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#1
Old 01-09-2012, 08:14 PM
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Are metal hook prosthetics still perferred for Amputees?

I friend at work had part of his right forearm missing. He used the traditional metal gripper hook. I've seen this guy peel an orange with it. Play the guitar and he held the pick in that hook. It was an amazing and versatile device. I asked him about getting a plastic hand and he said they were useless. Mostly for people that wanted the look of a real hand, and were willing to sacrifice function for attractiveness.

This USA Today article from 2005 says pretty much the same thing. The injured soldiers prefer the metal hooks because they are so much more functional. There's no batteries to mess with and the hook doesn't require much maintenance.

Has anything changed since this 2005 article? Are the metal hooks still considered the best for functionality?

Love the picture of the guy with the hook holding a knife. That's one bad ass marine. Ooh-rah!
Quote:
"I remember when I first came back for rehabilitation, they were touting the myoelectric (battery-powered) hands as the greatest innovation. I was so disappointed," Wright said, describing how the hooks are much easier because they don't fall off his arm, are supple enough to "pick up a paper clip" and are much more reliable than battery-powered limbs.
http://usatoday.com/news/nation/...amputees_x.htm

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-09-2012 at 08:18 PM.
#2
Old 01-09-2012, 09:48 PM
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The DEKA Arm, from Dean Kamen's (Segway guy) company, looks promising. It's still in development, though.

http://dekaresearch.com/deka_arm.shtml
http://youtube.com/watch?v=d03dHnvklL8
#3
Old 01-09-2012, 11:18 PM
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It is a matter of preference. Older guys in my circle of acquaintance have 'always had' a hook and cannot be bothered with newfangled gewgaws.
#4
Old 01-09-2012, 11:23 PM
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Don't you mean: "Arrr metal hook prosthetics still perferred..."

I'm sorry.
#5
Old 01-09-2012, 11:29 PM
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Someone assure me I'm not the only one thinking of "TWIN BODY-POWERED PROSTHESES WITH DORRANCE #5X STAINLESS STEEL HOOKS."
#6
Old 01-10-2012, 12:47 AM
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I recall first reading that USA Today article about three years ago. I was amazed at the comments from injured soldiers. They're obviously the ones that know the deficiencies in the hi tech artificial hands. It sounds like they are still a long way away.

Quote:
A typical adult human arm, Weir said, weighs about 5.5% of a person's total body weight. So someone who weighs 170 pounds has arms that weigh more than 9 pounds each. But even a 6-pound artificial arm, he said, is too heavy for most to wear very long because it doesn't have the support that a natural arm has.

Weir said there is a challenge in duplicating the functions of a hand, which can move in dozens of ways.

"The artificial hand is a very poor gripper if you can only keep it in one shape," he said, noting that no artificial hands on the market can simulate the hand muscle movements necessary for daily living.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-10-2012 at 12:49 AM.
#7
Old 01-10-2012, 01:17 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
I asked him about getting a plastic hand and he said they were useless. Mostly for people that wanted the look of a real hand, and were willing to sacrifice function for attractiveness. ]
Last I read anything on the subject, younger amputees preferred obviously mechanical artificial hands over "real" looking ones. Partly because of the "uncanny valley" effect of something that's close to but not quite human looking; and partly because of the "Cool! Terminator!" effect.
#8
Old 01-10-2012, 01:24 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Someone assure me I'm not the only one thinking of "TWIN BODY-POWERED PROSTHESES WITH DORRANCE #5X STAINLESS STEEL HOOKS."
This was the very first thing I thought of. That site has long gone into the bit-bucket, alas.
#9
Old 01-10-2012, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
Last I read anything on the subject, younger amputees preferred obviously mechanical artificial hands over "real" looking ones. Partly because of the "uncanny valley" effect of something that's close to but not quite human looking; and partly because of the "Cool! Terminator!" effect.
Not so much the "uncanny valley" effect as the fact that double hooks have been developed to be as functional as possible in performing many manual functions over a long period of time, while "natural=looking artificial hands" are at the alpha-test stage. If you think of the number of thing you can do with your hand, you can see the logic.
#10
Old 01-10-2012, 08:30 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 25,821
Awhile back I figured out that each amputee is different and what works for one may or may not work for another. Perhaps those that have lost hands but retain elbows and shoulders find hooks more useful than other solutions. Some people are more concerned with aesthetics than function. Some people are more concerned with function than aesthetics. Some hand amputees have several prosthesis, each for a different purpose.

Having recently been called upon to repair the leather harness of an old-fashioned hook hand, I do have to say that they are surprisingly simple in some ways, and can be constructed of very rugged materials for a lot of heavy use. There's much to be said for that, and for something that you don't have to worry about getting wet, or recharging.
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