The restoration of function in shoulder disarticulation patients is challenging. In an attempt to improve functional control of myoelectric prostheses, an effort has been made to study the possibility of transferring the residual nerves to spare muscles in or near the residual limb. These nerves are used to reinnervate targeted muscles, and then surface myoelectric signals from the reinnervated muscle can be used as additional control signals for an externally powered prosthesis. Because the nerves would be controlling functions in the prosthesis that they controlled in the natural arm, operation of the device is easier and more natural. The authors describe the first application of this technique, called “targeted reinnervation,” to a man with bilateral shoulder disarticulation amputations, with a focus on the prosthetic fitting and its challenges.
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