Myoelectric arm dialog

On the user discussion portals, things are often interesting and relevant as they are based on actual experiences. One question once was: "Is anyone able to tell me whether it is normal that my "bionic" hand breaks so many times within such a short amount of time? Do others have that problem as well?" - All text rewritten and paraphrased for anonymous quotation.

Q (op): Is anyone able to tell me whether it is normal that my "bionic" hand breaks so many times within such a short amount of time? Do others have that problem as well? Q (m): What was the price you paid? R (op): It was paid for by insurance. Q (m): Who is the manufacturer? R (op): It is (a large German company). R: (m) Funny, I wear a prosthetic hook, never had issues with that. R: Yes I have that problem too. Q (m): It upsets me to read that. What is considered a normal level of use? What would you define as normal level of use, in your own terms? R (op): I used the new "bionic" hand twice when sitting on my sofa. I really did not do anything with it. And then, I took it to work once but did not really do anything with it. So I did not actual use it for normal things. R (f): This is a typical issue. I have the same model of this "bionic" hand, it broke seven times within one and a half years. I did not use it for anything extraordinary. R(op) I am grateful for your validation. It took a very, very long time to get it repaired. For that reason, I am not really wearing it any more. R (m): I am astonished to learn that! R(m): I never had a myoelectric prosthetic hand that held up. They all broke at the minutest of loading. I once caused a damage of around 3000 USD to my myoelectric hand simply by shifting my gear from second to first in my Volkswagen. I wear a body powered device now, which is massively better in any respect. R(op): I owned one of the more robust myoelectric prosthetic hands years ago. But when I performed a particular lift manipulation, the battery, cables and socket were ripped out completely. They had to be taken apart, piece by piece, from the object I tried to lift before they could be repaired. But that was when the parts were still more robust. R(m): Once sweat on my stump started the wrist motor rotating while I was in line at a register trying to pay. I had to remove the battery from the socket to stop the erroneous movement. People really made a big detour around me after that. R(op): Yes, whenever my hand or wrist were acting up on their own, I acted as if I did not even see it. People stared a lot then. R(m): A body powered arm is better. R(op): They all are in my way. I will reconsider every 12 years or so. My "intact" arm gets older however, so one has to keep attempting to tame one of these. R(m): I had a business meeting one day, and while I got a bit of an attack against me by the supervisor, and I got nervous and sweating, my prosthetic arm would start acting out stuff all by itself. R(f): I work as a nurse and once had a real emergency, trying to get the patient medicated urgently. The myoelectric arm totally failed. That was it, I worked without prosthesis since that day, and got promoted several times as well.

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Myoelectric arm dialog; published 10/02/2017, 13:01; URL:

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1603472467, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Myoelectric arm dialog}}, month = {February},year = {2017}, url = {}}