Category: Clinical Sciences/Health Conditions
The average cost of an upper limb prosthesis is $30,000 over a period of 5 years. Advancements in 3D printing has led to the technology becoming more affordable; some prostheses cost as little as $50 in materials. 3D printers can have a one-time cost as low as $2500. Issues with limb prostheses include prosthetic abandonment due to ill-fitting, atypical amputations, or natural growth. 3D printing offers an inexpensive, individualized, and reproducible solution, especially for marginalized communities.
Currently, there are 3 types of prosthetic upper extremities which are 3D printable: body-driven prostheses activated by motion, myoelectric prostheses activated by amplification of nerve impulses, and static prostheses with immovable parts. We primarily utilize the body-driven and myoelectric designs.
Our clinic has printed several devices:
Physiatrists aim for patient centered care and many of our patients suffer from chronic disabilities but lack access to insurance for prosthetic delivery. 3D printing of individualized prosthetics is a cost-effective, reproduceable solution for physiatrists who deal with a myriad of disabilities. 3D printing these open source designs should be encouraged in rehabilitation clinics since it is implementable in an office-based setting.
Sandeep Yerra– Research Fellow, Montefiore Hospital
Vikram Madan– Research Associate, Montefiore Medical Center
Sadee Soleymani– Research Fellow, Montefiore Hospital
Hope Okpokam– Research Fellow, Montefiore hospital
Richa Sheth– Medical Student, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Matthew Bartels– Professor and Chairman, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Stephanie Rand– Associate Program Director, Montefiore Medical Center