Biomechanical Analysis of Body Movements of Myoelectric Prosthesis Users During Standardized Clinical Tests

Ivan Vujaklija, Moon Ki Jung, Timothy Hasenoehrl, Aidan D Roche, Agnes Sturma, Silvia Muceli, Richard Crevenna, Oskar C Aszmann, Dario Farina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVE: The objective clinical evaluation of user's capabilities to handle their prosthesis is done using various tests which primarily focus on the task completion speed and do not explicitly account for the potential presence of compensatory motions. Given that the excessive body compensation is a common indicator of inadequate prosthesis control, tests which include subjective observations on the quality of performed motions have been introduced. However, these metrics are then influenced by the examiner's opinions, skills, and training making them harder to standardize across patient pools and compare across different prosthetic technologies. Here we aim to objectively quantify the severity of body compensations present in myoelectric prosthetic hand users and evaluate the extent to which traditional objective clinical scores are still able to capture them.

METHODS: We have instructed 9 below-elbow prosthesis users and 9 able-bodied participants to complete three established objective clinical tests: Box-and-Blocks-Test, Clothespin-Relocation-Test, and Southampton-Hand-Assessment-Procedure. During all tests, upper-body kinematics has been recorded.

RESULTS: While the analysis showed that there are some correlations between the achieved clinical scores and the individual body segment travel distances and average speeds, there were only weak correlations between the clinical scores and the observed ranges of motion. At the same time, the compensations were observed in all prosthesis users and, for the most part, they were substantial across the tests.

CONCLUSION: The sole reliance on the currently available objective clinical assessment methods seems inadequate as the compensatory movements are prominent in prosthesis users and yet not sufficiently accounted for.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-799
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Humans
  • Artificial Limbs
  • Movement
  • Motion
  • Hand
  • Upper Extremity
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Electromyography
  • Biomechanical Phenomena


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