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1407 E. Michigan Ave., Jackson 517-784-1142 770 Riverside Ave., Suite 101, Adrian 517-263-3310
CHAPTER XX - Partial Hand Amputations
The loss of a finger may be lamentable, but it cannot be considered a serious impairment. The remaining fingers as a rule are competent to perform all the labors that are usually demanded of the complete hand. Yet there are times when the substitution of a lost finger is essential, either for cosmetic effect or to equip the hand for some special purpose; for example, playing the piano, or other musical instrument.

THE LOSS OF ONE FINGER. - Cuts P 1 to P 6 represent hands from which one finger has been removed. An artificial finger similar in appearance to that illustrated in Cuts P 9 meets the needs of each case. The loss of the thumb, far more than of a finger, impairs the usefulness of the hand. It is, therefore, more important to substitute that loss. Cuts P 7 and P 8 represent hands from which the thumb has been removed. An artificial similar to that shown in Cut P 10 is suitable for such cases.

MATERIALS. - Artificial fingers and thumbs are made of rubber, aluminum, or silver. Rubber is preferable, if flexibility is desired; aluminum is better, if lightness is the most important feature; silver has the greatest durability. The price is the same for each. When ordering send a plaster cast of both the mutilated and opposite hand, one is required for fitting and the other as a guide in shaping the outside to correspond with its mate on the opposite hand. If the stump, either finger or thumb, is very short, it will be necessary to hold the substitute in place by straps passing around the base of the hand, or by a glove. If the stump is long, the substitute will remain in place without additional support.

It is important that the artificial part should be covered at all times by a glove, as it is not possible to give it the characteristics of nature closely enough to defy detection.

THE LOSS OF TWO OR MORE FINGERS. - Cuts P 11 to P 22 represent hands from which two or more fingers have been removed. An artificial part for any of these cases consists of rubber fingers attached to a socket that incases the remaining part of the natural hand. This is essential in order to hold the fingers together and provide means for securing them to the stump.

Cut P 23 represents an artificial hand devised to supply the amputation of index and small fingers. Cut P 24 represents an artificial hand suitable for use when the index, middle, and small fingers are amputated.

Cut P 25 shows an artificial part to substitute the loss of middle and ring fingers. Cut P 26 represents an artificial hand, suitable for a palm amputation, in which the natural thumb remains. The fingers in all the above hands are made ductile, rigid, or flexible, according to the choice of the wearer. For those who do little work and wish to combine ornament with utility, the ductile fingers should be chosen. For a laboring person, who wishes to lift heavy weights and do hard work, the rigid fingers are better. And for those who wear artificial fingers and parts of hands for ornamental purposes only, the flexible fingers give the greatest satisfaction.

INDIVIDUAL FINGERS. - Where the amputation of one or more fingers has been made at the first or second joint, it will not be necessary to have the artificial fingers connected at their base; separate fingers, as represented in Cut P 9, can be used.

Amputations that have been made in the palms of hands are capable of prothetic treatment, giving natural appearances to the mutilated members as closely as conditions will admit. If the remaining part of the hand provides a stump that will control the artificial part, a considerable amount of utility can be looked for; but if the stump is of such a character as to offer little or no leverage by which the artificial parts can be controlled, scarcely anything beyond ornament can be assured.

CONSTRUCTION. - The hand below the fingers is made of rubber, combined with canvas and leather, providing a socket for the remaining part of the amputated member; this is laced on line with the palm. If the remaining thumb is greatly abducted, as shown in Cuts P 19 and P 20, caused by the weakening of the flexor muscles, it will be difficult to apply an artificial part that will possess more than an approximate approach to nature in appearance. It will, nevertheless, materially improve the hand and add to its utility.

When amputations remove the thumb, as well as the fingers, as shown in Cuts P 27 to P 37, the artificial hand required will resemble that shown in Cut P 38. This hand is similar in construction to that previously described.

It must be noted that on account of the stump occupying the interior of the artificial palm, there can be no mechanism in the hand. When it is desired to have an appliance connected with the artificial part that will hold implements of utility, rings passing over the fingers, or plates riveted to the palms, must be used. These are only furnished when they are especially requested at the time the order is placed.

Comment from follow-up survey
Very satisfied!! Did their utmost to help and fit the brace comfortable.