The Shriners Hospitals have long been known for Prosthetics. Each hospital in the system has expertise for both upper and lower extremity prosthetics. As I have mentioned in previous blog POSTS, there is a great deal of new, exciting progress in the field. We continue to work here at the Shriners Hospital in St Louis and St Louis Childrens Hospitals together with Washington University on 3D printed prosthetics. Two recent news clips highlight these efforts:
However, it is important to remember that not all prosthetics need to be high tech to be very effective. We learned from Dr Michelle James and a group of Shriners surgeons (as seen HERE in this great article from 2006) that many kids abandon their upper extremity prosthetic as they may not be helpful for quality of life or function. As I have previously discussed, this has led to a change in philosophy in the time to best fitting of the prosthetic. Now we often wait until a child has a specific need or request.
Here is one great, very specialized example of a specific request: a task- designed prosthetic. This child has bilateral cleft hand with a single digit on both sides. He functions really, really well using both hands together for many activities. But one task that was important to him and his family- but was a challenge- was fishing. Therefore, a special prosthetic was designed which helps him accomplish this goal. He is very pleased with the prosthetic.
|Prosthetic specially designed for fishing!|
My Bio at Washington University