Abstract

We questioned whether myoelectric prostheses were a reasonable alternative to conventional prostheses for adolescents with unilateral, congenital, below-elbow amputations in respect to fit, function, cosmesis, and cost. Ten patients were studied. Each received a physical, functional, and psychosocial evaluation prior to prosthetic fitting. The physical evaluation included myopotential, residual limb length and circumference, active range of motion, terminal device grasp force, and mechanical range. The functional evaluation consisted of a questionnaire of 38 bimanual activities. The psychosocial evaluation included an assessment of both the patient and the family. Following prosthesis fabrication, each patient received 10 days of training, a 3-month checkup, and a 6-month reevaluation. Wearing patterns, perception of cosmesis, change in physical attributes of the residual limb, and functional performance were documented. Results indicate that for these subjects myoelectric prostheses with a hand were an acceptable alternative to conventional prostheses with a hook.

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