If you haven’t owned a prosthetic arm before, you might be surprised to learn that many families go through the lengthy processes of getting a pediatric prosthesis, only to not use the arm once they have it. Studies show an average rejection rate of 35 percent for pediatric electric prostheses. Some studies have shown rejection rates to be as high as 75 percent for myoelectric prosthetic arms.
Why go through the process of obtaining a pricey prosthetic arm that does not get used? Let’s review the top reasons for pediatric upper limb prosthesis rejection. Then we’ll take a look at what TrueLimb is doing to increasing adoption rates.
Ideal Fitting Window
Neurological development plays a crucial role in a child’s ability to adopt an upper limb prosthesis and continue to use it as they grow. Children need to receive the right device for their developmental level. Passive (non-moving) prosthetic arms can be introduced from birth to one year of age. They let explore their environment and develop neurological connections to having an arm on both sides of the body. Then, a child can develop the ability to control a device with an active grasp feature.
Body-powered prostheses can be controlled by the age of 28 to 37 months, though even adults experience fatigue with these devices. Children as young as 12 months can successfully use simple myoelectric prosthetic arms. They spontaneously come to understand through play that contracting muscles close a hand and relaxing them opens a hand. More complex myoelectric systems with multiple control sites can be introduced at two to three years of age, when a child develops increased attention and the ability to follow multiple-step instructions.
TrueLimb: When considering neurodevelopment, TrueLimb has a simple myoelectric design that allows for control with a single muscle site. Right now, children ages seven and up are enjoying their TrueLimb prostheses. Since it is simple enough for early neurodevelopmental use, even younger children will be able to use TrueLimb in the future.
Unfortunately, children with limb differences often experience bullying and intrusive questions. Despite a wide variety of aesthetic choices among prosthetic arms for children, appearance remains a hindrance to device adoption.
TrueLimb: A prosthesis that looks good to the user can be a source of empowerment. We completely personalize each TrueLimb to each child, using measurements and 3D scans to create an arm with the same size and shape as their other arm. With 450 different skin tones to choose from, TrueLimb is highly personalized to ensure a realistic appearance.
Sometimes prosthetic arms are just too heavy for children. The socket can also be uncomfortable or too hot. Children grow fast, and prosthetic arms can become unwearable with growth.
TrueLimb: With a weight of just 1.5 pounds, TrueLimb is lightest myoelectric arm on the market . The socket design is minimal and breathable. The TrueLimb socket fitting process allows for children to have a lot of input on adjustments to ensure maximum comfort and a just-right fit. And outgrowing a bionic arm isn’t a reason not to have one. Unlimited Tomorrow offers 50 percent off of annual upgrades.
Another reason why children stop using their prosthetic arms is because they break, and repairs can be costly. Children are heavy prosthetic users, putting their devices up to challenges that adults would not. With constant playing and a greater likelihood of devices coming into contact with dirt and other substances, a pediatric bionic arm needs to be able to live up to kids’ durability needs.
TrueLimb: Every TrueLimb goes through rigorous durability testing before it is shipped. We’ve dropped and stepped on enough TrueLimb arms to know that they can withstand heavy use and a lot of accidents. The fingers can withstand more than 15 pounds of force. With a spill-resistant, easy to clean design, TrueLimb is safe to use in almost any environment. Unlimited Tomorrow also offers a two-year warranty to further put parents’ minds at ease.