Prostheses have been portrayed many ways in popular culture. There is Buster Bluth, the bumbling idiot brother in “Arrested Development” who loses his hand to a harbor seal and ends up with a “hook” for a hand. Then there is Disney villain Captain Hook who bears the moniker for his sharp and dangerous hook prosthetic.
Mike Benning, a panelist in Friday’s discussion, drew comparisons to the latter character. As he said, he went from “Captain Hook to Bionic Man” when he put on his new myoelectric prosthesis. He went from a body-powered prosthesis, in which the movement of the upper body opens or closes two curved hooks, to an electric prosthesis that could not only grip, but also gesture. With technological innovation, prostheses are becoming more seamlessly integrated with the person.