The Courier-Journal of Louisville reports:
Jessica Getz can’t wait to pick up and hold her children with both hands.
She lost that ability two years ago, after a car wreck injured her right arm. But on Saturday, the Southern Indiana woman became one of the first Americans to undergo a prosthetic wrist operation since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved sales of the device in late January.
Dr. Luis R. Scheker, a partner at the Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center in Louisville, implanted the device in Getz and Virginia Birkhead Hood of Shelbyville, Ky., at Jewish Hospital during the weekend.
The so-called Scheker Prosthesis helps people who have lost the use of the distal radio-ulnar joint through injury or certain types of arthritis.
Scheker estimates that 300,000 Americans suffer from pain in the joint and find it difficult to perform tasks as simple as lifting a gallon of milk or turning a knob.
Getz said she had no range of motion in her right wrist and couldn’t even brush her teeth, pick up a gallon of water or use her right hand to help lift her small children. She said she has never been able to pick up her younger child, age 2, with her right arm and hand.
The Scheker Prosthesis, implanted during outpatient surgery, is attached to the radius, the outer bone of the forearm, and the ulna, the inner bone, allowing the bones to pivot.
According to Aptis Medical, patients can expect full use of their wrists about three months after surgery — although they are asked not to lift more than 25 pounds with that hand after the prosthesis is in place.
More at Aptis Medical…