July 15, 2024

Ernst van Dyk: Managing Director, Össur South Africa.


Össur South Africa has announced the availability of Naked Prosthetics to the local market. This range of custom-made prostheses, precisely tailored to the user’s amputation and individual hand structure, positively impacts those with finger and partial-hand amputations by providing functional finger prostheses of high quality.

“Partial hand limb loss is the most prevalent for  of upper limb loss, with over 90% of upper limb amputations involving the fingers. Finger and partial-hand amputations also account for a significant number of amputations each year,” says Ernst van Dyk, Managing Director, Össur South Africa.

While more common among working age men, finger and partial-hand amputations occur regardless of gender or age. “The lack of mobility resulting from a finger and partial-hand amputation is not limited to the area of amputation only. Many amputees experience loss of mobility beyond the area of amputation,” stresses van Dyk. No fewer than 5% experience a resultant impairment of the entire body, and as many as 75% of heavy manual labourers are unable to return to work.

“With Naked Prosthetics, we are dedicated to positively impacting the lives of finger and partial-hand amputees. We aim to provide them with functional, high-quality solutions that seamlessly integrate into their lives and empower them to not only resume employment but, as importantly, to engage in the activities they love, thereby assisting them to live a life without limitations,” says van Dyk.


Naked Prosthetics’ innovative solutions, the result of strong research and development (R&D) efforts and manufacturing capabilities, have been recognised by Business Insider as one of the medical technologies that are changing people’s lives [1]. It currently offers four custom-designed devices that are fabricated to within millimetres of a patient’s unique anatomy to mimic the complex motion of a finger.

  • The PIPDriver (below) is a body-controlled prosthesis designed for a finger amputation or limb difference on the proximal or distal phalanx. Its design is anatomically adapted to the proximal and distal interphalangeal joints for intuitive and natural movements. Benefits include improved functionality for everyday activities. It is easy to clean and care for, easy to put on and take off and has a cage-like structure that protects the residual finger. Its slim and smooth design allows the prosthesis to be worn on two or more adjacent fingers. It also includes a conductive tip option for touchscreen operation.
  • The MCPDriver (below) is a body-driven prosthesis designed for a finger amputation or limb difference on the MCP joint (also known as the knuckle) of the index, middle, ring, and/or the little finger. It restores the original finger length, thereby helping to imitate natural gripping patterns and excels at restoring pinch, key, cylindrical and power grasps as well as grip stability. Its durable stainless-steel linkages and robust components allow the user to return to a highly demanding lifestyle. Benefits include a silicone pad that cushions the backplate for improved comfort, interchangeable silicone adjustment inserts that can be used to vary the volume and adjusting discs to obtain the best possible fit. Its natural abduction and adduction allow for intuitive use. As a result, the acclimatisation time after the initial fitting can be considerably reduced. It also includes the conductive tip option for touchscreen operation.
  • The ThumbDriver (below)is a body-controlled prosthesis designed for an amputation or limb difference on the MCP joint of the thumb. It can restore two and three-point grips, enable secure gripping patterns with medium to large diameters and improve fine motor functions and skills. It features an adjustable preflex option that allows you to adapt the prosthesis according to the requirements of the task at hand. As a result, functional gripping patterns can be more easily attained.

  • The GripLock Finger (below) is a passive and positionable prosthetic finger designed for a finger amputation or limb difference on the MCP joint of the index, middle, ring, and/or little finger. It is intended for use in conjunction with a custom-made socket adapted by a certified prosthetist. You can flex the finger to various degrees with your other hand or on a hard surface. Subsequently, you can release and fully extend the GripLock Finger by pressing the latch (lever arm) on the back or flexing the finger beyond the last locking position. It restores the original length, supports the use of both hands, prevents a misalignment of the metacarpal bone and provides a valuable tool to master everyday activities.  GripLock Fingers can be combined with our MCPDriver, PIPDriver, and/or ThumbDriver.

Kai, a trained plant and machine operator who suffered the loss of his forefinger, middle and ring finger after a work-related accident, says, “Thanks to the precise adaptation to my individual anatomical conditions, the prosthesis is an irreplaceable everyday companion for me. When I come home at night, I take off the prosthesis in seconds – just like you kick off your shoes after a long day at work. I think it’s important to convey to other people in similar situations that a work accident like mine doesn’t have to mean the end of the world. You can come to terms with many situations and end up living a normal life.”


Similarly, Cara (an active member of the Finger and Partial Hand Amputee Peer & Support Group), lost two and a half fingers on her left hand due to an unforeseen accident. Prior to her accident, Cara was an avid yogi and enjoyed practicing inversions (yoga poses where the heart is higher from the ground than the head) and handstands. “I spent a year doing physical therapy to regain strength in my left hand, but I still felt as though I was struggling to hold and grip my mat as I practiced yoga,” she recalls. Every time she tried to balance her weight, she would fall backwards due to the lack of grip and support. Within one week of receiving her Naked Prosthetics PIPDrivers, Cara was able to hold a side plank during yoga. “You may feel hopeless in the moment, but it does get better. And you will be surprised at what you could learn. I am a different person now and I grew from the experience.”

“We are committed to helping digit amputees discover innovative and life-changing solutions. It’s all about function and getting people back to living full lives, without limitations,” continues van Dyk. “We believe our range of technologically advanced and custom-made prostheses helps to achieve exactly this and we are excited to be able to offer it to local amputees.”

To find out more, please visit: https://www.ossur.com/en-za/prosthetics/np-devices

Submitted: TBL Solutions

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