“My prosthesis allows me to drive
a standard shift car and to do
resistant exercises to build strength
in my upper body.”

Dwight New Brunswick


Background

Dwight, from New Brunswick, suffered a traumatic industrial workplace accident in June of 2007. His right hand was crushed, requiring amputation and many skin grafts to repair his residual limb. His left hand suffered significant soft tissue injury and also required skin grafting and surgical repair. Dwight spent two months in hospital, and continued with intensive (twice daily) physiotherapy and occupational therapy appointments for the following nine months in order to maximize function in his left hand.


“My prosthesis allows me to drive a standard shift car and to do resistant exercises to build strength in my upper body.”

The Process

Due to the healing process from significant skin grafting, Dwight’s prosthetic fitting was delayed. He was initially fitted with a silicone gel liner to help with healing and scar management. This made significant improvements in his skin integrity, but it was difficult for him to put on independently because of the reduced function in his left hand.

Dwight had reduced grip strength in this remaining hand, with very little movement of the wrist and thumb. we provided him with many adaptive aids to help him perform activities of daily living like cutting food, preparing light meals, using doors, and opening various containers. For example, we fabricated with an extended handle bath brush to allow him shower independently.

He was very anxious to return to work, and to his favorite pastimes such as riding his bike, golfing, exercising, and cross-country skiing. He also hoped to be able to continue to do repairs to his house and rental apartment units, and manage the wood required to heat his home (splitting, stacking, and loading into the house).

Dwight was initially fitted with a body-powered prosthesis which included a titanium hook to help manage his robust outdoor tasks. He also had attachments prosthesis that he could use at the gym, for golfing, and to use tools for yard maintenance.

When he had regained sufficient strength in his left hand and his skin was able to withstand a socket fitting without a gel liner, a myoelectric prosthesis was fabricated after significant signal training in the clinic and at his temporary home while he was involved in intensive rehab appointments. He was fit with a Motion Control hand with a passively locking flexion wrist which allowed his hand to be placed in various positions to help compensate for his limited wrist function in his left hand.

Dwight was then fitted with a body-powered prosthesis which included a titanium hook to help manage his robust outdoor tasks. He also had attachments for his prosthesis that he could use at the gym, for golfing, and to use tools for yard maintenance.


The Outcome

Dwight has returned to work in an accommodated job with his original employer. He has returned to all of his previous occupations, using his new prostheses on the tasks for which they are best suited to – his body-powered arm for heavy job tasks and outdoor use, his myoelectric arm for other household and work tasks.

Dwight has been recently furnished with an additional passive prosthesis, fabricated to allow him to use his various recreational attachments without having to worry about harnessing getting in the way. He has now been fitted with a BeBionic Hand which has a moveable thumb allowing more natural and varying hand grasp options.

Dwight has returned to work, using his body-powered arm for heavy job tasks and outdoor use, his myoelectric arm for other household and work tasks.

“Wearing my myo hand has made me less conscious of my amputation. I am glad to be in UNB’s backyard for their help”

– Dwight