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Collaborative Upper Limb Prosthetic Training and Rehabilitation

[No CEs] According to information posted by the Amputee Coalition (n.d.), there are approximately 2,000,000 Americans who have experienced the loss of a limb or have congenital limb difference and another 28,000,000 Americans who are at risk for amputation. The ratio of individuals with upper limb loss to individuals with lower limb loss is 1:4. Of these, the most common loss is a partial amputation of one or more digits, with loss of one upper extremity as the next most common (60% at the trans-radial level); approximately 2,000 Americans experience new upper limb amputations at, or proximal to, the wrist every year. Many individuals who experience acquired limb loss report that they are given little to no information from medical professionals.

Individuals with ULL/D present with specialized needs and benefit from multi-disciplinary intervention that includes occupational therapy, physical therapy, prosthetists and physiatrists among other disciplines. Oftentimes, care of these individuals requires specialized training, not readily available to clinicians. In these instances, access to a clinician, who is expert in prosthetic technology and its training, can be challenging. In addition, these individuals often experience secondary conditions that include pain, overuse and perceptions of isolation and social stigma. There is need for interventions to address secondary conditions affecting physical and mental health; current standard medical treatments often exclude psychosocial interventions. Unfortunately, access to specialized care for many consumers of upper limb prosthetic technology remains difficult, if not elusive.

Join us for a review of the factors that contribute to successful collaborative upper limb prosthetic training and rehabilitation from the perspective of the occupational therapy practitioner and a consumer of prosthetic technology.


1.0 Hr.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to describe the current upper limb prosthetic training and rehabilitation program including
    1. preparation for the diverse prosthetic technology
    2. drills and techniques to build control of the device
    3. application to functional tasks and meaningful activities
    4. awareness of secondary conditions that impact physical and emotional well-being
  2. Participants will gain and understanding of the importance of clinical competency of the occupational therapist in treating upper limb acquired loss/congenital difference
  3. Participants will be able to explain the importance of the holistic and collaborative approach to treating the upper limb loss/difference client population