A Serb living in Austria has elected to have his hand amputated so that he can be fitted with a working bionic limb. The 26-year-old Milo’s biological hand was intact but useless, as a nerve injury stemming from a motorcycle accident ten years ago robbed him of feeling and movement in that extremity. Now, an Austrian doctor--not without controversy--has amputated Milo’s hand and is replacing it with a robotic version that responds to nerve signals in his forearm.
Milo lost his hand function when his motorcycle skidded off the road into a lamppost in 2001, and while his injured arm and leg healed, an injury to his shoulder called a brachial plexus left his right arm without feeling. By transplanting some muscle and nerve tissue into his arm from his leg, Professor Oskar Aszmann was able to restore feeling down through the forearm.