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Medicine Science

Woman Wants To Replace Her Non-functioning Hand With a Bionic Prosthesis 171

erice writes about the case of Nicola Wilding: "Injured in crash which damaged the nerves in her arm, she has reached the limits that can what be accomplished with nerve transplants. She can move her arm but doctors have given up hope of restoring use of her hand. So she wants doctors to amputate the hand and replace it with a bionic version that does work." The doctor, Oskar C. Aszmann, first performed a similar operation last year.
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Woman Wants To Replace Her Non-functioning Hand With a Bionic Prosthesis

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  • Re:Sounds good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @07:43PM (#39408717)
    Potential liability, perhaps. Who could she sue if it doesn't work right?
  • A Dead End (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @08:26PM (#39409005) Journal

    Synthetic prostheses will probably end up being a dead end, for normal people at least. If your goal is to get someone back to 100% function of their original organic hand (or an idealized perfectly functional human hand if it was already malfunctioning from birth) then growing a new hand, either in situ or in a lab for later grafting, seems more likely. After all, we carry around everything we need to grow more body parts--that's how you got your original hands. Coaxing the body to do that trick again will likely be accomplished before we can make a synthetic body part that works just as well as a real one.

  • by Ambassador Kosh ( 18352 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @08:34PM (#39409055)

    I see no problem with replacing a hand. I want to replace my entire body. Until we know how to digitize the brain it would probably have to be a brain in an enclosure inside a robot body but later the goal would be to replace the brain. Do synapse by synapse replacement while you are awake and by the end you can think thousands to millions of time faster and at no time did you ever die.

    Imagine all you could learn and see with a fully robotic body. You could explore space, many places on this planet that humans can't go and you would live long enough to see participate in many things that humans are only beginning to work on now. I would love to live for millions to billions of years and learn everything that I could.

    Once you are fully digital you could even make probes to send down to new planets and it would feel just like you where there but if the probe is destroyed you would be fine since you could run it on remote. You could even have your brain be a massively redundant computer with stable memory in case of full power loss. Humans bodies are just not up to what I want to do and I prefer to go the technology route and fix the problem instead of accepting the limitations of what humans can do. We have been at our best trying to strive beyond what we can do, even if we don't reach our goal we learn a lot in the process. Artificial eyes, ears, legs, arms etc will help many people.

  • No news here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dakra137 ( 1590245 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @08:39PM (#39409093)
    Replacing non-functional limbs with functional prosthetics has been going on for decades. Decades ago this was controversial, especially for children with birth defect limb deficiencies. My father-in-law, Dr. Leon M. Kruger, was the chief surgeon at a Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children. He conducted and published a study following children as they grew up, comparing measures of success in life skills, schooling, careers, happiness, etc. for those who did or did not have amputations. The success of those with amputations and prosthetics far exceeded those who kept the nonfunctional hands, arms, feet or legs. As they grew up, many of these children sent Dr. Kruger movies of themselves engaged in sports, riding motorcycles, etc. One favorite story was of a motorcyclist with a prosthetic who was in an accident. He was stuck in a position unable to remove his prosthetic which was pinned down under the motorcycle. He shouted to the first responders, "Take off my leg. Take off my leg." They told him not to worry, they could get him out with amputation. He most emphatically told them he'd be able to get himself away if they would just disconnect his leg. You might consider that a sick story. He thought it was funny, as did the teenager swimming in a lake in the summer of 1975 who grabbed onto the dock, stuck his stump in the air, and yelled, "Shark, Shark."
  • Re:Sounds good. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rhook ( 943951 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @08:59PM (#39409189)

    These days you sign a release of liability that covers the doctors from pretty much any lawsuit before you go into surgery.

  • Re:Sounds good. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 19, 2012 @11:00PM (#39409843)
    "Hand, pick up the ball."

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!