Which is the latest treatment to replace the loss of both hands?
Q: My 26-year-old relative lost both his hands during a train accident. What is the most successful treatment like an artificial limb in this case? Is it available in India? Can one replace the hands with artificial ones and still have similar functional efficiency?
A:We are very sorry to learn about the loss of both hands of your relative. This is a major disability and no prosthesis can replace the loss function of human hand. The human hand has the following components of function: 1. Sensitivity; with which you perceive sensation of touch. This sensation helps you to work with your hands without looking at your hands. 2. The other is motor function which seems complex to analyse but is actually a combination of three basic functions which are: hook, grasp and pinch. No prosthesis available so far can take care of the first and the most important component - the ability to perceive sense of touch. The use of any hand prosthesis that is fitted is limited to specific tasks that are only supportive. It is therefore important to know the patient's needs and then plan for prosthesis fitting. Most prosthesis that are made here and that are cheap allow for the hook function of the hand or a very simple and crude pinch function. Fortunately technology is advancing and very sophisticated elegant hands are now available which can have most complex functions and which are also more cosmetic. However, these are very expensive costing 200,000 to 300,000 or more. There are several companies that are offering this prosthesis. You will have to get in touch with any orthotist or prosthetist in your area to find out what is available in your region. Merely fitting them is not sufficient. You have to have follow up and adjustments frequently. Therefore you have to choose a company that has back up in India and nearer your residence for proper functional recovery and rehabilitation. With the availability of the internet now if you can go on net and give a key word of Hand Prosthesis you will be able to get several sites.