The Two-Stage Myoelectric Hand For Children and Young Adults


The study was designed to establish criteria for the selection of young candidates or the two-stage myoelectric hand. Investigation also allowed identification of the modifications of standard fitting and training techniques necessary for appropriate fitting of children, evaluation of the functional potential of myoelectric hands for children, description of the prosthetic maintenance needs unique to myoelectric fittings and recording of the attitudes of parents and children toward the myoelectric prosthesis.

Twenty-two subjects were considered, ages 2 years 2 months through 12 years 6 months. Fourteen children were fitted, nine with Otto Bock hands and five with Systemteknik #1 hands. Results showed that the criteria established for selection had identified children who did benefit from the myofitting, as demonstrated by the unanimous preference for the myoelectric prosthesis. All children continued their original wearing patterns or improved them. Maintenance needs were identified and proved less troublesome than expected. Evaluation, fitting and training methods which varied from standard procedures were documented. A bimanual functional-skills evaluation showed that the myoelectric hand was judged equal or better than the body-powered prosthesis or no prosthesis in 85 per cent of the activities.

The paper has been accepted for publication in Orthotics and Prosthetics.


The Child Amputee Prosthetics Project at UCLA gratefully acknowledges the support provided by the Variety Club International, Tent #25, and the Sherrill C. Corwin Variety Club Electronic Limb Bank which help generate funds to assist in payment of the extra costs involved in fitting myoelectric prostheses. The project is partially supported by a grant from the United States Public Health Services/Child Health Services Grant #USPH-MCJ063080-28-0. The authors would also like to thank Mark Moseley, CP, Joanna Patton, OTR and Otis Pryor for their professional assistance in making the research possible.

*Child Amputee Prosthetics Project, The University of California, 1000 Veteran Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90024