by Alberto Esquenazi, MD.Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this review is to summarize the literature related to the advances that have taken place in the management and rehabilitation care of limb amputation.
RESULTS: Prostheses for the lower and upper limb amputee have changed greatly over the past several years, with advances in components, socket fabrication and fitting techniques, suspension systems, and sources of power and electronic controls. Higher levels of limb amputation can now be fitted with functional prostheses, which allow more patients to achieve independent life styles. This is of particular importance for the multi-limb amputee. The rehabilitation of more traditional lower limb levels of amputation have also greatly benefited from the technological advances including energy storing feet, electronic control hydraulic knees, ankle rotators, and shock absorbers to mention a few. For the upper limb amputee, myoelectric and proportional controlled terminal devices and elbow joints are now used routinely in some rehabilitation facilities. Experimental prosthetic fitting techniques and devices such as the use of osseo-implantation for suspension of the prosthesis, tension control hands or electromagnetic fluids for knee movement control will also be briefly discussed in this paper.
CONCLUSION: It is possible to conclude from this review that many advances have occurred that have greatly impacted the functional outcomes of patients with limb amputation.