…is a new left hand.
Seriously though, I’ve been researching over the last six months or so advances in upper limb prosthetics to get a feel for what’s out there and I truly believe that in the next 10 years, maybe even 5, I will get my wish.
I see 3 distinct possibilities:
- I will get a ‘Luke Skywalker Hand’
- I will get a hand transplant
- I will grow a new hand
You see, I view the loss of my left hand as a temporary inconvenience, a bit like breaking your arm and having to wear a plaster cast. You miss the use of your arm, it’s annoying, but not the end of the world. Then after 4-6 weeks, the cast comes off and you get back to normal. Maybe it’ll be 4-6 years for me, but, based on my research I don’t see why this shouldn’t be the case.
So, theory #1, ‘Luke Skywalker Hand’:
There are some interesting advances being made in upper-limb prosthetics, I’m particularly excited by the hands being developed with fully articulated fingers. The closet I’ve seen that is soon-to-be-commercially available is from TouchBionics.
Theory #2, hand transplants:
I was quite amazed to discover that there were people who have received hand transplants, the first being over 8 years ago! And there have been at least 2 double hand transplants. I’m keen to learn what level of motor function can be achieved and what’s involved, but it looks promising.
Theory #3, growing a new hand:
This is the one that is perhaps the most ‘out there’, but in time it seems quite likely that we’ll be able to grow replacements limbs. I haven’t found as much concrete research in this area but I’ll keep looking.