Hand transplantation compared with prosthetic fitting
This study aimed to objectively compare the use of upper limb prosthetics to hand transplantation. Every participant who received a transplant experienced acute rejection at least once, and treatment of this causes many secondary symptoms. Despite this, the quality of life scores for allograft recipients was greater than for those using the prosthetic.
Loosing a hand is life changing; science and technology have tried over the years to come up with ways to replace the lost limb.
The first hand allograft was in 1964 but was rejected by the recipient’s body; the first successful transplant, in 1998, was rejected within two and half years when the recipient was not able to maintain the immunosuppressant regime.
Parallel to this development, myoelectric prosthetics have advanced greatly. Many modern prosthetics allow intuitive control and finer movements. However, grooming is still a common limitation in prosthetic ability.
To compare the two options, participants were assessed on their global arm functions and the satisfaction in quality of life. Although there are many beliefs about the limitations of current prosthetics, the functionality scores showed no significant difference. The continued regime of immunosuppressants is paramount to avoiding rejection, but can leave the individual vulnerable to infection et cetera.
Want to read deeper into this topic? Have a look at this interesting article that was published in The Lancet!
Which option would you choose?
> From: Salminger et al., PLoS One 11 (2016) e0162507. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.