Upper Extremity Care

There are five Upper Extremity Prosthetic options for an individual amputee to consider. They include:

  • Body / Cable Powered Options
  • Electrically Powered Options
  • Hybrid (using a combination of the above techniques)
  • Passive / Cosmetic
  • Task / Function Specific Options

Associated with the above limb extremity options are a host of different components. At Green Prosthetics & Orthotics we obtain our components, devices, interfaces, and systems from some of the most well known and technologically advanced manufacturing companies in the world. See our Technology Section for examples. We take these components and custom fashion them into a final prosthesis. An Upper Extremity Prosthesis incorporates components from a number of categories depending on the amputation level. They are discussed below:


A terminal device replaces the major functions of the hand. A large number of options are currently available. They can be “passive units” which are those designed for a particular function such as helping a young child crawl or those for specific activities, such as tennis, golfing, bowling, swimming, fishing, weight lifting, skiing, shooting pool, rock climbing, baseball, hunting, photography, and playing musical instruments (drums and guitars). The second type of terminal devices are categorized as “active”. These are designed around providing multiple grip capabilities for multi-use purposes. They can be body or electrically powered. They are normally in a “hook” or “hand” form. Cutting edge research continues in the development of terminal devices that are both functional and cosmetically pleasing.


Wrist units provide the means for orienting the terminal device to the desired location. Depending on the unit they can be positioned manually, by cable, or through external power. Once positioned, the wrist unit is held in place by a friction lock or a mechanical lock. Many different designs are available, including a quick-disconnect unit for interchanging terminal devices.


These systems can be body or electrically powered and allow the wearer to extend or flex the elbow to a desired location and lock it in as needed.


When amputation is required at the shoulder, functionality is very difficult to restore. This is due to the weight of the components that extend down through to the hand and the amount of strength required to operate the overall prosthesis. Often times a passive / cosmetic prosthetic is chosen to improve one’s body image and the ability to wear normal clothing.


External breast prostheses are artificial breast forms that can be worn after one or both breasts have been surgically removed. An individual will be fitted for the prosthesis so that it can be custom-made for their body. There are a number of different types. They may be made from gel, foam, silicone, or other materials that feel similar to natural tissue. They are sized and weighted so that they look and feel the same as the remaining breast if only one has been removed. Some adhere to the chest area while others are made to fit into the pockets of post-mastectomy bras. Partial prostheses, sometimes called enhancers or equalizers are also available for individuals who have had part of their breasts removed.


At Green Prosthetics & Orthotics we offer a complete range of custom Upper Extremity Prostheses based on 70 years of experience. Our service to each patient starts with a thorough consultation / assessment, and continues through recommendations, creating a treatment plan, providing education, and custom fabrication and fitting of the prosthetic device.