Functional improvement with digital prosthesis use after multiple digit amputations

Scott D. Lifchez, Judith Marchant-Hanson, Hani S. Matloub, James R. Sanger, William W. Dzwierzynski, Hanh H. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: Patients who sustain traumatic amputation of multiple fingers suffer both a functional and psychologic loss. Previous studies of prosthesis use for finger amputees have focused primarily on the psychologic benefits. Clinically our group noticed a functional improvement on hand function tests when patients with multiple digit amputations used a prosthesis. Given the expense of multiple finger prostheses we sought to determine if they led to a consistent functional improvement in these patients. Methods: Ten consecutive patients performed a battery of hand function tests and rated their ability to perform a variety of activities of daily living both with and without their prosthesis using the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire. Results: Our results show a significant improvement in 3-finger-pinch strength and grip strength and a trend of improvement of tip-pinch, lateral-pinch, and grip strength in dynamometer positions 1, 2, 3, and 4 in these patients when tested with and without their prostheses. Function in activities of daily living, as assessed by the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire, was improved globally with prosthesis use. In addition, significant improvement was noted in several specific activities including opening a jar, writing, and turning a key, among others. Conclusions: These results show that prosthesis use provides a functional benefit to these patients in multiple activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-794
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Finger amputation
  • Finger prostheses
  • Hand function
  • Traumatic amputation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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