About 75% of amputees exhibit mobility of their phantom limb. Using this information, in collaboration with physicians, researchers from CNRS, Aix-Marseille University and Sorbonne University have developed a prototype capable of detecting these movements and activating a prosthetic arm. The prosthesis does not require any surgery and patients do not need training. The results are published on November 29, 2018 in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.
Most amputees feel sensations where their missing limb used to be, hence the name “phantom limb.” In a previous study, researchers had shown that more than 75% of amputees can voluntarily move their phantom limb. The execution of these “phantom” movements, such as for instance finger pinching, the hand making a fist, or the wrist rotating or flexing, are always associated with specific muscle contractions in the stump. In people with an upper arm amputation, these contractions concern muscle groups that are not connected with the joints used before the amputation, as if muscle reinnervation had spontaneously occurred, without surgery.
The team of researchers has developed a natural approach of prosthesis control that exploits this phenomenon. For the prototype, the researchers created algorithms capable of recognizing muscle activity generated by mobilization of the phantom limb and reproduction of the detected movement by the prosthesis: intuitive control, without training or surgery.
In the tests, two transhumeral amputees used this type of control to act with a prosthesis not worn but placed near their arm stump. The results were very encouraging. They showed that the participants could control the prosthesis and achieve the task after only a few minutes of familiarization with the system, despite long action periods. This research is very promising, since arm amputees often have difficulty in controlling their prostheses effectively, to a point that many give it up.
The researchers are continuing their work by moving on to tests on prostheses being worn, while also contributing to increasing knowledge about the phenomenon of the phantom limb, whose mechanisms are not yet properly understood. These scientists have also shown the need to reconsider the phenomenon of phantom limbs, generally taboo, often attributed to mourning the lost limb, and mainly considered from the angle of pain.
The Latest on: Phantom limb
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The Latest on: Phantom limb
- To Reduce Phantom Limb Pain: Reroute Nerves During Amputation on December 28, 2018 at 10:51 am
The nerves severed during the amputation needs to be attached to the surrounding muscle tissue to re-establish its neural circuitry and thereby reduce the phantom pain. The results of this study are p... […]
- Rerouting nerves during amputation reduces phantom limb pain before it starts on December 28, 2018 at 8:54 am
Dr. J. Byers Bowen (left) and Dr. Ian Valerio follow up with a leg amputee who had targeted muscle reinnervation surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Those who received the ... […]
- Targeted Muscle Reinnervation Can Reduce Phantom Limb Pain on December 28, 2018 at 1:23 am
THURSDAY, Dec. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Use of primary targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) can prevent or reduce pain in below-the-knee amputees, according to a report published online Dec. 27 in ... […]
- Surgical procedure helps patients with phantom limb pain on December 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm
Many people who lose a limb develop numbness and phantom limb pain that's the feeling that the missing limb is still there and it's injured. The pain can be so severe it prevents amputees from ... […]
- Rerouting Nerves in Amputees Shows Impressive Pain Reduction on December 27, 2018 at 12:07 pm
A new technique known as targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), where severed nerves in the amputated limb are rerouted to other muscle targets, is showing impressive reductions in debilitating phantom ... […]
- Rerouting Nerves Reduces Post-Amputation Pain on December 27, 2018 at 10:15 am
Rerouting severed nerves in below-knee amputations into surrounding muscle prevented symptomatic neuromas and reduced phantom limb pain, researchers reported. None of 22 amputation patients who underw... […]
- Jaki Shelton Green, a Tar Heel of the Year finalist, sees poetry ‘in just about anything’ on December 27, 2018 at 4:24 am
She vowed, “I will write them alive.” She calls the project “Phantom Limb,” because it’s about parts of her family tree that remain a mystery. “It feels like my ancestors have invited me on a serious ... […]
- Meet the 'Mirror Man' who's on a mission to help fellow amputees on December 25, 2018 at 3:00 am
Almost 15 years ago, a motorbike accident in Italy left Stephen Sumner with an amputated left leg and a strange, debilitating condition known as phantom limb pain. That condition, the 58-year-old told ... […]
- 13 Headlines From 2018 That Sound Made-Up But Aren't on December 25, 2018 at 12:59 am
The NHS say the condition is similar to that of phantom limb, where people who have had a limb amputated feel like it’s still there. In this case, those experiencing phantom rectum will feel as if the... […]
- Neuropathic Pain Market Worldwide Healthy Growth Rate | Share Analysis with Top Industry Players – Outlet till 2023 on December 24, 2018 at 4:46 am
By type, the neuropathic pain market is segmented into peripheral neuropathy, entrapment neuropathy, post-traumatic neuropathy, phantom limb pain, post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), and trigeminal neuralg... […]
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