Clinical Applications of New Technology Allowing for Self Contained Toddler Prosthesis


0ver the past several years it has been exciting to see the development and clinical introduction of new components and control systems allowing increased myoelectric fittings for toddlers. Most significant of these components was the VASI 0-3 hand controlled by a single site VO electrode or so called "cookie crusher." New developments over the past year in the areas of electronic packaging, reduced battery size and reduced wrist unit size have further improved the practicality of this prosthesis for use with toddlers.

The VASI 0-3 hand is now available with all of the electronics contained in the hand shell "cookie crusher". There are two batteries available from Liberty Mutual Research. First is the mini battery, which is used in most below elbow and all above elbow prostheses, and second is the micro battery used for fitting long below elbow or wrist disarticulation limbs. Both battery systems include a charge plug, an on/off switch in the packaging and are charged using a fast charger. The new VASI wrist for wrist disarticulation now makes it possible to fit the long below elbow amputee and even some very short partial hand deficiencies with an acceptable myoelectric prosthesis. The wrist does not provide for rotation but this is usually not a disadvantage because anatomical pronation and supination can be retained in the prosthetic fitting.

Clinical observations during Occupational Therapy treatment sessions revealed 1) Increased functional wearing time with this prosthesis over the original "cookie crusher" components, 2) Increased carry-over for use in school and home settings, 3) Increased parental and child acceptance due to both appearance as well as ease in maintenance.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 345 East Superior Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611