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Man 3D prints finger for boy to help him play baseball better

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2018-06-12 17:12

About the solution

Cruz had an accident when he was 5 years old - he was riding an escalator at an Arlington, Texas mall when his index finger got caught, and so severely injured that it had to be amputated. The boy dreamed of being a baseball player and the finger he lost was on his throwing hand, which even made the incident more difficult to deal with.

The experts told his family that traditional prosthetic finger wouldn’t be a proper solution for his problem because those devices were too rigid, breakable and expensive to replace.

So Cruz kept playing by adapting to throwing without his index finger. But as he got older, the game became more and more competitive and the loss of the finger was getting in the way.

“Since that finger wasn’t there, it always would slip out the side or go somewhere else that I really didn’t want it to go. I was always afraid I’d mess up and get benched or not get as much playing time”, the baseball player explained.

Cruz’s mother, Cecilia, works at UNT Health Science Center, for Dr. Todd Dombroski, a retired US Army colonel, who became experienced working with 3D printed prosthetics to treat military personnel wounded by roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. One day she brought her son to work and her boss offered to create a 3D printed finger for Cruz.

The boy adapted easily to his new gadget, which has the advantages of being low cost and durable.

“I played without a finger for so long and now that I have it, it just feels a lot better,” said Ramos. I feel like I have control of the ball”, Cruz said.

The UNT Health Science Center intends to make the 3D printed prosthetic finger design available so that it can be of help to anyone.

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2l359bq

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Cruz Ramos, who lives in USA, is a boy who had one of his index fingers amputated due to an accident. Todd Dombroski, a retired US Army colonel, offered him, in 2018, a 3D printed finger so that Cruz is able to play baseball more easily.

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