High Five Friday

Happy Friday! Congratulations, you survived the work week.

*virtual high five*       

My inner nerd is absolutely thrilled to share with you, this fine Friday morning, some particularly handy news.

The field of prosthetic limbs is always changing and improving in hopes of finding the best fit for each individual. It is clear that those efforts make NOW such an exciting time for the entire field! After carbon fiber legs made their debut at the London Olympics last summer, there can be no doubt that these advancements are helping amputees lead full lives.

In fact, it can be hard to distinguish all the advancements being made today from the technology of science fiction.

Read this article to see how Britain is outfitting their wounded soldiers with top of the line bionic leg prosthetics.  In this case “bionic” means that the leg has built-in micro-processors that sends signals from the ankle and knee, much like how nerves communicate, to control and stabilize movement. Watch this wonderful illustration to understand the process better.

These legs will make a huge impact in the recovery of wounded veterans. This prosthetic makes the gait more natural, and improves stability and mobility. The overall quality of life is greatly improved; patients can even return to their jobs with significantly increased functionality.

Doesn’t sound like the work of a graphic novel or the SyFi channel? When it comes to prosthetics, this article will prove, beyond a doubt, that ‘science fiction’ is just another way of saying ‘science future,’ or even ‘science of today’ (also known as just “science”).

The bionic hand described in the above article actually connects to the nervous system of the patient, so that he/she can control it with his/her thoughts!! Sensory reception will be restored through various sensors on the limb. What makes this astounding development an important breakthrough is that sensory perception is very important in gaining full acceptance of the limb. While the article does not directly address the issue of phantom pains, it suggests to me that this hand could eliminate those pains entirely! Our questions will be answered soon enough as the first patient to receive this device will have the surgery later this year.

Now that sounds high five-worthy to me!

Slight Edge Quote of the day:

There are going to be all types of obstacles placed in front of you during your lifetime. And you can determine the size of a person by the size of the problem that keeps them down. Successful people look at a problem and see opportunity.- Slight Edge, pg. 87

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