Bionic

Working on a new prosthetic arm

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I figured I would post a new thread about the build of a new arm.  I imagine folks would find it interesting, since it is not too common.  Well the last arm I had built was in 2012, and that is honestly the longest I have gone on a prosthetic arm without replacing.  I use my prosthetic arm/hand as I would use my real hand.  You might be scratching your head, saying to yourself, well isn't that the point in a prosthetic hand!? To me, YES! To the prosthetist's, not necessarily 100% true...they of course encourage you to use it as much as possible, but do not recommend you hold a chainsaw at full throttle like I do with it.  Sounds crazy, but its not, you do, what you got to do.  The prosthetist's worry about vibrations from the chsinsaws, and such, but they don't realize that its not as abusive as it sounds.  Well, the current setup I use has been extremely durable, and I cannot say enough about how great it is.  I have used literally every prosthetic device available at some point, or another.  I am EXTREMELY fortunate to have the opportunities that I have been given,  and the health insurance that I have.   I can honestly say that I do not AT ALL take advantage of my health insurance, I watch everything,  and question things, when I get my statements.  Anyways, I am sort of rambling on, but if there is any interest here, I will share the details,  as the process continues in the build of my new arm/hand.

Edited by Bionic
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Sounds interesting. Let’s hear/see more!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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"The sportsman lives his life vicariously. For he secretly yearns to have lived before, in a simpler time. A time when his love for the land, water, fish and wildlife would be more than just part of his life. It would be his state of mind."

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No no, i dont build them myself, but there are a lot of different options, and products, and style's, and tweaks for each individual to chose to best benefit that user!

Awesome, feedback so far, I will keep you all informed.  

Any questions,  ask away.

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What will this arm's theme be? The graphics on your current one are pretty sweet! Are there any new features your new one is set to have that may not have been available and/or technologically possible when you had your last one built?

You Can't Beat My Meat!!!

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8 hours ago, REDNECK4LIFE32 said:

Not to be personal but how did you lose your arm? Where you military? Ive got a lot of buddies with prosthetics. A lot complain about the injured area always being like raw or chafted.

I was actually born missing my left arm starting 3" past my elbow.  I have no military experience,  but have spoke with new amuptees to give some advice, and to try to inspire them, that thet will still be able to do just about everything they did prior to the injury.  I will tell you this, from my experiences at my prosthetic's office, they do speak VERY often about surgeons who amputate, that do not graft, and sew the skin properly, for the max comfort in a future prosthetic that the patient will wear.  Sounds crazy, but most surgeons are inexperienced in how prosthetics fit.  So by sewing, and folding skin incorrectly, can cause life long discomfort, with uneven pressures, and so on.  I have also heard of amputees having surgery years after, to reform the skin, to increase comfort, and decrease pain.  Sometimes, the skin is just to traumatized to be strong enough too, where all involved has to be careful, as in perfect prosthesis  fitting, and how long it is worn during the day, and so on.

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8 hours ago, The Jerkman said:

What will this arm's theme be? The graphics on your current one are pretty sweet! Are there any new features your new one is set to have that may not have been available and/or technologically possible when you had your last one built?

You Can't Beat My Meat!!!
 

I will answer your question this morning, have an appointment soon.  

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What’s wrong with the current model you’re wearing?

Can the old one be rebuilt and passed on to someone else?

Thanks for the replies, interesting topic!!

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its gotta be worrisome to get a new one I would think when the old one worked so well.  Its not like to can return it for one off the shelf, I know these are made specifically for the person.  Good luck with and let us know how you make out. 

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Oh yea, running a chainsaw?

My doctors got mad at me when I snowmobiled with a cast on my leg from my toes to my onions and then broke the cast!!

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This is a very interesting thread Bionic. And kudos to you for being outspoken about it   I might assume others with prosthetics might be uncomfortable talking about such a handicap. Your gumpf and attitude , helping others overcoming a “ handicap “ is a nice thing to see. Good luck at your appointment today.  Keep us posted 

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i'd imagine they're damn expensive.  good insurance must help a lot.

