Functional performance and patient satisfaction comparison between a 3D printed and a standard transradial prosthesis: a case report

Christopher Copeland, Claudia Cortes Reyes, Jean L. Peck, Rakesh Srivastava, Jorge M. Zuniga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The delay between amputation and prosthesis fitting contributes to the high rate of prosthetic abandonment despite advances in technology. Three-dimensional (3D) printing has allowed for the rapid fabrication of prostheses. Allowing individuals with amputations to interact with a prosthesis shortly after their procedure may reduce rejection chances. The purpose of the current investigation is to compare functional outcomes and patient satisfaction between a standard transradial prosthesis fitted in a clinic with a 3D-printed prosthesis fitted remotely. The standard prosthesis featured a hook terminal device, while the 3D printed prosthesis’ terminal device was a functional hand. Results: The main finding of this case study was that the use of a 3D printed arm prosthesis fitted remotely resulted in better functional performance, but lower overall patient satisfaction than the standard arm prosthesis. Use of the 3D printed arm resulted in improved gross manual dexterity as measured by the Box and Block test. The 3D printed prosthesis also allowed improved performance in bimanual coordination. However, the standard-hook device scored higher in patient satisfaction survey results. The patient's concerns with the 3D printed prosthesis were the durability and effectiveness of the device. Conclusion: While durability and complex grip patterns remain a concern, the positive attributes of 3D printed prostheses include visual appeal, ease of donning, and customization of parameters to improve upper-limb symmetry offers a promising option to familiarize new amputee patients with the use of a prosthesis. Rapid manufacturing and remote fitting allows 3D printed devices to serve as postoperative transitional devices and may function as definitive devices with minimal loss of functionality if standard clinic-based prostheses are not available. Methods: The patient was a 59-year-old male with a traumatic transradial amputation of the dominant arm. A 3D printed transradial prosthesis was remotely fitted and manufactured using photogrammetry. Assessments were performed initially with the standard-hook prosthesis and then with the 3D printed device after a 5-week familiarization period. Functional outcomes were evaluated using the Box and Block Test and Bimanual Coordination Tray Test. Patient satisfaction was evaluated using two self-reported questionnaires (the QUEST 2.0 and the modified OPUS).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalBioMedical Engineering Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • 3D printing
  • Computer-aided design
  • Functional outcome
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Transitional prosthesis
  • Transradial prosthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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