In 1996, Lee lost his right hand in an accident with an industrial conveyor belt. Prior to his accident, he had enjoyed many activities like lacrosse, dirt-biking, football and competitive shooting. Being one-handed made it more difficult for him to enjoy the things he loved.
It wasn’t until three years after his accident, when he bought a motorcycle,that he considered getting a prosthesis. Although the three-jaw chuck device he was initially fitted with let him ride his motorcycle, it wasn’t practical for daily living. It didn’t resemble his natural hand and didn’t help him perform regular tasks like holding a cup or cutting his own food. Indeed, rather than make these tasks easier, it made them more difficult. As a result, Lee didn’t wear his prosthesis either at his work for an antiques dealer or in the course of his daily life.
Over the years, he was a patient of several different prosthetics facilities, but didn’t feel that the clinicians were attentive to his needs or particularly interested in finding the best solution for him. As a result, poorly fitted sockets made his devices unusable and caused him pain.
Lee decided to take an active role in his own recovery and seek out a prosthesis and clinic that best suited him. He scoured the Internet for information about the latest advancements in upper limb prosthetics and discovered Touch Bionics, makers of the first multi-articulating myoelectric prostheses for partial- and full-hand amputees. At the time, his clinicians rejected the suggestion that a Touch Bionics device might be right for him. But, based on the positive patient outcomes he was reading about, Lee became determined to further investigate whether or not he was a candidate for a Touch Bionics device.
Determined, Lee reached out to Handspring, an accredited facility in his area and a company whose principals had been heavily involved in the development of the revolutionary Touch Bionics upper-limb products.
- Patient: Lee, 34
- Location: Clifton Park, NY
- Occupation: Systems Administrator
- Product: i-limb ultra
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"After several bad experiences with devices that didn’t help me to meet my goals, and with prosthetists who seemed more interested in rushing my claim through the insurance company than in my satisfaction, Handspring has restored my faith in the practice of prosthetics," said Lee. "They’re not happy unless I’m completely satisfied.
Lee began the fitting process for the i-limb ultra with his clinician Erik Tompkins. As soon as he was fitted with a custom silicon liner, he immediately recognized the superior care that Handspring provides its patients.
Having had the unfortunate experience of poorly fitted sockets in the past, Lee was impressed with the custom liner Handspring had fabricated for him, as well as with the fact that the whole Handspring team is intensely focused on the goals and satisfaction of the patient.
"I’ve worn enough devices to know that the core foundation of any device is the socket and how it fits," said Lee. "The device can only function as well as the socket allows it to. When things don’t line up or they shift with regular movement, the device doesn’t work properly, is easily broken or causes pain. The socket built by Handspring is flawless, lightweight but solid, and best of all, it doesn’t hurt when I pull my arm out."
Lee wanted enough dexterity to be able to type for his job, a functional aesthetic restoration that looked natural but still aided in the activities of daily living, and he wanted to improve his ability to care for his children. Handspring worked with Lee to identify the devices that would help him to achieve these objectives.
"Because of Handspring’s attentiveness to my goals, all aspects of my life have gotten better. My ability to do my work as a system administrator has been improved. I’m in front of a computer all day and with the i-limb ultra, I can type with both my hands. I can hold a cup of coffee, cut my own food, tie my own shoes, and my ability to do my hobbies has improved. Most importantly, I’m able to pick up my young son with both hands, confident that my two arms are able to support him easily and comfortably."
"Working with Handspring has changed my life completely. Not just because of the devices they’ve fitted me with, but because of the standard of care they’ve provided."