What Are Some Common Comorbidities That You Often See With A Prosthesis?

Debra Latour, OTD, M.Ed. Advanced Practice of Occupational Therapy, OTR/L

October 19, 2015

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Question

What are some common comorbidities that you often see with a prosthesis?

Answer

Great question. It is not uncommon for me to see some carpel tunnel, elbow tendonitis in the opposite side. Not uncommon for me to see diabetes and patients having to utilize insulin pumps, and then also having paresthesias in their intact hand, which is not uncommon and becomes even more common if the individual has been a long-time user of prosthesis use or even a long-time non-user so that they really have overuse going on. They may develop thoracic outlet syndrome, rotator cuff injuries and a lot of shoulder problems.

I often see patients who have neck pain, shoulder pain and asymmetry so I do try to get them on a Pilates program as soon as possible. Another thing that I always send them home with, or often send them home with if they're going to be using myoelectric technology is exercising their myocytes, but also engaging them in core strengthening and deep breathing because I can find that to be incredibly helpful with controlling some of these signals during the management phase.


debra latour

Debra Latour, OTD, M.Ed. Advanced Practice of Occupational Therapy, OTR/L

Dr. Debra Latour, OTD, M.Ed., OTR/L is a registered occupational therapist and owner of Single-Handed Solutions, LLC, providing clinical, educational, and research consulting services to manufacturers, providers, and individuals with upper limb loss/difference. She offers clinical interventions through her affiliation with Handspring Clinical Service.   Debi graduated from BSOT/Tufts University and earned her M.Ed. (Advanced Practice OT) from Springfield College and post-professional OTD at A.T. Still University. She is a full-time academic faculty at Western New England University.  Debi is active with the Amputee Coalition and is a member of ACPOC, AAOP, ATA, and AOTA. Debi has a congenital upper limb difference, is an active prosthesis-user and shares her experiences and tips through her blog at www.Single-HandedSolutions.blogspot.com. She is the inventor of record of patented prosthetic technology, and has authored published articles and chapters in occupational therapy text books, as well as copyrighted educational materials distributed by ContinuEd and MedBridge. Debi has consulted with Scholastic Books as a sensitivity reader for diverse publications, was mentioned in the book “Inventology” (by Pagan Kennedy), and is a subject in the “We Design” exhibit of Design Museum, that opened October 3 in Boston, MA.


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