Bionic Reconstruction Can Replace Disabled Hands With Prosthetic Device

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Apr 25, 2017 01:39 PM EDT

Lost functionality of healthy arm or leg has new hope through bionic reconstruction. (Photo : Nigel Treblin/Getty Images)

A 2008 study noted that 1.6 million people in the United States survive without a limb, and that could increase more than twofold in 2050. Fortunately, new-generation prostheses allow replacements of limbs amputated due to injury or disease through bionic reconstructions.

According to Scientific American, people who have lost functionality in their healthy arm or leg have few alternatives. However, a team of surgeons in Vienna, Austria, lately has developed bionic reconstruction.

Their accomplishments involved 16 people whose hands have lost physical control and sensation because of nerve impairment. To undergo for bionic reconstructions, affected hands of the patients must be amputated to have space for the prosthetic device.

Surgeon Laura Hruby and her colleagues at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria published a protocol of choosing patients, who will undergo for bionic reconstructions. The requirements for this procedure involve useful shoulder and elbow movement and at least two different responsive EMG signals in the forearm.

The team focused on people with impaired brachial plexus, which is the group of nerves that manipulate muscles in the shoulders, arms, and hands. Brachial damage can result to a prolonged paralyzed flail limb, particularly when linked with multiple root avulsions.

Bionic reconstruction repairs the functional ability of hands aside from the potential benefits of surgical a procedure. This technique also decreased the severe and unconstrained pain that can evolve in limbs with nerve damage according to the research published in Journal of Neurosurgery.

“Bionic hand reconstruction in patients with brachial plexus lesions, in whom classic primary and secondary reconstructions have failed, gives hope to patients who have lived without hand function for years or even decades,” Hruby says.

Generally, restoration of hand functionality is still the most difficult procedure. Nevertheless, bionic reconstruction surpasses biological restrictions of typical reconstructive techniques and victoriously allows hand activity with prosthetic devices.

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