[Prosthetic reconstruction in high amputations of the upper extremity]

Orthopade. 2015 Jun;44(6):413-8. doi: 10.1007/s00132-015-3113-0.
[Article in German]


Background: Conventional upper arm prostheses are controlled via two surface electrodes that measure motor activity of two separately innervated muscle groups. The various prosthetic joints are chosen by co-contractions and controlled linearly by these two muscles. A harmonious and natural course of movements is not possible in this way.

Objectives: Overview regarding surgical, therapeutical and prosthetic options in high amputations of the upper extremity.

Methods: Selective literature research including the authors' own experience in everyday clinical practice as well as a review of medical records.

Results: Selective nerve transfers of the amputated nerves of the brachial plexus to the remaining stump muscles can create up to six myosignals for intuitive and simultaneous control of the different prosthetic joints. In this way, an efficient and harmonious control of the prosthetic device is possible without the need to change between the different control levels. At the same time, possible neuromas are treated and painless wear of the prosthesis is achieved. Due to the resulting extended use of the prosthetic device, the demands regarding stump quality are increased. Thus, both surgically and by the means of the orthopedic technician a stable stump-socket connection should be achieved to enable optimal prosthetic function.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation / rehabilitation*
  • Amputation Stumps / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Neural Prostheses*
  • Peripheral Nerves / surgery*
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Upper Extremity / surgery