Upper Extremity Prosthetics

Prosthetic Services


Losing an arm or a hand doesn’t necessarily have to lead to the loss of independence. The availability of prosthetic arms and hands has made it possible for amputees to overcome their disabilities and lead normal lives. These artificial limbs are designed to provide functionality and mobility for amputees, allowing them to perform a wide range of tasks in their daily lives and feel greater self-confidence. Below is a comprehensive guide to prosthetic arms and hands.

boy playing guitar with prosthetic hand
Computer-Aided Design And Manufacturing for prosthetics
woman walking with prosthetic leg in chicago

Have a question about an Upper Extremity Prosthetics device? 

Call Us: (866) 843-8325

Contact Us


What Is a Prosthetic Arm or Hand?

A prosthetic upper limb refers to an artificially made device that serves as a substitute for a partially or entirely lost hand or arm due to an accident, injury, illness, or congenital defect. They come in different shapes, sizes, and designs. A prosthetic hand or arm typically comprises shafts, sockets, and components to imitate the attachment of the limb to a joint or ball and socket. It may be attached to the body with the use of cables.

A prosthesis may be cosmetic, functional, or both. A cosmetic prosthesis is usually designed for the sole purpose of making the limb look natural and provides little or no functionality. A functional prosthesis, on the other hand, can help an amputee perform certain tasks that are challenging or impossible following the loss of a limb. However, it typically offers little or no cosmetic disguise.

What Are the Options Available for a Prosthetic Arm or Hand?

People who have congenital differences or amputated upper limbs have five prosthetic options to choose from. When deciding which option is most appropriate, you have to take a number of factors into consideration, including your level of limb loss, the purpose of using a prosthesis, and your lifestyle. Below is a list of options available for an upper extremity (arm or hand) prosthesis.

Passive Prosthesis

In general, a passive upper extremity prosthesis is designed to resemble an arm, hand, or fingers. While it isn’t able to move actively, this lightweight prosthesis may improve function by offering a surface for carrying or stabilizing objects. It may be covered with a basic production glove or custom-painted, high-definition silicone that looks like a person’s natural hand, arm, or fingers. A passive prosthesis may be combined with multi-positional joints to give its user the ability to position the finger joints, wrist, elbow, or shoulder for improved function.

Body-Powered Prosthesis

A body-powered prosthetic operates with the use of a system of harnesses, cables, and sometimes manual control. When you move your chest, shoulder, upper arm, or another part of your upper body, the movement will be captured and used to control the prosthetic limb. As you become more familiar with the different levels of tension on the cable, you’ll likely achieve an improved sense of the limb’s position and degree of opening. A body-powered prosthesis is the preferred option for people who perform manual labor because of their basic function and durability.

Electrically Powered Prosthesis

In an electrically powered prosthesis, there are usually motors and batteries that provide power to facilitate movement. The electric components found in such a device may vary depending on the level of limb loss it’s intended to compensate for. An electrically powered prosthetic limb may use sensors or other inputs that can detect muscle movements in the upper body or residual limb. Upon detection of movements, such sensors will signal the motors to make the desired movements. In many cases, an electrically powered prosthetic comes with a cosmetic glove.

Hybrid Prosthesis

A hybrid prosthesis is a cross between a body-powered prosthesis and an electrically powered prosthesis. Such a device may provide a better functional outcome in certain situations. Usually, a hybrid prosthetic limb is designed for people with a high level of limb loss, which requires multiple movable components. It may have an extended area of function that broadens its use on the job or in other activities.

Activity-Specific Prosthesis

An activity-specific prosthesis is designed for a certain activity that can’t be properly performed with an electrically powered, body-powered, or passive prosthesis or a residual limb without a prosthesis. Some examples of activity-specific prostheses include sports prostheses, work-specific prostheses, and hobby-specific prostheses.

How to Make a Prosthetic Arm or Hand?

Prosthetic arms or hands aren’t mandatory. However, they’re highly recommended because they can help amputees return to their everyday activities. If you’ve undergone an upper-limb amputation recently, it’s essential to know how to make a prosthetic hand or arm that suits you perfectly.

The process of making a prosthetic arm begins with a prosthetist, the person who designs, measures, and fits the prosthesis. This medical specialist works with you and your doctor to determine the ideal prosthetic arm design for you based on your unique circumstances and needs.

The process of prosthetic arm design begins several days after the amputation. Typically, the prosthetist will measure the length of the stump and then compare it to measurements of the remaining sound limb. After the measurements are taken, plaster will be used to make a mold of the prosthesis. It can take several weeks for your prosthetic arm to be completed.

During the fitting session, your prosthesis will be connected to the stump and arranged and aligned until it fits perfectly. Sometimes, it may be necessary to make several adjustments. The same process applies to prosthetic hand design and production.

The cost of an upper-limb prosthesis can vary greatly, anywhere from less than $5,000 to more than $100,000. The cost mainly depends on the type of prosthesis you choose. A purely cosmetic prosthetic arm is typically the lowest-priced option, while a myoelectric prosthetic arm is often the most expensive. For the same type of prosthesis, prosthetic arm cost is usually higher than prosthetic hand cost.

Our Upper Extremity Prosthetic Services

Whether you have undergone a partial hand amputation or full arm amputation, you can live a normal life again by getting an expertly made prosthesis from Scheck & Siress. We offer a wide array of premium-quality upper extremity prosthetic services to meet your unique needs and preferences, including:

  • Body-powered limbs.
  • Myoelectric limbs.
  • Activity-specific prostheses.
  • Partial hand prostheses.
  • Prosthetic fingers.
  • Cosmetic covers for a lifelike appearance.
  • Scheduled device maintenance and repairs.
  • Ongoing patient education.

If you’re looking for a company that offers reliable and perfect-fitting prosthetic arms or hands, don’t hesitate to speak with our friendly and helpful representatives. Contact us today at 866-843-8325.