Man keeps bones of his amputated arm on display

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/01/man-keeps-bones-of-his-amputat.html

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I bet this guy asks mechanics to save the old parts for him rather than throwing them out as well.

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I just don’t see the problem here. There really should be not just a tooth fairy, but maybe a skeleton fairy.

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I’d have made it posable. Then one could use it as a back scratcher.

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I think this is a cool idea. I am a little surprised the hospital let him keep it. I wasn’t even allowed to keep my wisdom teeth because they were “biological waste”.

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I wonder if he has or hasn’t experienced any phantom limb syndrome?

If he has, does having the skeleton help?

If he hasn’t, could it is at least partially due to having the skeleton?

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A couple of years ago the my partner had her knee replaced. When the surgeon called to say he was done, I jokingly asked if this was like the mechanic’s shop and what about the old parts.

He had a great tale. Seems like patients wanting the old parts was a hot thing with hip replacement surgery.

The Sisters at Providence Hospital told him he couldn’t do that, it was biohazard.

So Doc asked if it would be OK if the bones were sterilized, and the Sisters said yes. So Doc started putting the bones in the autoclave before he gave them to his patient.

Unfortunately the autoclaves used high temperature steam, and soon the whole area smelled like someone was cooking soup. So that had to stop.

Anyway, the reason people wanted the hip joint parts to begin with? They were taking the ball joint and polishing it up and using as gear shift levers in their cars.

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Makes a great back scratcher, and sorry the dude lost his arm…

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I like the way you think.

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Stick around, I got a million of them.

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I keep wondering what Marie Kondo would say.

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This man is metal af. Exactly what I would do in same circumstances.

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I wish this person thriving growth on their journey.

Also, that is metal as fuck.

Edit: Ninja’ed! @RandomDude

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How do the taxidermists hold the bones together? I imagine that would be difficult to do invisibly?
I 3d printed my own skull life size from a medical scan; feels incredibly confronting to look at my own internal bits, but also fascinating.

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Traditionally it was done with bits of fine wire. You drill little holes in the bones, thread wire through said holes and cinch it up tight. It tends not to be invisible but positioning and the fineness of the wire makes it less apparent. Larger bones can be done with solid rods sunk into where the joints meet. Or springs for shit that needs to be movable.

These days you sometimes see transparent monofilament, like fishing line, used. And plastics can be molded around the joints to mimic soft tissue and cover everything up.

That’s less durable than metal though. I used to work in a research office at a big teaching/University hospital with a lot of small museums and historic displays between the hospital itself and the med school campus. Lotta broken skeletal mounts around. The museum department had a guy who’s job it was to rewire the things or mount stuff from the collections.

Weird place to work. You’d walk by research interns pushing carts full of radioactive mice, take a wrong turn and dead end in a minnature museum of skin disorders. Made up of 19th century wax casts of boils n shit.

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I asked to keep my wisdom teeth, and they said “no problem.” Gave them to me still bloody and wrapped in gauze. I still have them.

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I’ve experienced that twice — and without asking. I’d find the replaced parts, plastic-bagged, left in my trunk. Served as proof that they actually replaced the parts as requested.

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I feel like he’s missing a trick by not building a prosthetic arm around those bones. It wouldn’t have to be functional, only used for handshakes…

Dang, that sounds like a win-win to me. People get their bones back, everyone else gets to smell some delicious human soup.

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It would make a great structure for an artificial arm.

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I too have a toolbox full of parts from broken stuff that I might need one day. Sometimes all you have is a metacarpal when what you really need is a distal phalange, so you might as well have back-ups handy.

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