Myoelectric orthosis can improve function in patients with severe arm dysfunction

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jonathan Naft, CPO from Geauga Rehabilitation Engineering in Chardon, Ohio spoke at the American Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium about how myoelectric arm orthoses can be used as a therapeutic tool to improve function for patients with severe arm dysfunction.

Naft used a custom-fabricated elbow-wrist-hand orthosis with a powered motor that sits laterally at the elbow and contains sensors that are similar to those used in myoelectric prostheses.

“This orthosis is not functional electrical stimulation,” Naft said here. “The patient must use volitional control to send a signal to the bicep, and when they do, the brace will flex. When they send a signal from the triceps, the brace will extend.”


Jonathan Naft


According to Naft, this technology is ideal for patients who have suffered a stroke, but can also benefit patients with multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injuries.

“I believe that we are onto something that is very therapeutic. In other words, by wearing our device, you will be helped to get better,” Naft said. “And we believe that function will occur as well.”

To date, Naft has used this technology with 26 patients, and they have reported that it has resulted in reduced medications, pain and therapy sessions and improved function and quality of life.

For more information:

Naft J. Paper F42. Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium. Feb. 20-23, 2013. Orlando, Fla.

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