Prosthetics: A Brief Introduction
People may lose all or a part of their leg or arm for various reasons. These include injuries from accidents or military activities, blood circulation problems, cancer, and congenital disabilities. Although limb loss can complicate day-to-day life, there are numerous coping solutions you can use to make things manageable, one being the use of prosthetics. Read till the end to discover what these are and the products available on the market.
What are Prosthetics?
A prosthetic or prosthesis is an artificial limb or body part designed to reinstate a patient's functionality and visual appearance. These items act as substitutes for missing body parts. Experts mainly tailor them for amputees who lost their limbs in accidents, cancer treatments, and similar scenarios. According to recent statistics, approximately 2 million people live with limb loss in the United States. And all these amputees could benefit immensely from using prostheses devices.
Common Types of Prosthetics
The most common prosthetics today include:
A transhumeral prosthetic is an artificial limb designed to help you replace the function of a missing arm amputated above the elbow. If you have a missing body part extending from the shoulder to the hand, you need this prosthesis. Various systems control transhumeral prosthetic devices. These include body-powered, hybrid, passive, and external power control systems. Body-powered control systems use the force from an amputee's body movement to operate, while hybrid devices rely on external-powered and body mechanisms. On the other hand, passive gadgets don't have moving components, but external power components control electric terminal devices using electrical signals from contracting muscles.
Transfemoral prosthetics are also known as above-knee prostheses. As the name suggests, these devices replace amputated limbs above the knee. Manufacturers use polypropylene to make transfemoral prostheses. This material is a popular choice because it's relatively inexpensive, resistant to moisture, and an outstanding electrical insulator. It also possesses superior flexural strength and a low coefficient of friction. Typical above-knee prosthetic devices rely on the following primary components: the foot-ankle system, shank or shin, and socket. The foot-ankle system provides a support base when an amputee stands or walks. It's connected to the socket by the shank. The transfemoral socket refers to an interface that connects the prosthetic device to a user's residual limb.
A transradial prosthesis is suitable for a victim of transradial amputation. This type of amputation refers to a surgical procedure that involves cutting the lower arm's bones (radius and ulna) and separating their lower portions and the hand from the body. That means a transradial prosthetic limb offers you the opportunity to replace the appearance and functionality of a missing hand and wrist. Like transhumeral prostheses, you can choose a transradial artificial limb that is body-powered, hybrid, passive, or one using external power.