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This is a very interesting thread Bionic. And kudos to you for being outspoken about it   I might assume others with prosthetics might be uncomfortable talking about such a handicap. Your gumpf and attitude , helping others overcoming a “ handicap “ is a nice thing to see. Good luck at your appointment today.  Keep us posted 
Seems like he does more with his bionic arm than I can and actually do with my human arm.

You Can't Beat My Meat!!!

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Very interesting topic. I'd really like to hear, and learn more. The 'can do' attitude you display, is truly commendable, and inspiring! 

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Yep Bionic, love to hear how it goes on this one.  I think its awesome that you don't let it hold you back at all! 

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11 hours ago, The Jerkman said:

What will this arm's theme be? The graphics on your current one are pretty sweet! Are there any new features your new one is set to have that may not have been available and/or technologically possible when you had your last one built?

You Can't Beat My Meat!!!
 

Thank you!  This current arm was actually airbrushed free hand by a gentleman at a tattoo parlor.  He then clear coated it with automotive clear.  It has held up amazing,  i even paste wax it with car wax.   I had ideas in mind for him to paint it, and a bunch of pics of objects that I wanted incorporated into the paint scheme.  This hand is so high tech, that I felt the arm itself needed to give that appearance.

As far as tech goes.  They are always improving batteries,  and the  integrated chargers.  My current batteries are lithium-ion, and last over a full week of DAILY use, it is absurd, and still amazing after all these years, as to how long a full charge lasts.  Prior arms, lasted 1.5 days with comparable use.  That is so convenient, due to camping etc, i dont need to bring the charger cord with this current arm. Current arm, as in the one I have been using.  Also the socket will be a brand new unfamiliar setup to me.  The socket it basically the shoe of the fake arm.  It is where my real arm, goes into the fake arm.  Well the socket for the NEW arm will allow me to skin fit it, meaning my bare arm will slide directly inside, and the area at the edge of the arm's circumference actually inflates, it has a little bladder to hug my real arm.  If this is not explained well enough,  I will show pics when the time comes.  Currently, all of my past electric arms were liner fit sockets.  I would roll a custom snug fit silicone line over my real arm, and real elbow, it has a pin with teeth on it that sticks out about 1" in the direction of where my real arm points.  This slides into the socket, and clicks in a mechanism, and attaches that way.  With this setup, you will pull my skin off my real arm long before that silicone liner loses its grip.  It is comfortable, doesnt sound like it, but it is.  This silicone sleeve is like a sock on your foot basically.  This silicone liner must be boiled for about an hour, about once a week, to kill bacteria.  If not, you get redness, and irritation, and skin can crack.  Going to a skin fit socket will be a very healthy move for my skin. Other than that, not much has changed enough to where I would need a lot of time to adapt honestly.  The new hand itself will be very familiar,  and I have tried it already at a demo day, pics will be posted for you.  These days, with hand, I look for build quality, and strength, along with, finger shapes, and how the thumb is designed.  A lot the tech is in the adjustability of the hand, and the electronic wrist rotator.   It is all highly tuned via bluetooth on a laptop.  From strength,  speed, muscle strengths to perform certain hand gestures, and grip patterns, and on, and on.  

Attached photos are of my work arm, with the hand I would like to get, this was at a demo day in November 

20171109_164156.jpg

20171109_164149.jpg

Edited by Bionic
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Truly amazing, I had no idea of the technology. 

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2 hours ago, Lawdwaz said:

What’s wrong with the current model you’re wearing?

Can the old one be rebuilt and passed on to someone else?

Thanks for the replies, interesting topic!!

