Hybrid Growth-Adjustable Below-Elbow Prosthesis for the Limb-Deficient Child

J. N. BILLOCK, CPO, K. R. FRANKOVITCH, MD, ANDK. A. COMSTOCK, PT


Growth adjustability in a below-elbow prosthesis for a limb-deficient child is a key factor in cost effectiveness of providing electric-powered hands. Electronic or mechanical engineering changes, or both to existing components and control systems enabled designing hybrid prostheses which meet children's needs more appropriately. Engineering changes to certain hands allow one to accommodate limb deficiencies in the distal third of the forearm and sometimes to allow for longitudinal growth adjustment of the prosthesis. Engineering changes to accommodate various battery power supplies allows for greater design flexibility to achieve the desired characteristics of durability, serviceability, lightweight, and esthetics.

Hybrid design concepts have made it possible to provide more children of all ages with the advantages of an electric-powered hand prosthesis. Careful selection and intermixing of appropriate electric-powered and mechanical components and control systems with appropriate self-suspension fitting techniques utilizing multiple layered interfaces can increase the useful life of a prosthesis significantly.

145 Shaffer Drive, NE, Warren, OH 44484