Field Test: NYU Child-Size Body-Powered Hand

SIDNEY FISHMAN, PHD*, DAVID E. KREBS, PHD, PTAND WILLIAM LEMBECK, PENew York, New York


The New York University #1 child-size hand is the only mechanical, body-powered hand designed for children approximately two to seven years old. It is identical in size and shape to the Systemteknik myoelectric hand and utilizes the same cosmetic glove. The field test was intended to determine the hand's acceptability; to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the present design; and to investigate durability. Twenty five below-elbow amputees were selected, of whom 23 were fitted; 21 provided complete data.

Prosthetic utilization increased 16 percent. Eighty-five percent of the group reported they most liked the hand's appearance. The rest selected the hand's function as its best feature. Interestingly, the NYU hand was rated as providing about 10 percent greater function than the children's prior terminal devices, usually hooks. According to the clinics, the chief problems with the current design related to the glove's durability and appearance. Steps are currently underway to make the 111 hand and a larger size commercially available after rectifying design deficiencies.

*New York University, Prosthetics and Orthotics, 317 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016