Prosthetic design and looks [overview]

In order to be up to date with latest developments, let us take an overview of attempts that are geared towards design and looks of what goes or may go on the arm.

Stump protection

  • wearing protective sleeve to keep warm - tube, compression [link]
  • wearing protective sleeve for mechanical strain [link]

Wearing passive arm

  • wearing a passive arm for biking [link]
  • wearing a cosmetic or passive arm for making it look like a hand or so [link]

Wearing a body powered arm

  • tweaking function of harness [link], cable control [link]

Improving looks generally

  • tweaking appearance using sleeves [link], generating 2D cut patterns from 3D [link],
  • color, material: Red Hand design series [link]

What does make a difference

What really makes a difference is probably different. Neither "bionic" arms with their strange sockets and funny wear down or fail characteristics, nor the rough charme of used up PVC gloves or hooks ultimately is what makes any influence over what happens daily.

Wearability, durability: what really wins in the long run is the arm that you can wear, wear, wear and wear. The one that you can use always and that is comfortable, the arm that does not break too often, and the arm that suits your need really. That is the arm, then, that will be around often enough for you to acquire the necessary skills. It then must, by all means, reduce overload of the other arm and hand, and it must be able to work hard. If the prosthetic is in the way, or hurts, or if it is brittle and fragile, then chances it will be on your arm always are probably too low in order for you to gain the relevant usage skill and adaptation.

Property to acquire: what really does the trick is motion and dynamics. All "bionic" arms and most "cosmetic" arms are still sold on the basis of still photos. But still photos - since the advent of GoPro cameras and other dashboard mounted or helmet mounted cameras - are out, outdated, old fashioned, not on, boring, and irrelevant, relatively, so to say.

Design- or lookwise, you may surely go for whatever you see fit but probably best to realize that most other people have not that much of a great optical vision or visual acuity.

So, going for anything in terms of "decorating" the prosthetic limb, that is a small detail, will probably be a wasted resource. If it makes you feel better, fine. But if a wellness or spa visit does the same, consider that instead.

In addition, the current population in many countries exhibits a very strong drift towards being immersed in their own digital mobile things. So, catering for any particular look there is definitely a misplaced effort. Simply because you do not have to look particularly good in order to feel good among people that care for other stuff anyway.

A match between fully robust and sturdy prosthetic arms that still look reasonably well, and your overall body motion and feel, that can not be bought, however; it will probably have to be acquired, to match where it should match.

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Prosthetic design and looks [overview]; published 12/05/2014, 05:20; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3025.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1603358103, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Prosthetic design and looks [overview]}}, month = {May},year = {2014}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3025}}