Over the past few years, there have been several studies published that document the impact that regular utilization of a prosthetic limb has on the overall health of a patient. Each of these studies highlights the increased level of daily activity that patients maintain when they consistently utilize a prosthetic device. While it is certainly possible for people living with limb loss or congenital difference to learn to adapt and manage many tasks without a prosthesis, the increased activity levels seen through prosthetic use and the psychological improvement associated with a higher activity level are well documented.
For people living with upper limb loss or congenital difference, these same factors apply. In fact, the prominence of the use of the human hand in daily life creates an even greater impact when a person sustains a loss or lives with a congenital difference. According to the American Medical Association’s Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, the loss of a thumb alone leads to a 22% impairment of the whole person. The importance of the ongoing, daily use of a human hand and arm cannot be underestimated.
The multi-disciplinary team at Handspring views the use of new technology through this perspective. Many times, Handspring clients are ideal candidates to benefit from the most state-of-the-art upper limb prosthetic technology that is available today; but there are also times when the specific needs of Handspring patients can be accomplished using much more basic methods. By working closely with our clients and their families, Handspring clinicians identify just the right direction for each and every patient, whether it is an externally-powered, multi-articulating hand for office work or a body powered hook that allows a patient to work in his or her yard.