In June 2017, Ava Foote slipped and fell onto a carpentry tool and her right hand was severed at the knuckles. Before her accident, Ava enjoyed many recreational activities in her life, including playing hockey and riding horses. She also regularly engaged in everyday activities such as preparing meals and operating her smartphone while holding it securely.
After five major surgeries and rigorous physical therapy, Ava is able to use part of her hand as well as her thumb. After the accident though, Ava still found it difficult or even impossible to complete some of the everyday tasks that were part of normal life. The motion that Ava does have in her residual hand is helpful for tasks that require minor manipulations, however it leaves her unable to securely grasp objects using that force.
This is where her search for a prosthesis began. Ava's prosthetist is Heather Daley at the Atlantic Clinic for Upper Limb Prosthetics at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and she determined that Ava needed a robust set of prosthetic fingers that could articulate and grasp objects firmly. Heather also hoped to find a solution that would allow Ava to wear her riding gloves while working with her horse.
The prosthetic finger that Ava uses, the Point Digit mini, is a mechanical, passive articulating prosthetic finger designed to be both lightweight and strong. The Point Digit mini uses a patented, novel ratcheting mechanism to lock between 7 and 11 unique positions of flexion. These digits are Point Designs' first prosthetic fingers designed to accommodate smaller hands, making them available to a wider range of patients in need of finger prostheses. Working with Point Designs, Heather fabricated a carbon fiber socket and inner silicon liner that four Point Digit mini’s were attached to.
This treatment allowed Ava to achieve her prevailing goal, which was to hold and manipulate the reigns of her horse. As an added benefit, she was able to wear her riding gloves over the individual fingers of her prosthesis. Heather and Ava’s family have kept in touch with Point Designs, and we have worked together to ensure that Ava’s prosthesis provides her as much function as is possible while maintaining comfort and reliability.