Twenty-Five-Year Longitudinal Study of Children Fitted with Below-Elbow Prostheses Before the Age of Two

SUSAN D. CLARKE, OTR*Los Angeles, California

The purpose of the study was to describe the long-term prosthetic wearing patterns of children who have been fitted with a below-elbow prosthesis before the age of 2. Patterns were analyzed from I to 21 years of age. Prosthetic operating skills, applied use of the prosthesis in everyday tasks and type of treatment program were also scrutinized for possible correlation with the development of prosthetic wearing patterns. The study was based on the hypothesis that early prosthetic fitting and appropriate training based on a growth and development model will promote a positive outcome, defined as a good wearing pattern. Data were gathered from charts at the Child Amputee Prosthetics Project where limb deficient children have been treated since 1954. The size of the population of congenital. below-elbow amputees and the number of years of follow-up on such children is quite unique to the project.

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