Improved models of a bioelectric prosthesis first used in the Soviet Union have proven practical in 14 patients, including a thalidomide-affected child, a Canadian investigator reports.
Describing the battery-powered "arms" as "Model T prostheses on which we can improve," Gustav Gingras, MD, recounted his experience for the section on physical medicine.
The prosthesis is guided myoelectrically; that is, by commands from the wearer's own muscle potentials. This concept, now proven practical, is a radical departure from conventional prostheses, Dr. Gingras remarked.
Over the past two years, 13 below-the-elbow amputees have received modified models of the Soviet device at the Rehabilitation Institute of Montreal. Four patients have been bilateral amputees.
A month ago, a pair of complete arms incorporating many of the partial arm concepts were fitted on a congenitally armless four-year-old girl.
Dr. Gingras, who is executive director of the Montreal institution, was accompanied to the Chicago meeting by two