This month's member spotlight features two Florida PTs who are at the forefront of hand rehabilitation. Amanda Thomas PT, DPT and Teresa Munecas PT, DPT, EdD, professors at the Florida International University program in physical therapy, recently published a study featuring the first home exercise program that uses a 3D printed hand to help improve functional outcomes in strength, range of motion, sensory integration and
For the study—titled “A rehabilitation protocol for the use of a 3D-printed prosthetic hand in pediatrics: A case report”—Thomas and Munecas worked with a 6-year-old boy with a right congenital upper limb deficiency. They found evidence that 3D printed prosthetic hands can help PTs treat congenital limb deficiencies. The studies evidence will help guide treatment and clinical decision making for future studies.
“This study has helped incorporate new technology in the advancement of patient care,” said one of the authors, FPTA member Terry Muñecas, PT, DPT, EdD., who serves as Director of Clinical Education and as an assistant physical therapy professor at Florida International University. The hope is to further assess the protocol to help more patients and improve outcomes.”
The study’s other author, Amanda Thomas, PT, DPT—Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at Florida International University— points out that the study’s success could hold promise for 3D printing technology to be more commonly used in rehabilitation. “A rehabilitative protocol that uses 3D printing technology can change the way we use adaptive devices within therapeutic sessions,” said Thomas. “I can’t wait to see where the future research takes us.”
To read the full study, visit https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36402711//