A prosthesis is a device that is designed to replace, as much as possible, the function or appearance of a missing limb or body part. An orthosis is a device that is designed to support, supplement, or augment the function of an existing limb or body part.
Ideally, a prosthesis must be comfortable to wear, easy to put on and remove, lightweight, durable, and cosmetically pleasing. Furthermore, a prosthesis must function well mechanically and require only reasonable maintenance. Finally, prosthetic use largely depends on the motivation of the individual, as none of the above characteristics matter if the patient will not wear the prosthesis.
Considerations when choosing a prosthesis
- Amputation level
- Contour of the residual limb
- Expected function of the prosthesis
- Cognitive function of the patient
- Vocation of the patient (eg, desk job vs manual labor)
- Avocational interests of the patient (ie, hobbies)
- Cosmetic importance of the prosthesis
- Financial resources of the patient
Most common reasons for an upper extremity amputation
Reasons for amputation vary but can be correlated by age range. Correction of a congenital deformity or tumor is commonly seen in individuals aged 0-15 years. Trauma is the most common reason for amputation in patients aged 15-45 years, with tumors being a distant second. Upper extremity amputations tend to be rare in patients who are older than 60 years, but they may be required secondary to tumor or medical diseaseBelow Elbow
Prosthetics- Passive hands or “cosmetic” gloves actually are quite functional despite what many may think. Studies show that the most common uses for a below elbow prosthesis are balance, holding or pressing down objects, pushing, and stabilizing one’s self. A high quality silicone restoration does that, plus it can restore one’s appearance in the process.