Research Post

Myoelectric Prosthesis Users and Non-Disabled Individuals Wearing A Simulated Prosthesis Exhibit Similar Compensatory Movement Strategies


Background: Research studies on upper limb prosthesis function often rely on the use of simulated myoelectric prostheses (attached to and operated by individuals with intact limbs), primarily to increase participant sample size. However, it is not known if these devices elicit the same movement strategies as myoelectric prostheses (operated by individuals with amputation). The objective of this study was to compare compensatory movement strategies, measured by hand and upper body kinematics, of twelve non-disabled individuals wearing a simulated prosthesis to those of three individuals with transradial amputation using their custom-fitted myoelectric devices.

Methods: Motion capture was used to obtain kinematic data as participants performed a standardized functional task. Performance metrics, end effector movements and angular kinematics were analyzed.

Results: Results show that participants using a simulated or actual myoelectric prosthesis had similar differences in phase durations, hand velocities, hand trajectories, movement units, grip aperture plateaus, and trunk and shoulder motion when compared to normative behaviour.

Conclusions: This study suggests that the use of a simulated device in upper limb research offers a reasonable approximation of compensatory movement strategies employed by a novice to mid-skilled transradial myoelectric prosthesis user.

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