Faculty mentor: Julia Dunn
In the United States, there are roughly 1.7 million people who have lost a limb. Though the majority of patients have lost their lower limb, approximately 50,000 patients have upper limb loss (Cordella 2016). Transhumeral amputations, amputations along the length of the humerus, can be more limiting than more distal amputations because fewer joints are preserved. In addition, the shape and form of conventional socket suspension systems interfere with shoulder range of motion, further limiting arm movement and articulation. Limiting shoulder range of motion may lead to compensatory motion at other joints when completing activities of daily living, resulting in additional energy expenditure and potential risk of injury due to overuse and fatigue. These compensatory movements may lead to pain and additional health problems which ultimately decrease the quality of life of patients with upper limb loss (Webster 2021).
Therefore, the primary objective with this project is to study individuals with transhumeral limb loss and quantify the relationship between shoulder range of motion and compensatory movements in the trunk and neck. We hypothesize that if shoulder range of motion is limited, then there will be a higher degree of movement in the trunk and neck when compared to individuals without limited shoulder range of motion. Successfully quantifying this relationship will inform future research focused on improving quality of life for patients using upper limb prosthetics and novel devices such as osseointegrated (OI) endoprosthetic docking systems (Zaid 2019).
Watch my research presentation below.
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