Artificial hands, arms, legs, and feet, and other prostheses used by agricultural workers with a major limb amputation are not durable, affordable, or adaptable enough for their lifestyles, says a Medical News Today article based on a study published online in Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology.
Researchers conducted interviews with 40 American farmers and ranchers with amputations to gather information about how current and past prostheses were used, prosthetic failures, and their ability to complete farm tasks while using a prosthesis. They also interviewed 26 prosthetists who provide services to farmers and ranchers.
The study found that:
The study is part of a larger research project at the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center that aims to design educational materials tailored to the specific needs of farmers and ranchers with amputations and work with prosthesis manufacturers to develop and reengineer more robust products and components. Results of this ongoing research could benefit people with amputations who work in other physically demanding professions such as the military, construction, forestry, commercial fishing, mining, and manufacturing, the article says.
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