Management of high-level bilateral amputees poses a significant challenge for the
treating parties. Selection of the most appropriate prosthetic components and controls
knowledge of the many options available and the ability to predict which systems will
benefit the user. Long-term follow-up of these individuals is rarely reported. Through
retrospective study it may be possible to identify attributes of prosthetic systems
that have been
successful and incorporate those attributes in future systems. This paper outlines
management of an individual, KF, with traumatic bilateral shoulder disarticulation
over a nineteen-year period.
In 1986, the Prosthetic/Orthotic Clinical Service Department of the Rehabilitation
Institute of Chicago (RIC) and the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC)
Prosthetics and Orthotics of Northwestern University began a collaboration to improve
prosthetic fitting of persons with higher-level bilateral amputations. By the time
admission to the RIC, a hybrid fitting concept had been developed using body-powered
electric-powered components in a complementary manner to enhance the function of the
prosthetic system [1,2]. Cable-actuated body-powered components were used on the dominant
side to take advantage of the physiological proprioceptive feedback intrinsic to cable
This prosthesis was used primarily for fine positioning and dexterous object handling
manipulation. Electric-powered components were used on the non-dominant, or assistive,
provide higher gripping forces and greater lifting torque.
Proceedings of the MEC’08 conference, UNB; 2008.
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