(This article originally appeared in Volume XVIII, No. 2 of the Association of Children's Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics)
According to Dillingham et. al. 1 there are on average 26 children born with an upper limb deficiency per 100,000 live births each year in the United States. The Dillingham study does acknowledge that previous research from other countries has indicated an upper limb deficiency rate of 50-62.5 per 100,000 live births. Evidence and opinions are conflicted regarding the functional effectiveness and necessity of fitting young, unilateral amputee children with an upper limb prosthesis, especially in regard to the unilateral congenital below elbow deficiency (UCBED) 2-13 . The difficulty in interpreting and comparing the studies' results is that there are different definitions of successful upper limb prosthetic use.
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