Meet The Science Reporter With A Bionic Arm


Disability / Monday, March 2nd, 2015

UnicornBooty reports on CNN reporter Miles O’Brien, who had his arm amputated above the elbow, being fitted for a bionic arm capable of controlling by thought.

One surprising fact I learnt from the article is that there are 100,000 upper-limb amputees in the US. That is a hell of a lot of one-armed bandits like me. [here are some more stats]

One critical disabling difference between amputees is what amount of nerve damage is suffered. Mine is the worst, having the arms nerves pulled out of the spinal cord right at the top. This is called a Brachial Plexus Injury. What this means is I have no ability to move the arm (originally intact but paralysed, and now amputated), or the shoulder. I could not lift the arm out, or up. So this makes most prosthetic arms useless as they rely on muscles in the shoulder to perform certain movements.

I am not sure if the technology in the article is capable of working with this level of disability but for me I am completely happy with my one-armed life as it is now my 25th year of living this way. I still wish other Amputees all the best for this type of technology an it’s been quite fascinating  watching the development of these cool technologies over the years.

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