Prosthetic Wrist Options
by Amber Henson, on May 3, 2022
Wrists may not be the first thing people think of when it comes to arms. But prosthetic wrists are critical to prepositioning — that is, changing the angle of the terminal device so that it can best perform the next task. After an amputation, the wrist is a key component the user must learn to move or preposition. That’s exactly what Jason Koger does in this video so that he can start his riding lawn mower:
As Jason says in the video, “The key to success, in my opinion, is positioning. Positioning is a huge factor in everything you do.” This goes double for Jason as a bilateral amputee, but it’s crucial for anyone with a limb difference above the wrist. A wrist component makes it easier to complete tasks and helps reduce poor body mechanics, keeping overuse issues to a minimum.
Several different prosthesis manufacturers make wrists including Fillauer and Ottobock. Some wrists allow for moving the wrist down and back (flexion and extension) while others allow for rotation of the terminal device (supination and pronation). Some allow for side-to-side movement (ulnar and radial deviation) while others allow for a combination of these movements. Several years ago, a patient of ours decided that he needed to create a new kind of wrist unit that would meet his varied needs. You can watch Matt Razink’s patient profile video and hear the story of how his company, Midwest ProCAD, was started:
Matt’s company offers both a four-way and a two-way locking wrist. A sound human wrist offers three degrees of freedom. So, with a ProCAD wrist, the user has a wider range of motion.
Wrists can be especially important to people with a prosthetic elbow or who have limited bending ability in their elbow. That’s the case for our patient Gerry Kinney, who was electrocuted while working as a lineman and uses Matt’s wrist flexion units with his body-powered devices. Without the wrists, Gerry has to overextend his shoulders and back to get through his activities of daily living (ADLs). Watch Gerry discuss the benefits of his wrists in the video below:
Do you think that a wrist unit could make your daily tasks easier? Do you think it might help with any overuse pain you’ve experienced? We would be happy to discuss the benefits of a wrist component for your device with you. Our clinical team is available for complimentary consultations, either in-person or via video. Please contact us to request a consultation. Do you have experience with wrist units? We would love to hear about it in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
For more information, see related Arm Dynamics articles here: