Attachment of upper arm prostheses with a subcutaneous osseointegrated implant in transhumeral amputees

Stefan Salminger, Andreas Gradischar, Richard Skiera, Aidan D Roche, Agnes Sturma, Christian Hofer, Oskar C Aszmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The stump-socket interface is of utmost importance for prosthetic function in transhumeral amputees. Stability of this connection may be improved using a newly designed subcutaneous implant.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose was to determine the effect of the implant together with customized socket designs on the range of motion of the shoulder and the prosthetic function compared to conventional fitting.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series.

METHODS: The range of motion was measured with scaled metrics and the prosthetic function evaluated with the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure and the Box and Block Test. Maximal loading was measured in straight and 90° flexion of the elbow.

RESULTS: The restriction of range of motion after conventional fitting was decreased from 42.55% ± 6.56% to 9.23% ± 14.89% in Patient I and from 62.18% ± 15.19% to 2.51% ± 2.49% in Patient II using the implant with customized sockets compared to range of motion without prosthesis. Both patients showed improved prosthetic function with the new system compared to conventional fitting.

CONCLUSION: The presented subcutaneous humeral implant, together with customized socket designs without straps and harnesses to the contralateral shoulder, can maintain almost complete range of motion of the shoulder. This resulted in improved prosthetic function and comfort for the patient without constant risk of infection. Clinical relevance Discomfort and limited prosthetic function are the main reasons for abandonment especially in transhumeral amputees. Shoulder straps and harnesses within conventional socket designs may not only lead to pain and skin irritations at the contralateral shoulder but also limit the range of motion of the shoulder joint and therefore prosthetic function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalProsthetics and orthotics international
Issue number1
Early online date16 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Adult
  • Amputation Stumps/physiopathology
  • Artificial Limbs
  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity/physiology
  • Osseointegration
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Range of Motion, Articular/physiology
  • Upper Extremity
  • Weight-Bearing/physiology


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