Hand Conditions

Amputations and Prosthetics

Definition:

Amputation is the removal, by accident or injury, of a body part. A prosthetic is an artificial body part that replaces some of the function and appearance of the missing part.

Pathology:

  • Traumatic injury is the most common reason for amputation
  • Other times a finger or hand must be amputated due to infection, tumor, vascular compromise, or complications due to diabetes.

Treatment:

  • Prior to surgery, a careful assessment will be made to determine the location and amount of tissue to be removed.
  • The surgeon may be able to close the amputation wound by rearranging skin. It may be necessary to shorten the bone or tendon so that there’s enough soft tissue to cover the bone. Sometimes, the surgeon may have to use skin, muscle or tendons from another part of the body to cover the wound.
  • In more extensive amputation injuries, the surgeon may shape the finger or the hand to be able fit a prosthetic hand or finger later.
  • Sometimes, more than one procedure is required to maintain maximal length and function of the injured area.

Post-Op Treatment

The MSA Hand Clinic is associated with Hanger Clinic and works closely with their clinicians to assure you achieve optimal comfort and use from your prosthetic. Our certified hand therapist is specially trained in prosthetic therapy. A prosthetic hand or finger can be helpful in restoring length to a partially amputated finger, enabling opposition between the thumb and a finger, and allowing a hand amputee to stabilize and hold objects with bendable fingers.

The MSA Hand Clinic’s amputation clinic and its interdisciplinary team help patients recover and adapt to the use of a prosthetic. Some amputation patients may decide not to use a prosthesis; hand therapy can also be valuable for them. Therapy helps patients regain function and may also reduce pain and abnormal sensation. Exercises may be provided to build strength and improve range of motion.

Source: assh.org