Functional Assessment of 3D Printed Prosthesis in Children with Congenital Hand Differences-A Prospective Observational Study

Anil K. Bhat, M. V. Vamsikrishna, Ashwath M. Acharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Children with congenital differences who require prosthesis, have special needs due to their growth and psychosocial factors. Cosmetic or body-powered prosthesis provides basic functional needs but poses a financial burden on the family. Prostheses with advanced functions need to be deferred until adulthood. 3D printed prosthesis is a novel alternative being cost-effective for children. Since limited literature is available on the functionality of 3D printed prosthesis and none in the South Asian population, this study was done to assess its utility in congenital hand amputations. Methods: Fourteen children with congenital hand amputations were selected for a prospective observational study. Unilateral below Elbow test (UBET), Box and Block test and ABILHAND questionnaire were used for assessment with and without prosthesis after six months. Results: Eleven patients completed the follow-up. Box and Block test improved from a mean score of 24 to 35 with the prosthesis implying an improvement in manual gross dexterity (p -0.049). UBET (p -0.002) and ABILHAND questionnaire (p < 0.001) showed a decrease in score with the use of a prosthesis which suggested a lack of lateral and tripod pinch in the current design of a prosthesis. Patients with below elbow prosthesis performed better. Conclusions: 3D printed prostheses are an excellent option for use as a transitional prosthesis as they are inexpensive, serves to improve needs with respect to grasping activities at both wrist and elbow level amputation and customizable according to patients' need and limb deficiency and replaceable as the child grows with age. Current designs are useful with respect to grasping activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-544
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery Asian-Pacific Volume
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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