Here at Tierney Orthotics & Prosthetics, we want to help all of our clients get the high-quality prosthetic devices they need to enjoy the best possible quality of life. We offer a range of prosthetics to suit a wide variety of needs, and one of the most advanced types of prosthetics on the market are myoelectric prosthetics. In this article, we’ll go over what these devices are and how they work to help you decide if they are right for you.
The term myoelectric refers to the electrical properties of the muscles, the bioelectrical signals that make them contract or relax as necessary. Myoelectric prosthetics–which are typically used for upper-limb amputations–are designed to interface with these natural electrical signals, essentially connecting as directly as possible to the muscles of your residual limb and receiving and responding to the same nerve signals. It does this by means of sensors that are placed in the prosthetic socket, which detect the micro movements of the muscles in the residual limb and transfer that data to a controller, which then interprets the signal and passes it along to the electric motors in the prosthetic’s joints to make it move as you desire.
Not all myoelectric prosthetics are fully automated like this–in fact, many also have body-powered components to control the movements of the shoulder or elbow. If you are interested in the possibility of getting a myoelectric prosthetic for yourself, we encourage you to give our team a call to learn more.