Prosthetic arm falls off [spoof/prank gone wrong]

These video sequences obviously were recorded as spoof or prank. They show situations where a make-shift prosthetic arm falls off.

Both situations are shocking not because the arm falls off. They are shocking because it appears that no one reacts surprised or shocked. The cashier reacts surprised but it appears the sudden noise is more what shocks her than the obviously self made part falling off as such.

And I am shocked because despite the humoristic exaggeration here - if anything, failure is the single one characteristic that characterizes standard issue prosthetic arms in the year 2011.

But let's watch the spoof/prank videos.

Both video clips are titled "worst comes to worst".

But we are there already in terms of materials. Worst has already come to worst. These clips are not different from reality - just a bit more slapstick. Buy hooks, wrists, cables or shoulder harnesses of that big German prosthetic part manufacturer that charges a premium, the one that tends to get cheap Chinese parts in and doesn't perform quality control - and you will get failure. Cook two meals and see how the cables hold up. Buy Centri PVC or Silicone gloves and watch as they deteriorate over weeks.

And everyone knows. Virtually no one is shocked to see your prosthetic fail. No one will react in disbelief. Failure of prosthetic arms, to the general public and seeing from these videos also, can come as a surprise if it happens fast - but otherwise it is as unspectacular as having a light bulb expire. Not even insurances react shocked if the expensive materials fail and give up.

Also, one gets stared at anyway. With or without additional metal rods. I don't think these videos change much there in terms of perception there.

Furthermore, given that frequent failure is not a shock with prosthetic arms, repair costs are. If you add that the mere shipping of a defective prosthetic arm to Otto Bock headquarters may cost you 6000 USD, then you at least get a tad bit closer to the real problems of worst getting worse.

So I am not sure that the essence of reality was captured as "worst comes to worst" in the sequences here. I would call these videos "a day in the life of an amputee: regular failure".

What I find "worse", and that is not depicted anywhere, are chronic issues - skin issues for socket users, chronic osteomyelitis for osseointegration users, elbow, shoulder and back issues as well as chronic overuse problems as well as time and effort used up to maintain these prosthetic arms. So, what is seen in these videos in my view really is not "worst comes to worst".

And some of that can be avoided by building them in a better way.

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: - Prosthetic arm falls off [spoof/prank gone wrong]; published 30/07/2011, 15:14; URL:

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1685686093, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{ - Prosthetic arm falls off [spoof/prank gone wrong]}}, month = {July}, year = {2011}, url = {} }