Key Points for Candidacy & Fit for TB Products
When it comes to fit and candidacy, amputation levels and residual limb lengths are looked at closely to determine what type of upper limb prosthetic device will work best.
The i-limb® hand is appropriate for fitting at any level of upper limb absence proximal to the wrist, while the i-digits™ products are appropriate for partial hand absence where the level of loss or deficiency is distal to the wrist and proximal to the metacarphophalangeal joint.
With either product, these upper limb prostheses are intended for light to moderate use, preferably postadolescence, and the user must be motivated to use the prosthesis, all while having realistic expectations for future outcomes.
We like to stress that no prosthetic device is a true replacement for a missing limb but rather a tool to bring back functionality for the user in their daily life activities.
The extent of functional impairment within the hand should be identified and how the client currently conducts daily activities. With the i-limb hand and i-digits the goal is to restore gross grasp.
At the initial assessment, it is essential that the Therapist and Prosthetist educate the client and fully understand the client's needs and aspirations.
Optimum outcomes for the user come when the prosthetist and therapist work together with the client to achieve specific goals.
Failure to address client expectations and educate regarding the benefits and challenges of wearing a prosthesis will lead to difficulties during the fitting and training process.
As the client gets educated on his or her options make sure to ask open ended questions to assess their understanding:
- Tell me what you understand of the product?
- How do you think the product will help you?
- What would be your main uses for the hand?
Once the client has decided on their ideal upper limb prosthetic device, and has been fit with it, it is then time to begin proper therapy and training work. We’d like to note that early therapy nearly doubles the rate of daily use (Fletchall, 2005), and research suggests that skilled, individualized therapy with the prosthesis takes an average of 20-30 hours (Resnik, et al., 2012).
For additional information on our products and training, visit our online training module: http://training.touchbionics.com/index-en.html