Research Links

The reality of limbs replacement in developing countries:

Prostheses were developed for function, cosmetic appearance, and to provide psychological sense of wholeness.

In third world countries many limb deficient people become beggars on the streets in order to survive.

The loss of a limb has a serious emotional and psychological effect and often degradation of social status or inability to move ahead with their aspirations and goals. The ability to move is a necessity and not an option. Amputees within certain cultures are perceived as “incomplete” human beings.

Prosthetic devices must improve the functional capacity and provide cosmetic appeal.

There is only a short window of opportunity for fitting upper extremities amputees, it becomes more difficult to manage the prosthesis successfully if more than one or two months passes between amputation and fitting. After 6 months, the potential for success is slim to none. With exceptions, by the time an amputee in developing countries is reached, a year has elapsed since his/her amputation.

Children 4 to 16 years old need a prosthetic replacement usually every 6-12 months since they grow 0.75″ a year versus an adult, who will need one every 3-5 years.

Some numbers on loss of limbs also in USA:

* There are 50,000 new amputations every year in USA based on information from National Center for Health Statistics

* The ratio of upper limb to lower limb amputation is 1:4

* The most common is partial hand amputation with loss of 1 or more fingers, 61,000

* The next common is loss of one arm, 25,000

* There are 350,000 persons with amputations in USA, 30% have upper limb loss

* Although wrist and hand amputations are estimated to make up 10% of upper limb population

* Transradial amputations make up 60% of total wrist and hand amputations which means 70% of all persons with upper limb amputations have amputations distal to the elbow(3)

* In US 41,000 persons are registered who had an amputation of hand or complete arm

* 60% of arm amputations are between ages 21 and 64 years and 10% are under 21 years of age


Links to Articles of Interest: (Associacion Dominicana de Rehabilitacion)