Last year a young Austrian man named Patrick was the first person in the world to choose to have his hand amputated, and fitted with a bionic replacement. The results are impressive.
Patrick was the unfortunate victim of a work related accident, and as a result of being electrocuted lost use of his left hand. The replacement hand is a neuroprosthetic. This means the new hand actually taps into the unused nerves that used to control Patrick’s hand. The elective amputation, and surgery has allowed him to begin doing basic functions again like tying his shoes, and opening a bottle.
Makers of the prosthetic, Otto Bock, are already allowing Patrick to test a new hand which will give him increased movement. The new bionic hand utilizes six sensors over nerves instead of the current two. The new sensors will allow the user to twist, and move the wrist back and forward. Patrick’s current bionic hand can only be twisted manually using his other free hand.
Surgeon, and Professor, Oskar Aszmann is doctor who performed the surgery. He is the only one to do so, and will be performing another hand replacement for a patient named Milo soon. Video of the hand in action can be seen here on BBC.com