Posts tagged Prosthetics
Posts tagged Prosthetics
Mainstreaming disability with artistic artificial limbs
London (CNN) — With her flaming red hair, Marilyn Monroe figure, and lurid green snake casually coiled around the arm, Jo-Jo Cranfield looks like a real-life muse emerging from a Salvador Dali painting.
It’s impossible not to stare at the neon python on her left wrist. But take a closer look and you’ll discover that the reptile slithers in and out of the flesh like a psychedelic needle and thread.
Cranfield is an amputee. And her fantastical arm — described as everything from cool to creepy, and erotic — is the work of a London designer reinventing the way we see prosthetic limbs.
The metal on Zac Vawter’s bionic leg gleamed as he climbed the 103 floors of Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, becoming the first person ever to complete the task wearing a mind-controlled prosthetic limb.
Vawter, who lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident, put the smart limb on public display for the first time during an annual stair-climbing charity event called “SkyRise Chicago” hosted by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he is receiving treatment.
“Everything went great,” said Vawter at the event’s end. “The prosthetic leg did its part, and I did my part.”
The leg is designed to respond to electrical impulses from muscles in his hamstring. When Vawter thought about climbing the stairs, the motors, belts and chains in his leg synchronized the movements of its ankle and knee.
(Photo courtesy Healing Hands project)
Did you know there’s around 2,000 landmine accidents a month in around 60 countries and that 20 percent of the 300,000 landmine amputees around the world are children? So what’s the connection then between land mines and workplace team building exercises in Australia? A new project has been launched called “Helping Hands” and in your workplace you can build prosthetic hands for victims of landmines. Annie Gaffney spoke with Matt Henricks, an organisational psychologist, and started by asking him how this project came about in Australia.
Danang City, Vietnam - March 9
My colleague, Trauma Rehabilitation Specialist, Cameron Macauley from the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) at James Madison University, and I had the good fortune to participate in a mass fitting for amputees in Tam Ky, Vietnam.When we arrived, some 200 men and women were awaiting their turns to have plaster casts made which would then be used to manufacture new, durable and very comfortable prostheses. They removed their old prostheses and I was astonished by these ancient, hand-made artificial legs constructed of wood, rubber, wire and cloth. Most of them had broken and had been repaired numerous times.
WASHINGTON — In late July last year, Marine Cpl. Kevin Dubois headed out to take the place of another Marine wounded while guarding a hastily setup landing zone near Sangin, a Taliban hotbed in southern Afghanistan.
Improvised explosive devices had taken a heavy toll all year, with Marines on dismounted patrols accounting for a disproportionate number of casualties. The guy that Dubois, a 25-year-old scout sniper, was sent to replace had stepped on a faulty homemade land mine.
Most of the explosive charge failed to ignite, but it still popped with enough force to injure a foot.
CISR Director visits prosthetics distribution in Tam Ky, Vietnam
On 9 March CISR’s Director Ken Rutherford visited a mass fitting for amputees in Tam Ky, Vietnam, accompanied by CISR’s Trauma Rehabilitation Specialist, Cameron Macauley. The event was sponsored by Viet Nam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH), a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization founded by Vietnamese-American philanthropist Ca Van Tran. VNAH regularly visits communities in rural Vietnam to offer free prosthetic devices and wheelchairs to people with disabilities.
After being fitted for a new prosthesis by having a plaster cast made of their residual limbs, many of these amputees will be transported to the workshop in Da Nang where the new prostheses will be carefully customized to their needs. They may also spend some time undergoing physical rehabilitation and learning to walk with the new device. Amputees who require upper-limb prostheses will learn to use their new hands to dress and feed themselves and to ride a bicycle or a motorbike.
All of these services are provided free of charge by VNAH. Its President, Ca Van Tran, served in the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War and went to the United States in 1975. He found work washing dishes at a Mexican restaurant and was soon owner of the Taco Amigo chain in Northern Virginia. He has used much of his personal money to support programs for people with disabilities in Vietnam and is now interested in opening new projects in Myanmar.
“A new arm, leg or wheelchair makes all the difference in the world for these people,” said Ca. “It makes work, play and everyday activities possible and allows them to live with dignity and self-respect. Nothing gives me greater joy than to see an amputee walk with grace, pride and comfort. Even though the situation is improving for people with disabilities in Vietnam, much more needs to be done.”
Research scientist Jan Andrysek displays the L.C. (Low Cost) mechanical knee that was created at the Bloorview rehab centre over the last six years. RICK EGLINTON/TORONTO STAR
If a man loses his leg in Sierra Leone — from the blast of a land mine or in a horrific car accident — chances are he will not be able to get an artificial limb.
Those used in Canada and the U.S. are too expensive, costing many thousands of dollars each. And if a limb were available, it would likely be too primitive for him to use.
But Jan Andrysek, a scientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, has developed a cheap and functional artificial limb for those who have had their leg amputated above the knee.
It costs just $50. Comparable limbs have a $3,000 price tag.