Thermoplastic Below Elbow Prostheses

GLENN F. HUTNICK, C.P., BARRY ROTHENBERG, C.P.O., AND JOSEPH AHLERT, C.P.O.


Recent trends in the management of pediatric below elbow amputees has seen an increase in the usage of passive and myoelectric systems. Traditional fabrication techniques utilizing resin technology has its limitations in this particular patient population. These techniques are labor intensive, heavy and cumbersome.

The system we will attempt to demonstrate is fabrication of these devices utilizing vacuum molding technology. Socket designs are molded from polyethylene, providing a flexible, light weight socket. Forearm/retainer systems are molded of polypropylene, providing a light weight, yet durable forearm section. This concept allows for a system that is labor efficient, cost effective, yet modular in design for growth adjustability and repairs.

This paper will review the various fabrication techniques involved in this system. We will also cover the design of passive as well as myoelectric systems. Special attention will be given to socket design, retainer design and electric placement.

Columbia University, 128 Fort Washington Avenue, New York, NY 10032 Rehabilitation Centre for Children, 800 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3A 1M4