BLOG - HOCKEY & HEAVY METAL

JUNE 28, 2013 • 08:04 PM

IN THE HI-FIDELITY FIRST CLASS TRAVELING SET

 

Happy Friday, and greetings from the Amputee Coalition 2013 National Conference in Orlando, Florida! As well as writing about my return to hockey in this blog, I’m also going to be writing about about what it’s like to actually be an amputee and how that affects things from time to time. I’m here at the conference as a guest of Otto Bock, who are the inventors and manufacturers of the Michelangelo hand, which is the myoelectric prosthesis that I wear from day to day and absolutely love. I’m going to talk a lot more about that in the next post, but for now I just have to show you guys what I just got to bring back to the hotel room last night.

Check this bad boy out. This is my brand-new Hi-Fidelity prosthetic socket, which is made by the folks a Biodesigns Inc., who are based right in Los Angeles. This, my friends, is the future of prosthetic socket technology right here. “So, yeah, Andrew, it looks like something out of The Terminator with your ice hockey attachment on it. That’s cool. But what else is so special about it?” Fair question. The first thing you’ll notice is that unlike most upper-extremity prostheses for heavy physical activity, this one does not have a series of straps and shoulder harnesses to hold it on. And the reason why is because of the way the inside of the socket is constructed - the four internal walls of the socket are built to adhere themselves closely to and parallel with the radius and ulna (i.e. my forearm bones) while pushing all the soft tissue surrounding the bone of off to the side. 

At a glance that sounds painful but it actually isn’t, and what this does is make the Hi-Fidelity this incredibly efficient tool in that there is virtually no movement whatsoever inside the actual prosthesis. The usual give-and-take of soft tissue movements inside a normal prosthetic shell is completely gone, and that translates into a substantial increase in both power and accuracy. This is great for me, and probably not so good for opposing goaltenders. And because it fits very tightly (you have to spend a couple minutes using a contraption called a pull-through sock to get it on), there’s no need for a harness, which is liberating to say the least.

Thank you to Randy Alley, Annie Hess and everyone else at Biodesigns. The Hi-Fidelity is going to make regular appearances here, so you all may as well get used to seeing it now.

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