Big Advancement in Upper Limb Prosthetic Market
Muscles that are involved in the control of limb movement are usually present in pairs that simultaneously stretch and contract. One such muscle is the biceps and triceps. When an individual bends his/her elbow, then bicep muscles contract, making the triceps muscles stretch. This stretch helps in sending sensory information back to the brain. Whenever a limb gets conventionally amputated, it restricts these muscle's movements, in turn cutting off their sensory feedback. This makes it hard for amputees to feel the presence of their prosthetic limbs or if any force is being applied to those limbs. When one muscle contracts and the other one does not have its antagonist activity, the brain gets confused due to mixed signals. Even when people use a state-of-the-art prosthesis, individuals have to consistently follow the prosthesis to try and calibrate their brains as to where the device is moving.
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has brought a solution for this problem through the reconnection of muscle pairs. This is a massive development in the Upper Limb Prosthetic Market as this may allow them to exert their regular push and pull actions, helping an individual’s brain receive better sensory feedback. It is a recent sort of amputation surgery that gives amputees the ability to control their residual muscles better and sense the presence of their “phantom” limb in space. The surgery would be an excellent development for amputees as it may help in the restoration of a sense of proprioception, resulting in better control of prosthetic limbs, in addition to reduced limb pain.
Researchers have stated in their study that as per their research, individuals would have control over their prosthetic limbs according to the ability they have to move those limbs. For example, the better an individual can move his/her phantom ankle, the better they could use their prosthesis.
To test their new Agonist-Antagonist Myoneural Interface (AMI) surgery, researchers selected 15 patients to perform this surgery. It is seen that these patients could better control their muscles than patients who have traditional amputations. AMI patients also reported that they experienced much more freedom of movement than before, in addition to less pain in their affected limbs.
Researchers tried to restore the natural movements of limbs by using surgical and regenerative techniques. They reported that a person with AMI experienced more significant phantom joint range movement, increased fidelity of prosthetic limb, and reduced pain level.
The team has also devised a modified method to apply the recent surgery on individuals who have already had a traditional amputation. They refer to the process as “regenerative AMI,” which includes grafting small muscle segments to be used as agonist and antagonist muscles for a joint that has been amputated.
Researchers are now developing a procedure for other types of amputation like above knee and above and below the knee.
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