Researchers in Slovenia examined the impact of silicone prosthetic fingers on hand function, grip power, and grip-force tracking ability, noting that prior research has focused on cosmesis. The researchers concluded that, at best, a minimum improvement of hand function can be expected with silicone prosthetic fingers, accompanied by a slight decrease in tip grip power. The study was published online August 4 in the journal Prosthetics and Orthotics International.
The prospective descriptive cross-sectional study included 42 adult patients with partial or complete single- or multiple-digit amputations of one hand. The researchers evaluated hand function of the injured hand without and with the prosthesis using the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP), and grip power and tracking ability with a grip-force tracking system. According to the study’s authors, the SHAP grip index scores were slightly higher when using the prosthesis as compared to not using it, although they did not reach the minimum real difference reported in the literature, except for lateral grip. Grip power was not significantly affected by prosthesis use for power grip and lateral grip and slightly diminished for tip grip.