There are several different types of prostheses for upper extremities:
BODY POWERED PROSTHESES (Conventional)
Body powered prostheses are the most common type of upper limb prostheses. It allows the prosthetic user to control the terminal device (usually a hook or a hand) via a harness system that fits around the chest and shoulder. This type of prosthesis is very reliable and can be used in environments involving dust and water.
EXTERNALLY POWERED PROSTHESES (Myo-electric)
Externally powered prostheses use a battery powered electric motor to control the terminal device, eliminating the need of a harness system. Sensors, embedded in the socket, pick up an EMG signal on the skin and transferred it to a processor which controls the functions of the motor. Intensive training is essential to ensure a successful outcome.
Hybrid systems are a combination of externally and body powered prostheses. This type can be used for Transhumeral (above-elbow) amputees, providing functional restoration of elbow and hand. Usually, the elbow joint is controlled via a harness system and the terminal device is controlled through an external power source, for example myo-electrically.
This type of prosthesis is purely cosmetic and does not provide functional restoration. A cosmetic glove is applied to match individual skin colour.