Neuroprostheses for the upper extremity

  • Keith M
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Functional electrical stimulation (FES) neuroprostheses can be used to replace lost motor and sensory function in persons with neurological disorders. FES technology has subsequently been shown effective and safe in restoring hand function in adults with spinal cord injury. The freehand system consists of an implanted receiver-stimulator, an external shoulder position sensor, and an external control unit. Commands are originated by voluntary movement of the contralateral shoulder and are measured by the sensor. There are several types of electrodes: epimysial, intramuscular, nerve cuff, and intraneural. Neuroprostheses are recommended within the context of all available reconstructive options for the upper limbs. Voluntary tendon transfers are the first choice. The clinical outcomes as measured by improvement on scales of impairment, activities of daily living, and satisfaction are rewarding. The next step in improvement of the motor function of person with spinal cord injury will be the addition of a controllable second upper extremity and the elimination of additional external hardware.

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  • Michael W. Keith

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