A New Variety Ability System Inc Electromechanical Hand for Amputees 5-9 Years of Age

IHSAN AL-TEMEN, P.Eng., MARTIN MIFSUD, E.Eng.TWILLIAM SAUTER, C.P.O.(C),SHEILA HUBBARD, P. andO.T., B.Sc.(P.T.),STEPHEN NAUMANN, Ph.D., P.Eng., ANDMORRIS MILNER, Ph.D., P.Eng., C.C.E.


Since the provision of the VVO-3 and VV2-6 hand, many below-elbow preschool aged amputees have been successfully fitted with externally powered prostheses. A third hand, the VV5-9, is now available from VASI and further accommodates growing children's prosthetic needs.

The VV5-9 hand is 20% larger than the VV2-6 and maintains the high level of cosmesis provided with the smaller two hands. A shorter hand body design, short wrist and inclusion of the electronics within the hand body, make it suitable for wrist disarticulation fittings. As well, its light weight (247 gms) and high speed offers the best combination of comfort and performance available with any children's hands. A new planetary friction drive system design has also achieved quieter operation. Pinch force with glove is 38 N.

Developed at the Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre (HMRC), the modular design approach to the series of hands allows for ease of service. The hand mechanically conforms with existing wrist modules which offer passive pronation/supination and compatibility with VASI elbow forearm modules. The current-sensitive energy-saving power-bridge is compatible with commercially available on/off control systems and with proportional control systems. An electronic adapter board is available for Otto Bock's new 13EI25 electrodes.

Accelerated bench-tests have been completed and indicate reliability should parallel the excellent performance of the two previous hands. These findings have also been verified through a one year clinical trial. To date, the HMRC has fitted 6 amputees with the new hand. The generous support of the Variety Club of Ontario (Tent 28) is gratefully acknowledged.

Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre, 350 Rumsey Road, Toronto, ON Canada M4G 1R8