Chase Library Artifact of the Month - Flatt Prosthesis

Chase Library

This example of a Flatt hinge prosthesis replacing the metacarpophalangeal joints of a cadaverous hand is from January, 1970.  Adrian Flatt, MD donated the prosthesis as an example of his surgical work and research into implanted prostheses, which were undergoing significant development at that time.  In a 1980 Journal of Hand Surgery editorial, he gives a brief but frank discussion of the challenges and developments seen in hand prostheses over his career thus far. Dr. Flatt points to the inspiration gained from success in development of prosthetic implants for the hip joint and compares the relative challenges of replacing hip vs, hand joints.  This sample prosthesis gives light to a time when surgical technique, understanding of the stresses applied to the prosthesis, and suitable materials were all undergoing concurrent development.  Learn more via the Chase Library website.