Amputation Levels

The type of prosthesis you will wear is based largely upon the length of your residual limb.

Phyllis Frohlich shows her different hand prostheses.

Different Types of Amputations

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

  • 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)       

To Wear a Prosthesis
or Not to Wear a Prosthesis   

Although we would encourage most upper extremity amputees to at least try wearing a prosthesis, some people adapt to their limb difference over time and prefer not to wear one. Our goal is to be sure that you understand all the options available in order to make a thoroughly informed choice for yourself. Even if you have opted not to use a prosthesis in the past, it is always possible to make an appointment with a Hanger Clinic Upper Extremity Specialist and reconsider your options. That said, it is also important to note that in general, the longer a person goes without using an upper extremity prosthesis, the more difficult it can be to learn.

Interested in learning more? Call 1-877-4HANGER or visit this page to request more information.