Hand and foot prostheses include single or multiple fingers, partial or full hands, individual or multiple toes, and partial feet. Passive functional prostheses are those that typically offer some basic function and closely resemble the natural body part they replace.
They are custom made for each individual, with great care and attention paid to all details of color, shape, texture and fit. In most cases these custom prosthetics are created with hard acrylic (paintable with nail polish) finger or toenails and are held in place by a customized slight pressure suction fit. They are often prescribed by orthopedic surgeons or hand therapists.
Hand and finger prostheses restore symmetry to the hands, and by restoring length, may provide opposition to a remaining mobile thumb or finger(s). They protect the sensitive tissues from trauma and extreme temperatures, and if the patient has movement in the remaining portion of the fingers or hand, the prosthesis will restore a degree of function. Through passive function, practical or specialized tasks may be facilitated by the prosthesis.
The toe or partial foot prosthesis a patient is fit with can make a great difference in his or her ability to walk, and how much energy it takes. "Toe fillers" are inadequate to address the needs of the partial foot amputee. Foot amputations can commonly cause pain and discomfort all over the body. Migration of remaining toes, misalignment, pain and leg length issues are common complaints following anputation, and typically worsen over time if not adequately addressed. Comfortable fit, control of weight-bearing forces and adaptation to the needs of each individual are the most important features of a custom-molded silicone prosthesis. Gait will improve due to increased anterior and lateral (side) support the prosthesis provides by restoring forefoot anatomy. This also contributes to reduction of lateral "drop off" by restoring forefoot width.
Getting fit with a custom prosthesis is a process in which no step is completed with out the patient's involvement. Clients gain a psychological benefit from the realistic qualities of a prosthesis that allow them to focus on daily activities and living productive lives rather than being distracted by other peoples’ reaction to their scars or amputation.