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Each finger can be moved separately
Date:4/22/2008

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"Fluidhand" prosthetic device offers better finishing and better grip function

The flexible drives are located directly in the movable finger joints and operate on the biological principle of the spider leg to flex the joints, elastic chambers are pumped up by miniature hydraulics. In this way, index finger, middle finger and thumb can be moved independently. The prosthetic hand gives the stump feedback, enabling the amputee to sense the strength of the grip.

Thus far, Sren has been the only patient in Heidelberg who has tested both models. This experience is very important for us, says Simon Steffen, Director of the Department of Upper Extremities at the Orthopedic University Hospital in Heidelberg. The two new models were the best of those tested, with a slight advantage for Fluidhand because of its better finishing, the programmed grip configurations, power feedback, and the more easily adjustable controls. However, this prosthetic device is not in serial production. First the developers have to find a company to produce it, says Alfons Fuchs, Director of Orthopedics Engineering at the Orthopedic University Hospital in Heidelberg, as the costs of manufacturing it are comparatively high. However it is possible to produce an individual model. Thus far, only one patient in the world has received a Fluidhand for everyday use. A second patient will soon be fitted with this innovative prosthesis in Heidelberg.

Heidelberg Orthopedic Workshop provide a unique service in Germany

The workshop at the Orthopedic University Hospital in Heidelberg has been in existence since 1919 and is unique in Germany. Since the Tha-lidomide tragedy in the 1960s it has had its own research department. Today there are some 60 specialized professionals employed in the orthopedic workshop who have learned their trade in many years of training. Every year, around 5,000 patients are fitted with orthopedic aids.


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Contact: Dr. Annette Tuffs
annette.tuffs@med.uni-heidelberg.de
0049-622-156-4536
University Hospital Heidelberg
Source:Eurekalert  

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