The Upper-Limb Prosthetic Prescription: Conventional or Electric Components?

DIANE J. ATKINS, OTR, ROBERT H. MEIER 111, MD,AND ALVIN MUILENBURG, CPO*Houston, Texas


With the recent developments and media coverage of electric prosthetic components, increasing numbers of patients, physicians and third-party payers are requesting prescription criteria. Issues of cost effectiveness which include function, appearance, maintenance and repair, as well as subsequent educational and vocational pursuits, are essential considerations when a prosthesis is being prescribed.

Following extensive experience with upper-limb amputees at the Houston Center for Amputee Services at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, we can address the following issues: indications for the variety of electric elbows available and a comparison of the myoelectric hand with the body-powered terminal device. A comprehensive review of our experience with children and adults during the last five years is presented.

*Houston Center for Amputee Services, The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, 1333 Moursund, Houston, TX 77030