Amputees Express Interest In Surgeries To Restore Touch And Control

A recent study showed that amputees may be willing to undergo further surgery in order to regain some of what they have lost. Researchers surveyed people with amputations to establish their willingness to undergo surgery that would restore their sense of touch and provide better movement control. The interest in the surgery was found to be “substantial” according to the data that was published in “Expert Review of Medical Devices.”

Younger age and poorer mental health were associated with increased interest in both types of surgery. Infection as a cause of amputation was associated with increased interest in the surgery to restore a sense of touch. Long-term surgical risks were considered the most unacceptable risks, and device durability, comfort, and improved functional abilities were rated the most important benefits.

The study was administered over the telephone to 808 veterans. Multivariate logistic regression identified factors associated with willingness to consider surgery, and risk and benefit ratings were compared. The researchers concluded that 41.8 percent of respondents with unilateral amputations and 40.6 percent with bilateral amputations were willing to consider surgery for touch and 49 percent of all participants were willing to consider surgery for control.

Numbers were broken down based on certain demographics. Participants in the study who were 65-75 and older than 75 years old were 42 percent and 19 percent as likely to consider the surgery for touch than those who were 18-45 years old. That same group was only 20 percent as likely to consider a surgery for increased control over the younger participants. People with more sound mental health were 47 percent as likely to consider surgery for touch and 61 percent for control as those with worse mental health, and those with chronic diseases were 170 percent as likely than those without. Finally, users of myoelectric prosthetic devices were 216 percent as likely as users of body powered devices.

The paper was funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, through the Orthotics and Prosthetics Outcomes Research Program, Prosthetics Outcomes Research Award, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Source: The O&P Edge