Thursday, June 9, 2011


Prosthetic advancements have not been limited to lower extremity devices. Arm and hand amputees have benefited from advances in bionic and computerized limb technology during the past few years. One of the manufacturer leaders in this field is Touch Bionics.

Touch Bionics specializes in developing hand and finger prosthetics. In 2007 Touch Bionics released the world's first fully articulating hand which has revolutionized the way that upper extremity prosthetics are approached.

Prior to 2007, prosthetic hands were designed to clamp objects in one fashion. The purpose of the prosthetic was to provide a stabilizer to hold or to pick up an object so that the manipulation could occur with the sound hand. The ability to switch grip was not possible.

The i-LIMB hand touts prosthetic fingers that are capable of moving, in isolation, at each joint. The wearer is able to control the movements of the hand through myoelectric controls. Sensors are placed on the remaining limb to capture the muscle movement that is produced as the individual mimics moving their amputated hand. The signals produced are communicated through the prosthetic hand utilizing state of the art computer technology.

With practice, the wearer of the i-LIMB hand is able to vary the grasp position and pressure. The wearer of this prosthetic is not limited to one type of grasp and can manipulate items with a more natural movement. Isolating finger movements allow the individual to return to many fine motor tasks that were previously deemed impossible, such as playing a guitar and typing on a keyboard. This hand can be fit with a variety of cosmetic covers to produce the most realistic responding and looking prosthetic hand available.

The i-LIMB technology has changed the way that prosthetics are approached with upper extremity amputees. Function and form combine to create the most life-like prosthetic hand available. The practitioners at OPC are experienced working this this technology and stand ready to help upper extremity amputees reach their goals.

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