4 things to keep in mind while choosing a new prosthetic arm.

 Amputations are desperate measures, taken in order to save a life. An amputation is performed usually for stopping cancer or an infection. Or maybe to stop an injured from dying of excessive blood loss. The existence and progress of prosthetics are fueled by the need of addressing the problems of amputees. Amputations cripple human beings and render them dependent on others. This accumulating load of amputations affects entire societies and hinders collective progress.

Prosthetics started the long journey of modernization, back in the medieval ages. In those times, only a handful of people could manufacture them. And the materials utilized in the built, were heavy and expensive to obtain. An excessive amount of leather, wood and heavy metals like iron and for the rich people gold were in use. Over time as humanity progressed, prosthetics were transformed in accordance. In this era of neuroscience, prostheses were blessed with the power of bionics. After the addition of bionics to the mix of better quality materials. The game of prostheses changed forever. The mundane and mostly commatic prostheses were able to obey the commands of their users. And the overall experience for the amputees became empowering.

Today it is fairly easy to avail an advanced prosthetic arm equipped with bionic technologies. But many lack the necessary awareness required before making the investment decision. This article will try to enlighten the reader regarding the most essential facts to keep in mind before deciding to avail a prosthesis.

How it works

Before we dive deep into our topic, we must understand how a bionic prosthesis works. A bionic prosthesis is controlled by an overboard microcomputer, Able to transcribe EMG signals into gestures and actions, based on the hardware capability. The electromyographic signals are received by EMG sensors placed on the skin and are non-invasive in nature. These non-invasive sensors pick up EMG signals from the muscles. And feed the same to the computer.


Presence of progressive diseases

Calibration of a bionic prosthesis is a long and tedious process, It takes a long time for the patient to understand the limitations and abilities of a bionic prosthesis. The presence of progressive diseases (e.g. – ALS) renders the sensory-motor apparatus worse performing than usual. This hampers the calibration and deprives the patient of an empowering experience.


Nature of injury


Amputations can result from many accidents. Which might include additional injuries and relevant anatomical damage. Some damages may not harm the physical aspects of a bionic prosthesis but can hamper the functional aspects greatly. For instance, functional damage to the spine and relevant dermatomes disqualifies the possibility of wielding a bionic prosthesis. A functional sensory-motor apparatus is essential for the generation of EMG signals.


Presence of phantom limb


The human body is a fine-tuned and well-calibrated organism. And in the face of the daily grind, it utilizes most of its anatomy in order to thrive. In order to operate a limb with finesse, certain anatomical modifications take place. The existence of these modifications is dependent on the stimulus they are expected to receive. In case of a sudden loss of an arm, these modifications do not disappear overnight. And as long as they remain active the brain refuses to acknowledge the loss. Thus an amputee continues to feel the lost limb and all the pseudo sensations related to it. Sometimes they turn into severe pain. This condition can be alleviated by the use of an advanced prosthetic arm. It is considered ideal to implement the bionic enhancement while the phantom limb inconveniences are at their prime. Hence, it is recommended to make the right decision while it can still be taken.

State of the residual limb


The working mechanism reveals that residual muscles are essential for the functioning of a bionic limb. Muscles are the sole source of electromyographic signals. Many amputees fail to retain those muscles due to the candid nature of amputations. Tese amputees can not avail of the blessings of bionics. Moreover, the length of a limb must be of ideal measurement in order to fit a prosthesis.  Hence it is wise to measure the length properly, before thinking about the investment.