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Bionic arm debuts in Edmonton
Sonia Sunger, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Thursday, October 2, 2008 3:15PM MDT
It's an idea that's been presented on the big screen and television, but the dream of having a bionic body part is now a reality, Canada's first bionic arm was debuted in Edmonton on Thursday.
A team of Alberta doctors at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Centre have outfitted an Edmonton man with a bionic arm that moves almost exactly the way a 'normal' arm would move.
"For this hand I have to think, 'come on close,'" said Rob Anderson, the first Canadian to have a bionic arm.
Anderson and one other Canadian, Larry Hayes-Richard, are using the Chicago based technology. Both men underwent surgery last March to re-route their nerves, allowing them to grow into the appropriate muscles and direct brain signals to make movement possible.
"We're really excited about collaborating with all the other centres and just making this a standard routine procedure that happens," said Glenrose Rehabilitation Centre Clinical Director Dr. Jackie Hebert.
"I just wanted the best prosthetic to do things, maybe play with the kids more and not being afraid of pinching off a finger," said Anderson.
Doctors at the Glenrose say at least five more people are expected to get bionic arms this year.
With files from Dez Melenka