Cost and Reliability of Myoelectric Below Elbow Prostheses in Young Children


As a preliminary study in evaluating the appropriateness of fitting limb deficient infants with myoelectric prostheses, the medical records and billing statements of five congenital below elbow patients fit with myoelectric prostheses between 9 and 48 months of age were examined to determine the cost and mechanical reliability of such fittings. Also, the parents were surveyed for their impression of the children's utilization of the prostheses.

Records were examined to determine the cost of initial fitting, frequency and types of necessary repairs, and the cost of such repairs. A subjective questionnaire was administered to the parents of the children to evaluate the prosthetic use in the home. Although subjective and non-scientific, this information provides insight into the effectiveness of the fitting and training.

This data is necessary in order to evaluate the practicality of myoelectric fittings in young children. Further study will be required to determine the infant's physiological capability to successfully utilize a myoelectric device and the effects of early fitting on both motor and psychological development.

S.l.U. School of Medicine, P.O. Box 19230, Springfield, IL 62794-9230