Abstract

The following abstract is reprinted from the October 1967 issue of The Bulletin of the Dow Corning Center for Aid to Medical Research.

A Permanently Attached Artificial Limb. Trans. Amer. Soc. Artif. Intern. Organs 13:329, 1967.

Hall, C.W., Eppright, R., Engen, T., and Liotta, D.

Prosthetic limbs at present are dependent upon secondary rather than primary muscle control, although attempts have been made to utilize the primary muscles. Ideally a prosthetic limb appliance would be one with a weight-bearing extension from the bone and a functional attachment under control of the primary muscles. There is only one real problem remaining between such a device and realization-the attainment of a permanent, intact skin-prosthetic interface.

In six dogs and one horse, intramedullary metal pins were driven into the tibial canal. Near the distal end a cone of polypropylene with a nylon velour head was molded to the pin. The velour-covered cone was attached to a hinged external prosthesis. Besides the pin, two artificial tendons made of Dacron tape covered with Silastic rubber were sutured to the flexor and extensor tendons in most of the dogs. Each tendon had Dacron velour bonded to the proximal end for muscle attachment. At the point where the tendons made their exit, the skin was sutured to the velour. The skin was also brought around the polypropylene cone and sutured to a velour washer.

In theory, tissues should grow into the interstices of the fabric, thus obliterating dead space and prohibiting sinus tract formation. This has actually been repeatedly achieved in velour-covered conduits emerging from the body through a stab wound. Although the present attempt was not successful because of chewing of the foreign material by the animals, inadequate velour surface at the interface, and poor postoperative care, it is hoped that when these conditions are rectified this project will prove feasible.