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The latest passive prosthetic technologies offer improvements in function and appearance. Some of the available options are:
These cosmetic prostheses are made from a clear silicone glove that is painted by an artist to perfectly match your existing skin tone, body hair, freckles, and other natural features - tattoos and other unique artwork can also be included for even greater individual expression. Our prosthetic artists have many years of experience in this unique and meticulous type of painting.
By including multi-positional joints in a passive prosthesis, the wearer can use their sound hand to position the shoulder, elbow, wrist or fingers of the prosthesis to make it easier for them to hold or carry something. Multi-positional fingers can restore the ability to grasp small objects like cups, cans, pan handles, or even the hand of a loved one.
Recently released by Point Designs for partial hand and finger amputees, the ratcheting Point Digit is a robust, articulating prosthetic finger with a high-tech metallic appearance. They are typically mounted onto a carbon fiber shell with a soft silicone inner socket, and can replace up to four fingers on a single hand. The user positions Point Digits by pushing the fingertips against a firm surface into the degree of flexion needed for a specific object or task. Point Digits may be combined with a custom silicone restoration so that they look and move like real skin - bending smoothly with the joints of the fingers.
Titan fingers are another passive technology that makes it easier for a person with partial or total loss of a finger to hold or carry something by manually positioning the device's joint to the desired level of flexion. The Titan is very durable and comes in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of each individual patient.
Body-powered prostheses are useful tools that can restore the ability to pick up and grasp objects and assist the user’s sound hand.
Movements of the upper arm, shoulder and chest are captured by the harness and cable system, and used to open and close the hook or hand, similar to how a bicycle handbrake system works. As users grow accustomed to the feeling of varying tension on the cable, they may experience an improved sense of the position of the limb and the degree of opening on the terminal device. Hooks can be made of aluminum, steel, or titanium and can be rubber lined for better gripping. The grip force of a voluntary opening hook is determined by the number of rubber bands holding the hook closed.
The components of a body-powered prosthesis include:
Many amputees like the durability and basic function of body-powered prostheses and find them particularly useful for working outdoors or in rugged or wet environments. A custom silicone interface can improve user comfort and is available in a wide range of colors.
Myoelectric upper limb technologies use electrical signals generated by muscles in the residual limb to control the movements of a prosthesis. When the user contracts certain muscles, surface electrodes in the socket detect the muscle signals and send them to a controller, which triggers tiny, battery-powered motors to move the fingers, hand, wrist or elbow.
The advantages of myoelectric prostheses include more intuitive control of the prosthesis, increased grip strength, access to multiple grip patterns and more natural hand movements.
Myoelectric technologies are available for all levels of upper limb loss.
Dynamic Arm Elbow
The DynamicArm Elbow prosthesis incorporates a powerful electric motor in combination with the Vario Drive clutch to help with flexion and extension of the elbow and can hold up to 11 pounds. It pairs with the SensorHand Speed prosthetic hand and features an Automatic Forearm Balance system that spares energy and makes the prothesis look and feel more natural.
The sturdy Utah 3 provides simultaneous electronic control of the hand and elbow, effortless extension of the elbow, a free-swing mode, optional wrist rotation, and is available in jet black, tan and brown.
The Utah Arm 3+ offers the same features as the Utah 3 with the addition of the "Dual Lock System," silent free-swing and Bluetooth wireless communication.
Targeted muscle reinnveration, usually referred to as "TMR" is a complicated surgical procedure for high level arm amputees that takes nerves previously dedicated to hand, wrist or elbow motion, and rewires them into adjacent muscles, dramatically amplifying the nerve signals with the goal of providing users with "thought control" of their myoelectric prosthesis.
Current myoelectric prostheses for above-elbow and shoulder disarticulation levels provide up to three degrees of freedom:
These motions are typically controlled one at a time by electrical signals from one or two muscle sites (known as "EMG sites") in the residual limb or upper shoulder area.
TMR surgery creates additional EMG sites that are controlled with distinct and intuitive muscle contractions, some of which can occur simultaneously and with less mental effort. When combined with occupational therapy, the result is a high level of intuitive control, which can significantly enhance the functional use of the prosthesis.
This enhanced functionality is even more important now that prosthetic researchers and manufacturers are investing tremendous effort into creating additional degrees of freedom in prosthetic systems, which will require additional EMG sites to fully realize their increasing complexity and capability.
Osseointegration(OI) is a surgical procedure that enables amputees to attach a prosthesis directly to the bone of their residual limb with a titanium implant, eliminating the need for a socket.
By making it possible to safely attach a prosthetic limb directly to the body without the need for a socket, OI is improving the lives of amputees around the world through the comfort and natural movement of an OI prosthesis.
While OI has been performed in Europe for several years, it has only recently become available in the U.S. after receiving limited approval by the FDA
This limited approval only allows military veterans with lower limb loss to undergo OI surgery at this time, but we're keeping a close eye on these developments so that when this promising new technology becomes more widely available, our patients will be among the first to benefit.
The LUKE arm, by Mobius Bionics, is the most advanced prosthesis on the market and the only commercially-available prosthesis with a powered shoulder (up to 10 powered joints), allowing a shoulder-level amputee to reach over their head.
Arm Dynamics recently conducted one of the first ever civilian test-fittings of the LUKE arm. Our patient, Steve Brown, was amazed by the LUKE arm’s intuitive motion-control interface and its unique ability to reach out and grasp things above the shoulder (something that's impossible with existing high-level prosthetic arms). According to Steve, the Luke Arm, “…will be life changing for the future of those with upper limb loss.”
The Luke Arm has an intuitive wireless foot control system called an “IMU” that’s placed on the user’s shoes and reads the tilt of the foot to interpret each movement and control the functions of the arm. The wrist fluidly combines the flexion and extension with ulnar and radial deviation which allows users to grasp objects above the head or below the waist while keeping the hand level. Grip options for the hand include power grip, tool grip, fine pinch closed, fine pinch open, lateral pinch and chuck grip.