Myoelectrics for the Child Below-Elbow Amputee

LORETTA MAIORANO, OTR*Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Myoelectrics have been available in the United States for the child below-elbow amputee for the last five years. Two sizes of myoelectrically controlled hands for children 2 through 9 years of age are presently manufactured. They are known as Systemteknik hands. A case study of a 6-year-old girl with a congenital left short below-elbow deficiency who was fitted with a myoelectric prosthesis at age 4 illustrated the management of juvenile upper-limb amputees. She originally wore a conventional prosthesis with a CAPP terminal device. Her probability for success was evaluated using a myoelectric hand with the electrodes taped over the muscle bellies of the wrist flexors and extensors. She could activate the hand soon after. The patient's prosthesis was delivered six months after initial evaluation due to time delay in receiving components and financial authorization. Presently, two years after receiving the powered prosthesis, she wears it exclusively. It allows her freedom from harnessing, opening and closing in all positions, stronger pinch and more attractive appearance.

*Hand Rehabilitation Center, Philadelphia, PA 19107