Early Prosthetic Fittings-The Greenville Experience


The objective of this case report is to discuss our findings from Shriners Hospital, Greenville Unit, on early prosthetic fittings.

Previously at the Greenville Unit, we had fit the majority of our patients with body-powered hooks both as infants and on through adolescence. Over the last 6 years, we have fit many of these patients with the myoelectric hand and now have approximately 50-60 patients wearing them.

Over the last 9 months, our philosophy has changed. We now feel that the body-powered hook is becoming obsolete. We have begun to fit most of our patients with the TRS prosthesis (therapeutic recreation system) versus the regular hook.

Also, over the last 6-9 months, we have begun to fit our new infant patients with a passive hand, with our youngest patient being 3 months of age. The natural progression has been to then go to the "cookie cruncher" and on to the myoelectric. We feel that we should now fit our patients with the same type of terminal device that will be used later, in this case a type of hand.

We, at the Greenville Unit, feel that we have had a lot of experience with the below-elbow amputee. We treat approximately 120 below-elbow amputees, ranging in age from 2-3 months to 18 years. Our unit has one of the largest amputee populations in the southeast.

With these numbers, we think that we have something to offer the amputee community. By beginning young with a type of hand and following a progression, we want to determine if this is a benefit to the child's development. Also, by fitting the TRS versus a hook, we will try to determine which is a better, more functional prosthesis for our population.

Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children, 950 W. Faris Road, Greenville, SC 29605