The Krukenberg Technique.


The Great War:

Machine guns, trench rot, lice spread typhus; poison gas, great mustard colored blisters, blind eyes (all sticky and stuck together), vomiting and suffocation...

the whole field is yellow.

Zeppelin dirigibles; aerial infernos; the full potential of lethality; dying men reeking of mud and foul, green-stained bandages; Unterseebooten; dreadnoughts and German Pickelhauben.

And, then, there was...


The Krukenberg Technique.

Above:  A skeletal representation of Krukenberg's technique.

Many World War I vets were faced with the amputation of their blasted arms and legs. Particularly gruesome was the surgical removal of both hands. The loss of one's hands was particularly debilitating for those that had also been blinded in battle. They were faced with the loss of both their sight and their ability to sense and manipulate the outside world. It was in 1917 that Dr. F. E. Krukenberg (1871-1946) proposed a new techique by which such people would be able to function without the use of prosthetics. By separating the ulna and the radius and allowing each to become separately sheathed in a skin Krukenberg was able to fashion a crude pincher.While the resulting form may appear grotesque, function is retained.

Below: An external representation of Krukenberg's procedure.

below:  A Vietnam vet elected to undergo the Krukenberg procedure after years of dissatisfaction with prosthetics.

Below:  Sierra Leone is home to a number of people whose hands and arms have been hacked off by rebels. While Krukenberg's technique may restore function to stumps, there remains significant opposition to such a "disfiguring" procedure.
Form or function?