Challenge: Automated hand stretching orthotic for spasticity

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Meet Uzi:

Uzi joined the Israeli Counter Terror unit YAMAM in 1990, where he participated in thousands of counter terror operations that saved untold numbers of civilian lives in Israel. He received a Medal of Valor for an operation during which he neutralized a terrorist by stopping the blast with his body. Uzi suffered grievous injuries including loosing his left foot. 

Later, Uzi suffered a spinal cord injury from a motorcycle accident, which causes Spasticity in the hands and arms that creates continuous contraction in the muscles. This contraction causes muscle stiffness and interferes with his movement, speech and gait. As a result, he has limited use of his hands. He is looking for a glove that could prevent the contraction and clenching in his hands, especially while he sleeps.

Meet the Team:

Matt Williams (VA), Alysia Klinger (Presque Isle Medical Technologies), Jonathan Heifetz (Presque Isle Medical Technologies), Uzi Patziniach (Veteran participant), Bryan Szloh (Cleveland State University), Ilya Gotfryd, Steve Majerus (VA),

Not pictured: Shlomo Heifetz (Presque Isle Medical Technologies), Esther Gotfryd (Bellefaire JCB)

The Solution: Automatic dynamic stretch orthotic for spasticity relief

The team combined their expertise to create a dynamic orthotic that opens and stretches the fingers on an automated timer, and is designed to be used during the night. The device features:

  • an orthosis configured to be coupled to a joint of a patient;

  • a cable having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the cable is attached to the orthosis;

  • a spool attached to the second end of the cable;

  • a motor coupled to the spool and configured to rotate the spool to thereby retract the cable and cause the orthosis to bend; and

  • a controller in electrical communication with the motor and configured to control rotation of the motor.