Semi-obscure pop culture reference: surely some of you "Futurama" fans remember Professor Farnsworth's fanciful Fing-Longer, which is essentially a prosthetic extension of one's index finger. At the end of the episode, we learn that the plot is itself a recursive loop of hypothetical situations, in which the professor was merely speculating as to what would have happened if he invented the Fing-Longer.
I'm sure that everyone can understand the appeal of having longer phalanges (the sheer brilliance of Farnsworth's invention is beyond the scope of this article), but few of us know what it's like to lose a finger. Sure, I've broken or otherwise injured all of my digits at some point, but my hand has only been out of commission temporarily, for no more than a week or so at a time. It's frustrating enough to be handicapped for a week but I can't imagine not being able to fix my bike, cook or clean, or tie my shoes, etc., without an ad hoc workaround for the rest of my life.
Colin Macduff of Olympia, Washington, lost most his right middle finger in an explosives accident in 2010 and decided to do something about it. Where Professor Farnsworth's source of inspiration begged the question (he got the idea for the Fing-Longer from his future self), Macduff, an experienced welder/fabricator, realized he could fabricate a simple biomechanical finger out of spare bicycle parts:Macduff has since patented the plug-and-play "Mechanical Finger Ring," transcending his tragedy to provide his custom prosthetic finger to his fellow amputees. As he notes on the acronym-heavy company website, "At RCM Enterprise, LLC, our goal is to return maximum mobility to patients with finger/digit amputations. The BFP is an extremely durable, reliable, low-profile finger prosthesis that is affordable."
The product is custom-made to match a user's physiology and is reportedly covered by most insurance plans.
Via Bicycling Magazine
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