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Active prosthetics in Russia are helping children with their mobility

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Three year old Daria Atipenko's fingers on her left hand haven't fully formed but her mother hopes that with the help of a Motorika prosthetic she will be able to grab and hold things, and play with ease.

"When she can't take hold of big objects, she begins to get nervous," said Ekaterina Atipenko, Daria's mother. "For now we haven't encountered serious problems about why she is different. For now, she takes it as it is."

For now we haven't encountered serious problems about why she is different.
Ekaterina Atipenko, Daria's mother

Daria was offered experimental surgeries to try and fix her hand, but her mother thought the prosthetic was a better option.

She said, "I hope she will be able to use her arm more for games and for her daily routine."

Motorika is the Russian company offering the Atipenko's hope. They create high-end robotic assisted prosthetics for people dealing with impairment from conditions like stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and other orthopedic issues.

They specialize in two types of prosthetics, a 3-D printed active prosthesis called 'Kiby' for children, and a more high tech mind-controlled bionic prosthetic called 'Stradivari.'

Prosthetist Alexander Ratnikov said, "these cables are placed on the level of forearm, so when we begin to incurvate the hand, the cables are being pulled and the fingers move."

"A child should use the prosthetic a lot. They should get used to it," said Ratnikov. "They should learn what they need this for and what they can do with it, so they can use it, and more importantly, want to use it."

They should learn what they need this for and what they can do with it, so they can use it, and more importantly, want to use it.
Alexander Ratnikov, prosthetist
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So far, Motorika's prosthetics are proving to be cheaper than their European competition. Their prosthetic hands typically cost between $1,500-2,500.

Vadim Kotenev, the marketing director for Motorika said, "Right now we have aorund 100 patients, children who are using our prosthetics. They are all around Russia, in Kazakhstan, in Belarus and Ukraine.

Eight year old Oxana Domracheva has been using her prosthetic hand for several years. She uses her hand so well that she was asked to show Russian President Vladmir Putin.

"I can jump with a rope using it, I can take objects with it, and I can go to school wearing it," said Domracheva.

Prior to Motorika's founding in 2013, Domracheva would not have had access to an active prosthetic.

"She is proud of being different. She believes she is unique and one can only envy her boldness," said Evgeny Domracheva, Oxana's father. "She is daring. It all depends on the upbringing. If we had said, 'hide your arm, don't show it off,' then she will be ashamed of it."

She is proud of being different. She believes she is unique and one can only envy her boldness.
Evgeny Domracheva, Oxana's father

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