Multi-Articulating Myoelectric Fingers
by Amber Henson, on Jul 11, 2023
For people who’ve lost one or more of their fingers, or were born with a partial hand limb difference, there used to be very few prosthetic options. There are many types of terminal devices for people with below the elbow limb loss, but people with a partial hand difference can’t wear those. Luckily, there are now various partial hand devices available, including multi-articulating myoelectric fingers.
The i-Digits® Quantum are the electric digits most often recommended by our clinical team. These digits offer the wearer a sleek look, a low-profile battery pack, and the ability to hold items using a variety of grips. Our patient Candice was born with a partial hand limb difference and didn’t like wearing a prosthesis as a child and young adult. Later, after learning about prosthetic advancements, Candice decided to see if myoelectric fingers could work for her. The answer was yes. “Now I can hold my phone with my prosthesis and text with the other hand or carry multiple bags. When I’m at work, it makes my job a lot easier.” You can watch Candice with her i-Digits® Quantum in her patient profile video below:
Our patient Alex is an example of someone who had an amputation and decided to go with the i-Digits® for one of his prosthetic terminal devices. Alex’s device helped him get back to work at the print shop where he was originally injured. Watch him learning how to operate his device in the video below:
While electric digits are an excellent option for some people, there are a few points to consider. One is durability — for instance, Alex uses his i-Digits® for work, and he also has an activity-specific device for his hobbies: fishing and hunting. This is because i-Digits® can’t get wet or be exposed to rugged activities that could damage the fingers. Additionally, while it’s possible for partial hand amputees who still have one or more fingers to be fit with i-Digits® (like in the image at the top of this article), they may not be the most appropriate prosthetic option. Lastly, while the functionality of the i-Digits® is ground-breaking and useful, please keep in mind that like all multi-articulating myoelectric devices, the fingers can only perform a series of pre-programmed grips — they do not move independently like they do on a sound hand. The landscape of upper limb prosthetic devices is changing quickly, however, and between the Starfish Procedure and Ossur’s newest discreet control system, some people are getting to control digits individually.
During a complimentary consultation with our clinical team (either in-person or online) our prosthetist and clinical therapy specialist will explain which terminal devices they recommend based on amputation level, work and home goals, and their experience with similar patients.
Would you like to receive a complimentary consultation? Please contact us. If you wear Digits® and would like to tell us about your experience with them, please leave a comment below. We hope you have found this article helpful.