Medical Device Prevents Phantom Limb

August 10, 2010

Scientists at the University of Jena and surgeons at the Jena University Hospital have modified conventional hand prostheses to reduce phantom pain after underarm amputation.

Scientists at the University of Jena and surgeons at the Jena University Hospital have modified conventional hand prostheses to reduce phantom pain after underarm amputation.

The new medical device uses a stimulation device that is connected to the remaining part of the upper arm by a cuff.

“There are pressure sensors between thumb and index finger as well as on the thumb of the hand prosthesis,” Professor Dr Gunther Hofmann, Director of the Jena Department for Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery said, in a press release.

These sensors were originally meant to regulate the strength of grip, Hofman said.

“Our system is now able to transmit this sensory information from the hand to the upper arm,” Hofmann said.

The brain recognizes the feedback from the prosthesis as if it was an authentic hand. The Jena system helps to prevent or reverse the reorganization of the brain that causes phantom limb.