Upper Extremity Prosthetics

Upper Extremity Prosthetics(From the waist up) People born without an arm or hand, or those who experience an upper limb/extremity amputation, are missing not only a limb, but also a sophisticated tool for daily living. We focus on the unique needs of each individual, bringing them the latest technologies and clinical techniques. Selecting and learning to use a prosthesis can be a major challenge. Our specialists make facing this challenge a little easier with a comprehensive program that addresses each person’s functional, psychological and occupational needs.

Amputation Levels

Amputation LevelsThe type of prosthesis you will wear is based upon the length of your residual limb.

There are several different types of upper extremity amputations that can occur:

  • Fingers or partial hand (transphalangeal or transcarpal)
  • Wrist disarticulation (through the wrist joint)
  • Below-elbow (transradial)
  • Elbow disarticulation (through the elbow joint)
  • Above-elbow (transhumeral)
  • Bilateral (both sides of the body are affected)
  • Shoulder disarticulation (through the shoulder joint)
  • Interscapular Thoracic (removal of entire shoulder girdle)

Passive-ProsthesisProsthetic Options

​Information is power and at Orthoworx Orthotics & Prosthetics we want to give each person the information they need to understand their prosthetic options.

​Depending on the level of the amputation you will have different options – the main prosthetic option categories is discussed below.

Passive Prosthesis

The passive prosthesis, which is a cosmetic restoration, is another option for upper extremity patients. It is an excellent choice for users who do not require precise hand control or grasp, but still seek a cosmetically pleasing prosthesis.

Body-powered Arm Prosthesis

The conventional or body-powered arm prosthesis is a choice many upper extremity users make. This prosthesis is suspended from a harness fastened around the person’s shoulder or upper torso. It is controlled by upper body movements that utilize a cable connected to the harness at one end, and to a mechanical hand, hook or elbow at the other end. Many people feel this type of prosthesis grants them a wide range of basic function and control.

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Electrically Powered Prosthesis

Another option is the electrically powered prosthesis that utilizes motors to open and close the hand, and can also flex and extend the elbow or rotate the wrist. This option offers many control choices.

Myoelectric Prosthesis

Myoelectric-ProsthesisOne of the most popular is myoelectric control. The user controls the prosthesis by contracting the muscles in the residual limb, generating EMG signals that activate the motor in the elbow, wrist or hand. Some people find that the myoelectric prosthesis allows a greater range of motion, a more natural appearance, and enhanced work ability. It is also more comfortable since the harness is either smaller or is eliminated completely.

Hybrid Prosthesis

Combining elements of the conventional and the electrically powered prosthesis create another option – the hybrid. A hybrid prosthesis provides the user with the unique ability to operate the elbow and the hand at the same time. This feature can dramatically increase the rehabilitation potential of some individuals.

Finally, the adaptive or activity-specific prosthesis is meant for the individual whose specialized requirements cannot be met by the other options. Various terminal devices can be utilized depending on the specialized activity. For example, custom adaptations can be fabricated for photography, swimming, golf, fishing, paddling and most other recreational activities.

We’re here to help you find the right prosthesis – Contact us today!