Editor's Note - March 2021

Home > Articles > Editor's Note - March 2021
By Andrea Spridgen

Upper-limb amputations are far less frequent than lower-limb amputations with an estimated incidence ratio of one to four, and upper-limb prosthesis rejection is common. Increased study and inquiry into prosthetic interventions and the experience of people with upper-limb amputations is important for improving outcomes in this population. In this issue, we look at a historic study of people with upper-limb amputations and the theory behind a unique approach to the upper-limb prosthesis interface.

Survey data from 800 veterans with upper-limb loss was recently mined to produce a series of papers that collectively provide the largest study of individuals with upper-limb amputations the O&P profession has been able to access. "Survey Says? Findings From the Field's Largest Study of People With Upper-limb Amputations" summarizes the insights of this study including information about function, quality of life, various pain syndromes, and differences experienced by gender. 

The connection between the user's residual limb and the prosthesis is generally regarded as an essential element in successful prosthetic acceptance. "Human-device Integration: Introducing the Biotensegrity Bridge" explains the theory of biotensegrity and how that can be applied as an approach to prosthetic socket technology. 

In this issue's Today's Consumer, we learn about how Philip Byrd's research prior to his amputation and commitment to maintain his independence led to success with an upper-limb prosthesis. As with many people with upper-limb loss, Byrd needs more than one device to meet all his prosthetic needs, and in his case, a quick disconnect wrist system allows him to easily change out terminal devices and transition from his job as an office manager to his farm chores. 

Finally, "Washington Welcomes New Faces and New Opportunities for O&P Priorities" reviews the key legislative initiatives that may impact the broader healthcare systems and specific O&P concerns. 

Happy reading.