The life-changing impact of prosthetics
After an incident which forced a man to have his arm amputated, the use of cutting-edge prosthetics has proved key in him being able to rebuild his life.
Undergoing an amputation just below the shoulder after his right arm was dragged into a conveyor belt at the recycling centre where he worked, the man suffered both physical and psychological trauma.
While his specialist solicitors at law firm Sintons were able to secure a £1.83m settlement and a bespoke package of therapy to support him in his recovery, their ability to access cutting-edge prosthetics has proved particularly key in him being able to look to the future.
Through relationships with specialist prosthetics providers including Blatchford, and the London Prosthetics Centre – part of Sintons’ vast national network to support personal injury clients – the man was able to access state of the art prosthetic devices to help him resume many activities in his life, in a way he feared would no longer be possible.
In this case, the claimant was fitted with a Myoelectric arm which can be used with two separate electronic hands, one to allow fine movement and the other for heavier more demanding tasks. These represented some of the many options on the market, the suitability of which will be determined by a person’s unique needs and circumstances.
The electronic components with the myoelectric prostheses are ultimately controlled by input from electrical signals generated by muscles in the injured person’s residual limb and allow much greater levels of function than manual prosthetics.
Technological advances have made this more intuitive than ever before, and after skilled training with this device, the man could control multiple features in his arm, from his shoulder to his hand.
The electric Greifer hand enables a powerful grip giving the user the ability to hold items securely and to handle heavy objects. The Tasker Hand user can adjust the functionality and requirements of the hand in just a few seconds, and also adjust further for particular tasks.
In addition to the myoelectric prosthesis The man was also fitted with the latest cosmetic prosthesis, which has a the high resolution silicon finish to ensure the most realistic appearance, for use at social events where arm function is not so critical.
The latest technology enables the closest resemblance to a person’s skin tone and characteristics before the amputation, including matched pigmentation, freckles, veins, hair and tattoos.
Supported by bespoke therapy and rehabilitation from a highly experienced team, the man is now able to enjoy function and use in his right arm which he feared had been lost forever at the point of amputation.
Phil Davison, head of the general personal injury team at Sintons, led this claim and said the impact advanced prosthetics can have on a person’s life can truly be transformational.
“Finding the right prosthetic limb for a person after the trauma of amputation can be a truly life-changing moment and can add a whole new dimension to their their recovery,” says Phil, regularly hailed by Legal 500 as one of the leading lawyers in the North of England.
“The ongoing advances in technology mean that cosmetic prosthetics are incredibly life like in many respects. Whilst such prosthetics are not particularly functional, they can greatly assist an individual in dealing with the change in their appearance, and can be of substantial psychological benefit.
“This combined with the advancing functionality of prosthetics is of huge benefit to our clients. Their ability to integrate with muscle function and replication of lifelike movement – with even the benefits of being able to participate in sports or heavy lifting – enables a person to resume many activities they feared may have been lost. The significance of regaining a substantial degree of independence cannot be understated. It is extremely gratifying to see somebody develop confidence and skill in the use of their prosthesis with the opportunities that become available to them as a consequence. It is no understatement to suggest it is a life changing process, both of them and their family.
“This case in particular points to the huge impact of appropriate prosthetics – our client lost his arm in extremely traumatic circumstances, but his participation in everything from basic tasks to sports has been absolutely critical in him being able to look forward and move on with his life.”
The relationships and the national network of experts that Sintons have established through its position as leading personal injury specialists proves very important in situations like this, says Phil.
“This is a sizeable and growing field, with new devices and providers coming into the market all the time. Our experience of supporting clients after life-changing injuries and the network we have developed ensures that we can keep abreast of the latest changes and innovations,” he says.
Our network continues to expand so we are fully on top of all the latest introductions which may benefit our clients.
“Over many years, we have seen the changing face of prosthetics, and the hugely positive impact they have on clients’ lives – something which is only increasing with the development of their appearance and function. It gives us as a team great satisfaction to see our clients benefit from this and to enable them to move forward in their lives with the support of the right prosthesis.”