Powered prosthesis for children with upper limb deficiency
Upper limb prosthetics can be considered cumbersome and unnecessary, especially in the younger population. With the miniaturisation of components less weighty powered prosthetics are available in smaller sizes. This research showed that children fitted after 2 years of age are less likely to continue using a powered upper limb prosthetic long term.
Individuals from between 10 months and 16 years were recruited and brought in every 3 months for a reassessment. Most of the individuals who stopped use of the powered prosthetic stated that they found it was not necessary and did not meet their needs. However, a few were forced out due to distance between home and hospital, making follow ups inconvenient.
The study found that, although level of amputation was not an influence, this maybe due to including individuals who used the arm for different tasks rather than all day wearers. Some participants wore the prosthetic for home, and school and other activities. However, a great number found that either there was limited support for use at school or that they were subject to bullying for use of their arm and so refrained from School use.
Although there was a case of the prosthetic being used whilst playing the Violin and flower arranging, the study found that generally children who had to cope without a prosthetic until the age of two did not find extra value in using the prosthetic.
If your child had an upper limb deficiency would you want them to get a prosthetic before 2 years old, or would you want them to learn to use the residual limb fully without a prosthetic?
> From: Toda et al., PLoS One 10 (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Toda et al.. Click here for the Pubmed summary.