USING GROSS MOTOR ACTIVITIES TO ASSESS UPPER LIMB PROSTHETIC FUNCTION
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For children with unilateral below elbow limb loss, many of the activities for which a prosthesis is of value involve gross motor function during play. To assess function in these activities we studied normally limbed children and children using below elbow powered prostheses while they performed various tasks. This paper is focused on two tasks, swinging on a swing, and zipping up a vest. The study had three primary objectives: 1. To collect data for normally limbed children to provide baseline data, 2. To collect data for children who use either a single degree of freedom friction wrist or an “omniwrist”, and 3. To compare the results for users of the two types of wrist to their normally limbed peers. The two tasks chosen represent two different types of activity. The swing has a cycle time or rhythm which is determined principally by the length of the ropes. As a result the child who is swinging must react to the activity on a time scale which is out of their control. By comparison the zipper task is one where the child can simply slow down, to whatever extent needed, in order to be able to perform it. The strategy of taking more time is a common one if activities are difficult to accomplish.
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