Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center

Effect of Myoelectric Custom Orthosis on Upper Limb Function

Co-Investigators: Stefania Fatone, PhD; Rebecca Stine, MS

Sponsor:Myomo Inc.

Status: In progress

Project Overview

Image courtesy of Myomo Inc.Use of an upper extremity orthosis may help restore function of the impaired arm such that it can assist with functional tasks [1-4]. However, there are few upper extremity orthoses available that restore useful function to the neurologically involved upper limb, especially where hypertonicity or spasticity is present. The MyoPro (Myomo, Cambridge, MA) is a recently developed custom myoelectric elbow-wrist-hand orthosis intended to be worn for functional assistance in everyday tasks. It has also been suggested that if worn in the everyday environment, this orthosis could provide a powered assist during daily activities [1]. The goal of this use would be to facilitate performance of daily tasks.

The purpose of our project is to evaluate the functional benefits of a myoelectric custom orthosis for persons with upper limb impairments using a cross-sectional repeated measures study that combines both patient-reported and quantitative outcome measures. We will recruit 30 subjects with upper limb impairment who have been fitted and trained to use the MyoPro custom myoelectric elbow-wrist-hand orthosis and 9 able-bodied subjects. Questionnaires will be used to assess patient perception of upper limb function and satisfaction with device, while 2D motion analysis will be used to assess upper limb and trunk excursion with and without the orthosis while performing a set of patient-selected tasks and a set of standardized tasks.


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  3. Hawthorne K. Technology Convergence. The O&P Edge. 2013.
  4. Page SJ, Hermann VH, Levine PG, Lewis E, Stein J and DePeel J. Portable neurorobotics for the severely affected arm in chronic stroke: a case study. J Neurol Phys Ther: JNPT. 2011; 35: 41-6.