Use of powered, partial hand prostheses could reduce pain and chance of device rejection

CHICAGO — Use of a powered, partial hand prosthesis could reduce pain and lower the risk of prosthesis rejection for upper limb amputees, according to a speaker at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium, here.

Using a symptom severity score of the DASH questionnaire, Karl Lindborg, CPO/LP, of Touch Bionics, conducted a study to determine the impact of i-digits on reports of pain. Level of amputation was considered. The cohort included 25 adult and adolescent amputees with an absence of three or more fingers. Each patient completed the DASH questionnaire pre-fitting and post-fitting, as well as a pre-assessment and follow-up assessment after 3 months. Researchers used the Wilcoxon Rank Test to analyze symptom severity and variations in pain.

According to the findings, patients who reported a reduction in pain and tingling at 3 months outnumbered patients who reported an increase in pain at the same period. In addition, no variation of symptom severity was recorded for weakness and stiffness of the residual limb.

“Users did not report more pain following their fitting. On the contrary, most of them report less pain,” Lindborg said. “The functional benefits of i-digits are not acquired at the expense of increased pain [and] this could have a positive impact on prosthesis rejection [rates].”

According to Lindborg, the results should be validated by additional work. He said he is interested in comparing symptom severity ratings with body-powered and cosmetic prostheses for both partial hand and upper limb levels of absence, as well as for congenital and acquired amputations. – by Shawn M. Carter


Lindborg K. Symptom severity and prosthesis use: Exploring the pain experience using the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH). Presented at: American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium; March 1-4, 2017; Chicago.

Disclosure: Lindborg reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.