Prosthetic arms

Upper extremity prostheses

Upper Extremity ProsthesesWe make sure your upper extremity prosthesis performs to your expectations.

Our facility has one of the most advanced upper extremity programs on the West Coast of the US. Our staff prosthetist, Anthony, is a below elbow amputee who specializes in custom prosthetics, both body powered and myoelectric controlled prosthetics. No one has more of an insight into the needs of the upper extremity amputee then someone who wears one.

The real problem with prosthetic arms

We have identified one of the greatest problems in the delivery of upper extremity prosthetic devices. Most amputees receive their prosthesis and are told to “figure it out”. We understand that follow up is one of the keys to providing upper extremity prostheses. We have a full kitchen and bath in our gait laboratorythat is designed to allow the teaching of activities of daily living. We can test the prosthesis under real life circumstances to determine if it truly meets the expectations of the wearer. We can train our clients to maximize the potential of their prosthesis before they take it home.

Your prosthetic arm will fit for a year – we guarantee it!

We also guarantee the fit of the prosthesis for one year. This means that if you have a myoelectric arm and the residual limb changes shape, we will replace the socket as many times as it takes to achieve a lasting fit. We have seen many expensive myoelectric prostheses that are unusable because the amputee’s stump changed rendering the electrodes functionless. We make everything in house so if something breaks, we can fix it. Basically, we provide a full service upper extremity experience; from fitting to training we make sure that the prosthesis works and meets expectations.

Our experience and attitude help us create prosthetics that empower – YOU.
Give us a call today at
775 849 0958

ArmOur prosthetist who is also an arm amputee

Anthony became a short below left elbow amputee October 8th, 1987 as a result of an industrial accident in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Two weeks later, a 1000 square cm (one square foot) skin graft was applied from his right thigh to the de-gloved residual limb. It took a year for the skin graft to heal, with a constant threat of a higher-level amputation.

“I was fit with a hard socket and wool sock for comfort. The next ten years of wearing a prosthesis was extremely uncomfortable.”

Eventually Anthony was fit with a gel roll-on liner that acted as a protective layer to the residual limb. Four years later, the roll-on locking liner was introduced and Anthony now had the fit, form and function that had eluded him all these years.

There are six basic prosthetic options:

  1. No prosthesis
  2. Cosmetic restoration
  3. Body-powered prosthesis
  4. Electrically powered prosthesis
  5. Hybrid prosthesis (electrically powered combined with body powered)
  6. Activity-specific prosthesis

A body-powered cable-activated prosthesis or cable-activated prosthesis uses cables attached to a harness that is secured to the prosthesis and to the patient. It depends on the motion of the residual limb relative to the patient’s body to control and power the functions of the prosthesis. The amputation level will determine the complexity of the prosthesis.

For higher-level amputations, two or three cabled harness systems may be required. In the triple-cable system, the prosthetic terminal device, used to replace some of the grasping functions of the hand, utilizes one of the cables. The other two cables are used to restore elbow flexion and elbow locking to the above-elbow prosthesis.

Robotic Limbs and HybridsRobotic Limbs and  Hybrids

An electrically powered prosthesis uses electric impulses from the residual limb’s muscles that are emitted during muscular contractions. The emissions are picked up by electrodes and are amplified for use to the operational elements of the prosthesis.

The myo-electric signal is used to control the prosthesis, which operates the motors, which, in turn, produce the movements of the prosthesis or terminal device such as an electric hook or hand.

A hybrid prosthesis combines the body powered prosthesis and the electrically powered prosthesis. These occur at higher-level amputations such as above elbow and shoulder disarticulation. A myo-electric signal will control the terminal device and the elbow can be controlled with a triple harness. Numerous configurations and controls are available through switches, touch pads and creative harnessing. This is especially helpful for people with multiple amputations.

Artificial arms, finger and hands to stay active

We also craft sports prosthetics. An activity specific prosthesis is one item designed for such activities as bicycling, golfing, swimming, gymnastics, baseball, basketball, archery, weightlifting, martial arts, kayaking, running, toiletries, surfing, hockey, musical, machine shop, photography, billiards, fishing, firearms, climbing, football, etc. There are also special attachments that can enable the everyday prosthesis to perform additional tasks.