[Prosthetic reconstruction of the upper extremity]

Unfallchirurg. 2016 May;119(5):408-13. doi: 10.1007/s00113-016-0174-4.
[Article in German]


Background: Prosthetic replacement after amputation or loss of function of the upper extremity has gained therapeutic value over the last years. The control of upper arm prostheses has been refined by the use of selective nerve transfers, and the indication for prosthetic replacement has been expanded.

Objectives: Overview regarding surgical, therapeutic and prosthetic options in upper extremity amputations or their loss of function.

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. This way, an efficient and harmonious control of the prosthetic device is possible without the need to change between the different control levels. The prosthetic replacement, with consequent elective amputation, represents a new approach in the functional reconstruction of the upper extremity, especially in patients with a functionless hand after massive soft tissue or nerve damage.

Keywords: Amputation; Amputation stumps; Artificial limbs; Brachial plexus; Nerve transfer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputation Stumps / surgery*
  • Amputation, Surgical / rehabilitation*
  • Arm Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Arm Injuries / surgery*
  • Artificial Limbs*
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Exoskeleton Device
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Robotics / instrumentation*
  • Robotics / methods
  • Treatment Outcome