“Bionic reconstruction” – it sounds like a sci-fi movie, or a futuristic image of medicine. But actually, it isn’t. Three young men alive today have access to such a brand new technology. Their injured hands have been replaced with bionic ones, with the help of which they can control those nerves that are still working and also the transplanted muscles that have been taken from their legs. All three men are from Australia and before the bionic reconstruction, they have voluntarily accepted an amputation of the member. The transplantation of nerves and muscles are tedious, ingenious and highly delicate procedures that need brilliant doctors in order to recreate something from scratch. In comparison to these new bionic hands, the previous ones were controlled with manual settings, so the innovation is astonishing on every level.
Dr. Oskar Aszmann of the Medical University of Vienna has been the one who developed all the means of arriving to this performance, together with his colleagues. He admits that this is his first attempt to bionically reconstruct a hand.
“If I saw these kinds of patients five to seven years ago, I would have just shrugged my shoulders and said, `there’s nothing I can do for you.'”
The team of scientists have stated that a hand transplant has many complications and it involves a lot of commitment from both doctor and patient point of view; anti-rejection medicine are implied and unfortunately, they are a must in this category of cases.
A report has been published on Wednesday in the journal Lanced after the declarations given by the Aszmann and his colleagues about the procedure. The acceptance of voluntarily amputating their hand has taken a lot of time for the three patients and it has happened only after the bionic hand has been attached to their injured hand. After that, they were able to test it and how it functions and ultimately they have decided to take part of the project.
Milorad Marinkovic is one of those three men who happily accepted the procedure. He lost his hand in a motorbike accident more than ten years ago and the fact that he can hold objects again in his hand makes him change perspective about a lot of important things that are part of his life.
However, Dr. Simon Kay who is the one who authored an accompanying commentary and performed Britain’s first hand transplant stated that bionic hands will always have certain limitations. How to get a message from the mind to the metal as accurately as possible will always be a fantastic challenge to scientists and doctors all over the world.
Image Source: Business Insider