Otto Bock Claims New Michelangelo® Prosthesis Closest to a Human Hand

Here’s a tale of medical technology and the palpable effect it can have on people. I know, we do this all the time, but this is a good story.


Andrew Carter, an attorney at a major motion picture studio in Los Angeles became an amputee thirty years ago. Recently Italian prosthetic manufacturer Otto Bock gained FDA clearance for its Michelangelo Hand, meaning the device would be made available to American upper limb amputees like Andrew.

Now based out of medtech-industry-friendly Austin, Texas, Otto Bock claims its functional prosthetic hand is the most technologically advanced available and enables users to complete activities of daily living with confidence and less compensatory movements which can put strain on their body. The Michelangelo offers natural movement patterns thanks to a thumb drive and a main drive and the complex gripping kinematics ensure strong, reliable grip force and movement.

The Michelangelo’s unique functions are allowing users to naturally perform everyday tasks such as opening a tube of toothpaste, gripping a key, holding a credit card, picking up a bottle and using a clothes iron. In addition, the hand is designed to make it easier to do things such as hang a hanger in the closet, hold a plate, cook, hold hands, ride a bicycle or turn the page of a book.

A feature that is a result of those advances and especially appealing to Andrew and other upper limb amputees is Michelangelo’s physiological design with its various hard and soft structures that model bones, joints, muscles and tendons. The look and feel of the hand is extremely natural and is a key contributing factor to a user’s acceptance of the prosthetic device.

Patient Comments

Such is Andrew Carter’s satisfaction with the device that he was moved to say; “It’s the closest thing to a second hand I’ve had since I became an amputee thirty years ago.”

“My hand was amputated the end of my eighth grade year so along with the typical insecurities when beginning high school, I had the added stress of showing up with a hook in place of my hand,” says Andrew. “You learn to deal with situations like that, but I can’t deny that it’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience that people I now meet for the first time aren’t immediately aware I use a prosthetic hand.”

About the device’s versatility he said; “The Michelangelo has been a real game-changer with its speed, its thumb settings and its floating wrist and has made for an incredible device that has allowed me to get back to doing what’s important to me. It’s good to be at the point of experiencing what the most advanced prosthetic hand in the world has to offer, and I hope with my example to be able to provide a little bit of hope and encouragement to those in the early stages of recovery from an amputation.”

Source: PR Newswire

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