Upper Extremity Orthotics
What's Right for You?
Artificial limbs, also known as prostheses, are defined as devices that are used to replace a missing body part or member. They are a vital part of the rehabilitation process following an amputation and help restore mobility to patients, leading to better patient outcomes and less co-morbidities. Studies have shown that amputees who receive a prosthesis after amputation have fewer future incidents requiring hospitalization and lower overall healthcare expenditures.
Types of Prostheses
& Choosing Yours
The style and type of prosthesis that is right for a patient is a decision that involves the patient, prosthetist, physician, and other healthcare professionals that are part of the rehabilitation team. Things that must be considered include the shape and status of the patient’s residual limb, the patient’s past medical history, any conditions that may affect the patient’s ability to use a prosthesis, and the patient’s functional abilities, commonly known as a “functional level”.
Functional level assessment is a measure of the patient’s ability or potential, not a specific device’s ability to function. When determining the patient’s functional level, things that must be considered include the patient’s age, vocation, activity level prior to amputation, current living circumstances, and any other criteria that are identified through evaluation by the physician, prosthetist, and other members of the rehabilitation team. Current functional levels range from K0 which describes amputees that do not have the ability or potential to ambulate while wearing a prosthesis to K4 which describes amputees who ambulate at the highest levels while wearing a prosthesis.
Orthotic Devices to support the wrist and hand
These devices can be either ‘off-the-shelf” or custom molded, and are used for positioning and stabilization of the hand and wrist joints. These can be made of plastic, canvas or other soft materials, composite material and can be fastened in a variety of ways.
Orthotic Devices to support the elbow and shoulder
A variety of supportive orthoses are available to address the need for healing and alignment of a fractured bone, weakness, dislocation or stabilization following surgery. Many different designs, and materials are used according to the objectives of the device. There have been exciting recent advancements in the technology available to address certain issues related to the upper extremity.
Myopro myoelectric arm orthosis
The MyoPro® is a Myoelectric Arm Orthosis designed to support a weak or deformed arm. The MyoPro can enable individuals to self-initiate and control movements of a partially paralyzed or weakened arm using their own muscle signals.