Rickard Normark lives on a farm in Lövånger, in Västerbotten, Sweden with his wife and three kids. In 2011, he had an accident at an electrical substation where he attained severe burns and lost his left arm. The socket prosthesis he used after his amputation was supported by his right arm which caused his arm to go numb after prolonged use. He was inhibited in his movements with his left shoulder and his back felt misaligned. All these problems drove him to look for an alternative option. This led him to Integrum where he learnt about the OPRATM Implant System. After two operations including TMR surgery and some rehabilitation, he was able to start using a surface EMG powered prosthesis.
“It opened up a totally new world. It was such an incredible improvement’’, says Rickard. The bone-anchored system was easy to use. He put on the connector, clicked the arm into place and turned it on. It was ready in a few seconds. However, the surface electrodes, he says, were very sensitive to interference and he couldn’t trust his grip in an environment with a lot of electronics. The hand would suddenly open and he would drop things.
Rickard was then informed about neural control systems and he went through the surgery where he upgraded his implant system to the e-OPRA.
The new system with the implanted electrodes has eliminated disruptions entirely. Rickard now has far more precision with his prosthesis and can make fine intuitive movements with better control. It has also helped him regain his sense of touch to a certain degree. When he grabs onto things, he can feel it grip.
‘’Before, I wore a prosthesis as a tool. Today it is a part of me, and I don’t see it as wearing a prosthesis! It is a part of me. It is a totally new world.’’, says Rickard.