Elective amputation and bionic substitution restore functional hand use after critical soft tissue injuries

Oskar C. Aszmann, Ivan Vujaklija, Aidan D. Roche, Stefan Salminger, Malvina Herceg, Agnes Sturma, Laura A. Hruby, Anna Pittermann, Christian Hofer, Sebastian Amsuess, Dario Farina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Critical soft tissue injuries may lead to a non-functional and insensate limb. In these cases standard reconstructive techniques will not suffice to provide a useful outcome, and solutions outside the biological arena must be considered and offered to these patients. We propose a concept which, after all reconstructive options have been exhausted, involves an elective amputation along with a bionic substitution, implementing an actuated prosthetic hand via a structured tech-neuro-rehabilitation program. Here, three patients are presented in whom this concept has been successfully applied after mutilating hand injuries. Clinical tests conducted before, during and after the procedure, evaluating both functional and psychometric parameters, document the benefits of this approach. Additionally, in one of the patients, we show the possibility of implementing a highly functional and natural control of an advanced prosthesis providing both proportional and simultaneous movements of the wrist and hand for completing tasks of daily living with substantially less compensatory movements compared to the traditional systems. It is concluded that the proposed procedure is a viable solution for re-gaining highly functional hand use following critical soft tissue injuries when existing surgical measures fail. Our results are clinically applicable and can be extended to institutions with similar resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34960
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2016


  • Amputation
  • Artificial Limbs
  • Bionics/methods
  • Elective Surgical Procedures/methods
  • Hand Injuries/surgery
  • Humans
  • Soft Tissue Injuries/surgery
  • Treatment Outcome


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