The objectives in upper limb prosthetics is to meet the requirements for our clients work, lifestyle and recreational needs of each amputee in order to reach a pleasing outcome. Technological advancements over the decades have been made in body powered prostheses, external powered prostheses, hybrid systems and the sockets & interface. Improvements made with upper limb prosthetics, specifically in myoelectric units has vastly increased the opportunities and possibilities for prothesis such as Prosthetic Fingers.
The most common type is the Body powered Prostheses. They allow their prosthetic user to control the terminal device (that being a hook, hand or prosthetic fingers) that fits around the users shoulder or chest via a harness. The body powered prosthesis is reliable, durable and can be used for places where dust and water are present though some have found it cumbersome and uncomfortable.
Externally powered prostheses use a battery powered electric motor to control the terminal device, which removes the need for a harness. The sensors that are implanted in the socket, picks up an EMG signal on the skin and sends that signal to a processor which controls the functions of the motor. The motor then powers the elbow/wrist or terminal devices. Training with your prosthetist and occupational therapist along with the training apps which is essential to have a successful outcome. The apps available with the myo-electric have the option of allowing for custom movements or settings for specific movements that fit your needs in most cases. To be considered for a candidate for a Myo-electric there must be enough viable muscle sites.
Hybrid Systems are a combination of externally and body powered prostheses. This specific type of prosthetics can be used for Trans-humeral (above-elbow) amputees. By allowing restoration of elbow and hand this has allowed one of our clients to get back on his motorbike. The elbow joint is controlled via a harness system and the hand or hook is controlled through an external power source such as myo-electrically.
Upper limb prosthetics is a highly customised process in not only the prosthesis itself but for the socket design as well. Being highly customisable allows the socket for your upper limb and prosthetic fingers not only for adults but for our paediatric clients as well. To find out more about our Upper Limb Prosthetics click here.
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