Prosthetic Functionality

Alatheia client demonstrating prosthetic function

A client demonstrating how she uses her finger prostheses to lasso

From what our clients tell us, the function our prostheses provide changes their lives in a dramatic way. Essentially they are “life changing”. However, function for one person is not always the same for another person. Each person is carefully evaluated to determine their individual needs. After determining the individual’s needs, the prosthesis is custom made to perform these needed functions.

Our prostheses are extremely functional because not only do they increase our client’s ability, but the prostheses are also comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Many of our clients will not even think about leaving their house without their prosthesis! Our clients have become functional in their jobs and daily lives in ways they could not with a hook or any other visually obvious prosthesis. The true to life qualities of our prostheses enable our clients to be secure in themselves. Instead of being distracted by other peoples’ reaction to their prosthesis or amputation, their security and peace of mind enables them to live happy and productive lives.

Some people think of functionality purely in terms of active prehension (ability to grasp).  Only a hook, myoelectric or body powered prosthesis will perform prehension successfully.  Covering a myoelectric or body-powered prosthesis with our custom skin can actually aid in prehension by allowing the hand to grasp objects better. This is accomplished through the inherent high friction qualities of the skin.

Besides active prehension, there are 4 critical categories of prosthetic function in hand prostheses, explained below:

Our prostheses provide proprioceptive function in finger and hand prostheses by allowing for the transfer of vibration to the residual limb. Since the prostheses are custom made to each patient, vibration from the fingers or distal end of the prostheses are successfully transferred to the nerve endings in the wearer’s residual limb. This type of function is especially helpful for individuals who need to type on a computer.