Wrist-Powered Prosthesis for the Partial Hand

Z. WEDDERBURN, R. R. CALDWELLAND E. R. SANDERSON**Fredericton, New Brunswick


The partial-hand amputee is more likely to reject a prosthesis than any other upper-limb wearer. Rejection is due to the lack of tactile sensation, poor appearance, heat buildup and limited function. A new prosthesis consists of stainless steel fingers and thumb specifically designed to utilize the Otto Bock inner glove and to allow for the installation of an outer cosmetic glove.

A cast is taken and modified, and a finger plate is installed on the distal end of the cast and laminated in place. The socket is then divided at the pivot point of the wrist. The fingers are installed in the finger plate, the thumb is attached to the proximal portion of the socket and a custom-made wrist hinge connecting distal and proximal portions of the socket is installed. An opening on the medial aspect of the socket allows easy entry of the limb, and Velcro closures are used to aid suspension.

The significance of this prosthesis lies in the ability of the patient to open the hand to the same width as the corresponding Otto Bock electric hands. Opening is obtained by carefully stretching the cosmetic glove. Several patients have been fitted successfully by our clinic and other centers using this procedure.

**Bio-Engineering Institute, University of New Brunswick, Box 4400, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 5A3, Canada