Saturday, March 25, 2023

False Hope – False Advertising?

Brett R. Saunders

While reading the paper this morning, I found a story which both warmed my

heart and left me feeling bad.

It is about an O&P facility that is fitting a young man from overseas with

bilateral shoulder disarticulation/Intrascapular thoracic body powered

prosthetic devices.

I was troubled by the claims that were made to the press. It is reported

that this young man will be able to surf the internet and be able to lift 30

pound objects with his new arms.

Surfing the internet has been both possible and practicle without the use of

arms for a long time. Voice recognition software is just one solution that

works well at very low cost. And while I may not be an expert on all that

is upper extremity, I feel confident that the number of very high level

upper extremity amputees that can lift 30 pound objects is quite small.

Making claims such as this is like the used car dealer promoting a sale

without making an honest disclosure of the facts. While it may draw

business to your facility, it gives false hope and hurts our profession as a

whole.

Brett R. Saunders, CPO, FAAOP

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