Empowering Prosthetics: A Team Approach to Prosthetics and Limb LossBy Maguire, Mark T.; Rehab Management,
Publication Date: December 2008
Article discusses a team approach involving the prosthetist, physical therapist, and patient in the rehabilitation of amputees. The article argues that amputees who receive positive encouragement early in their recovery process, and then receive specialized therapy in a multidisciplinary team setting, will experience the swiftest and most favorable outcome possible. For lower-limb amputees, two of the latest models of prosthesis are described, one utilizing a microprocessor and battery, and the other employing a small hydraulic cylinder that offers passive motion, both resulting in improved ankle movement. The importance of the right socket interface and suspension technology for a proper prosthetic fit, such as the use of vacuum applied within the socket, is discussed. For upper-limb amputees, technological advances such as a virtual simulator enabling patients to learn the use of control strategies for a prosthetic hand prior to actually being fitted is discussed in terms of increased prosthetic function and its positive psychological impact. Conditions that enable the therapist to deliver quality care and anticipate good outcomes for amputees discussed are: (1) the therapist needs advance knowledge of amputee gait and mobility; (2) the therapist openly and regularly communicates with the patient’s prosthetist; and (3) the patient’s prosthesis is regularly monitored and adjusted throughout the rehabilitation process.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.rehabpub.com/issues/articles/2008-12_01.asp