Introduction: Advancements in computer-aided design programs, additive manufacturing, and open-source image editing software offer the possibility of designing, printing, and fitting transitional prosthetic hands and other prosthetic devices at very low cost. The development and use of 3D-printed transitional prosthetic devices to increase range of motion (ROM), strength, and other relevant variables would have a significant clinical impact for children with upper-limb deficiencies. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify anthropometric, active ROM, and strength changes after 6 months of using a wrist-driven 3D-printed transitional prosthetic hand for children with upper-limb deficiencies. Materials and Methods: Anthropometric, active ROM, and strength measurements were assessed before and after 6 months of using a 3D-printed transitional hand prosthesis. Five children (two girls and three boys, 3-10 years of age) with absent digits (one traumatic and four congenital) participated in this study and were fitted with a 3D-printed transitional hand prosthesis. Results: There were significant hand × time interactions for the forearm circumference (p = 0.02), active ROM for flexion (p = 0.02), and extension values (p = 0.04). There were no significant hand × time interactions, however, for wrist flexion strength (p = 0.29), wrist extension strength (p = 0.84), active ROM for ulnar deviation (p = 0.5), active ROM for radial deviation (p = 0.25), and forearm skinfold values (p = 0.11). Conclusion: Although durability, environment, and lack of printing standards for the manufacturing of 3D-printed prostheses are factors to consider when using these types of devices, the practicality and cost-effectiveness represent a promising new option for clinicians and those patients with upper-limb deficiencies living in developing countries. Thus, the Cyborg Beast transitional prosthetic hand represents a low-cost prosthetic solution for those in need of a transitional device to increase ROM and forearm circumference.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine