Mechanical Hands & Hooks
Mechanical hands and hooks are popular among upper limb prostheses users because they don’t require electricity and are fairly simple to use. Creating the right prosthesis is a collaboration between you and your prosthetist to build a device that will best work for your needs.
A mechanical hand does not need to be charged and typically requires you to manipulate it manually before taking action. For example, using your regular hand, you may clench your mechanical hand into a fist and extend your pointer finger to dial a telephone or punch numbers in keypad. That finger can be equipped with a material that interfaces with the touchscreen of a smartphone, so you can browse and use all the functions a smartphone has to offer.
Mechanical hands also have the option to include specific tools that can be removed and affixed to your prosthesis, such as a fork and knife. If your goal is to lift weights, you can even have a hand specifically fabricated to fit the weights you want to lift. Typically, these components are designed to be removable as they enable very specific function and activity.
Similar to mechanical hands, mechanical hooks can be manipulated and locked into place to support a desired function. Often times, a mechanical hook is made with a strap that goes around your back and attaches to cables that interface with your hook, allowing it to open, close, and clasp. For above-elbow amputees, mechanical hooks are often paired with cable-operated elbows.
This type of a hook is designed to open when flexed one way and clasp when flexed another way. The design can also incorporate a locking mechanism, at open, close, or both. A locked open hook may be useful for times like picking up a cup and taking a drink–the clasp is tight enough to hold, but not so tight as to damage the cup. A locked position is also helpful for eating with utensils and brushing your teeth.
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To find out if this technology is right for you, request a consultation with a clinic near you.
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