation in upper limb prosthetics, it is the most technologically advanced and functional prosthetic hand available and enables users to complete activities of daily living with confidence and less compensatory movements which can put strain on their body. The Michelangelo offers natural movement patterns thanks to a thumb drive and a main drive and the complex gripping kinematics ensure strong, reliable grip force and movement.
People with amputations especially know how valuable it is to be able to master activities without the help of others. The Michelangelo's unique functions are allowing users to naturally perform everyday tasks such as opening a tube of toothpaste, gripping a key, holding a credit card, picking up a bottle and using a clothes iron. In addition, the hand is designed to make it easier to do things such as hang a hanger in the closet, hold a plate, cook, hold hands, ride a bicycle or turn the page of a book.
To be able to do those types of activities and more is especially important to Andrew who recalls the abrupt halt to life as he knew it.
"After I got out of the hospital there was rehabilitation, scarring, revision surgery, phantom pains, anger, frustration, denial, confusion, body image issues, self-esteem issues, self-confidence issues and the problems that came from having my two favorite activities - playing guitar and ice hockey - taken away from me overnight," he shares. "Today I feel fortunate that I happen to be living in this era where prosthetics are advancing at such a rapid rate."
A feature that is a result of those advances and especially appealing to Andrew and other upper limb amputees is Michelangelo's physiological design with its various hard and soft structures that model bones, joints, muscles and tendons. The look and feel of the hand is extremely natural and is a key contributing factor to a user's acceptance of the prosthetic device.
"My hand was amputated the end of my eighth grade year so along with the typical insecurities when beginning high school, I had the added stress of showing up with a hook in place of my hand," says Andrew. "You learn to deal with situations like that, but I can't deny that it's been an overwhelmingly positive experience that people I now meet for the first time aren't immediately aware I use a prosthetic hand."
In addition to the realistic appearance of the Michelangelo Hand, Andrew continues to be impressed by its speed and versatility.
"The Michelangelo has been a real game-changer with its speed, its thumb settings and its floating wrist and has made for an incredible device that has allowed me to get back to doing what's important to me. It's good to be at the point of experiencing what the most advanced prosthetic hand in the world has to offer, and I hope with my example to be able to provide a little bit of hope and encouragement to those in the early stages of recovery from an amputation."
Austin-based Ottobock was established in 1958 in Minnesota as the Americas corporate headquarters of Otto Bock HealthCare, GmbH, based in Duderstadt, Germany. The company has recently relocated to Austin, TX. Ottobock has 7,000 employees worldwide in 54 branches and produces over 50,000 types of prosthetic and orthotic components, mobility and rehabilitation products. (www.ottobockus.com)
For further information: Kelly Olson, Sway PR & Marketing, [email protected], 612.483.5685, http://www.ottobockus.com