Upper-Extremity Sports Arm

THOMAS KEOLKER, BS, BEP AND JENNIFER SENSKE, PT


With the increasing interest in sports, amputees have created a greater demand for sports prostheses. The task of developing a below-elbow sports arm came to us through the Oregon State Activities Association (OSAA) in 1986. Generally, OSAA regarded the hard plastic and metal parts o the standard prosthesis as a threat for injury. Criteria were set by OSAA for a below-elbow prosthesis appropriate for contact sports. The list included no metal or hard plastic parts, ability to flex when the wearer is in a three-point stance, and softness and pliability in all directions.

We used leather, Pelite, Dacron webbing, and Velcro -to fabricate the socket, forearm, and suspension system of a very acceptable prosthesis. The two prostheses we made have been comfortable, durable, and very functional for contact sports such as football and soccer. By duplicating our technique, a below-elbow sports prosthesis acceptable to the wearer and the OSAA can be made easily. OSAA is planning to present this sports prosthesis for national acceptance.

Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, 3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland OR 97201