To be honest, I use my devices just as I would my real hand, sounds obvious,  but the hand takes more abuse than any others the prosthetics office sees.  I have sent hands back in pieces, not proud, and not taking advantage at all, but I NEED to utilize these devices as tools so I do not get over use syndrome in my real hand.  Basically the hand is getting some slop in all the moving parts, works great still, buy it comes a point, where like a vehicle, its time to add a vehicle to continue to be reliable.  I am at this point.  Also, repairs are extremely expensive, the current arm, has approximately $120k in it, not flaunting,  just want to give honest input.  Saturday I actually fell on snow covered ice at home, and I fell on the fingers, and sheered something inside, now only the thumb moves,  a bit worried it may cost to much to repair, than its worth, compared to a new hand,  fingers crossed.  Plus, this current arm, the electrical system is hand specific,  stupid, but thats how the hand manufacturer has it setup for this hand.  I mean exact hand, not just that model number, so i cannot use my work vice hand tool, that I use on a seperate arm, on this current painted arm, if that makes sense.  The work tool i have, is like a pinching vice, it works on a seperate arm, but my old electric hands from around 07-09, have since failed beyond repair, too costly to repair, compared to cost of new hand of same model.  Time to get a new setup, to dedicate for work again where, I can swap hands at work.  I this all makes sense, theres just so much to why I need each part, and a new arm, that i can barely describe it lol.  

As far as handing it down, its not worth it.  They actually cast your arm, and fill that cast, to make an identical mold of your stump, to build the fake arm's socket.  Then the overall length is matched to the initial owner, and circumferential measurements as well.  Not necessarily cost efficient.   It would be a great thing, and coukd be possible if two were similar like twins, but not feasible otherwise.  Off the shelf parts could be utilized, yes.  I have done that as well.  The work arm that is in the last post, has parts from an arm from 2007.  I try to use everything until its DONE.  Hope this helped

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3 hours ago, Robhuntandfish said:

its gotta be worrisome to get a new one I would think when the old one worked so well.  Its not like to can return it for one off the shelf, I know these are made specifically for the person.  Good luck with and let us know how you make out. 

It is very concerning, you are spot on.  I had an issue with the silicone liners i mentioned, they last 2-3 yrs, than tear, and are junk, they pinch you, etc at that point.  Well if they are not fabbed PERFECTLY,  they can get air in them,and not hold comfortably.  Too tight, and it will fatigue your muscles to wear you literally lose strength!  This happened, the lady had 2 fabbed up for me, they take the measurements etc, and let a company in Canada know, built in Canada, and shipped here to prosthetics office.   Well both liners were unbearable, made my arm purple at the end, like a hickey.   So she ate the cost of a third liner, because i was not amused at this.  Third one was too tight too! 4th time, I said no, next prosthetist works on my stuff from now on, 4th time, BOOM, PERFECT to this day.  She was going off measurements from 5 yrs prior! To a hands on outdoorsy, worker that i am.  So yes, she is to not work on my build, too risky.  Once its built,  it can be heated, and tweaked, and minor changes, pretty much it.

Thanks, I will definitely keep all posted with updates, and reply to each, and everyone. 

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3 hours ago, Lawdwaz said:

Oh yea, running a chainsaw?

My doctors got mad at me when I snowmobiled with a cast on my leg from my toes to my onions and then broke the cast!!

Yes, chainsaw, weedwhackers, table saws, excavators,  anything xD

Lol, you sound like me, a go getter, than are like ughh how do I explain this break haha

Chain sawing below, from a calender I was in for the office.  This is with that electric vice tool, called a Greifer.

 

20180220_084145.jpg

20180220_084159.jpg

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3 hours ago, turkeyfeathers said:

This is a very interesting thread Bionic. And kudos to you for being outspoken about it   I might assume others with prosthetics might be uncomfortable talking about such a handicap. Your gumpf and attitude , helping others overcoming a “ handicap “ is a nice thing to see. Good luck at your appointment today.  Keep us posted 

I really appreciate that.   I try to help others if i can, the opportunities I've had, are truly amazing, so to not help, seems ungrateful.  In my opinion, it is only a handicap, or disability if you ALLOW it to be, i am neither,  no one will do it for you if they truly want whats best for you xD

Appointment went GREAT,  got my primary to sign off agreeing i do NEED the new arm.  Its a health insurance requirement, these days.  Big nuisance,  but I understand.

Thanks again TF

Edited by Bionic
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3 hours ago, dbHunterNY said:

i'd imagine they're damn expensive.  good insurance must help a lot.

Too expensive! 

Insurance is why I have what I have,  its a huge reason why I work for a local township.

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