Transhumeral Prosthesis

Advantages of a Transhumeral (Above Elbow) prosthesis

For people with above the elbow (transhumeral) amputations and above elbow limb difference, prosthetics can be trickier to use than for people with amputations below the elbow joint. However, there are many benefits to using an above elbow prosthesis. Here are some of the reasons you should talk to us about a transhumeral prosthesis.



  • Reduced strain on your intact arm, neck and affected side shoulder.
    • Many upper limb amputees or people with an upper limb congenital limb difference don’t seek prosthetic intervention. In the past, funding and access to information has been a barrier, as well as learning to accommodate for their limb difference means that many can “get by” without the use of an upper limb prosthetic device.
    • People who mostly use one arm for all activities are at higher risk of developing overuse injuries. Long term, we see these injuries leave the person with reduced overall function and higher reliance on others. Through earlier intervention and use of a prosthesis, this risk is reduced by allowing you to perform more activities with your affected side.
  • Improved ability to perform two handed tasks.
    • Some activities are very difficult to perform single handed. A transhumeral prosthesis can allow you to more easily undertake these tasks, while putting less strain on your body from poor posture/technique. For example, tying shoelaces, buttoning a shirt, cutting vegetables, or unscrewing a jar lid.
  • Increased stability when participating in activities which require hand control for safety, such as cycling.
  • Participation in recreational activities and activities of daily living (ADLs)
      • Transhumeral Moto X Arm 1You may simply be unable to perform some activities, or cannot do them without major accommodations, for example, swinging a golf club or carrying a basket of heavy laundry. A transhumeral prosthesis will allow you to engage in these activities.


Silicone liners

Some people use a silicone liner to help hold their prosthesis on. Silicone liners can allow for the use of locking mechanisms which may improve the security of the prosthesis.

Skin fit

Skin suction can be used to hold on a transhumeral prosthesis. This is necessary for myoelectric devices (Visit our Bionics page for more information)

Suspension sleeves/harnessing

Can be used with either silicone liner or skin fit systems. Provides additional suspension for improved security.

OsseointegrationGhanim Ali

A “bone-anchored prosthesis” removes the need for a socket. For users with deep scarring, nerve issues etc that make using a prosthetic socket painful or difficult, this option enables you to still get the advantages of using an above-elbow prosthesis.


    • Electrically operated hand/hook, controlled by muscle activation with the residual limb.
    • Relies on specific placement of electrodes, and firm contact between prosthetic socket and residual limb.
    • Requires skin contact between socket and residual limb, cannot wear socks with his style of prosthesis.

Keiran ColeBody powered

    • Simplest method of controlling elbow and/or terminal device (hand/hook), relies on shoulder movement to open/close the terminal device.
    • Terminal device is usually attached to a forearm/ elbow section but can be attached directly to the end of the socket to reduce weight and improve manoeuvrability.
    • Can be used with liners and with socks.


Which transhumeral prosthetic options are right for you?

Interested in finding out more about transhumeral prosthesis options that will work for you? All of our clinics can service your needs for upper limb prosthetics. Use our clinic finder to find a branch or clinic closest to you and Contact APC Prosthetics to discuss your options!

Myoelectric Prosthetics

Myoelectric prosthetics (prostheses) differ from other upper limb prosthetic options in the way the terminal device (e.g. hand or hook) is controlled (open and closed). While other styles use harnessing and gross movements of the shoulder, myoelectric prosthetics use the movement of residual limb muscles to control the myoelectric hand. This is done by sensors placed within the socket that detect muscle movements and intuitively create movement at the hand. A benefit of a myoelectric prosthetic device is that they have a much more natural, intuitive way of using moving a prosthetic arm.

There are different types of myoelectric terminal devices that can be used, depending on the needs of the user and their ability to operate the various functions.

Single Grip Terminal Devices

These are simpler myoelectric devices that allow the opening and closing of a single grip position. These could be either a hand or a hook, depending on the users’ needs and requirements. In general, a hand is for lighter-duty activities and a hook would be used in heavier-duty and dirtier environments.myoelectric prosthetics

Multi Grip Devices

These are more sophisticated myoelectric devices that offer multiple grip positions. These always take the form of a hand and use a combination of thumb rotation and varying uses of fingers to allow various grip patterns.Myoelectric hand

Myoelectric Prosthetics Control Strategies

There are different control strategies that can be used in a myoelectric prosthetic arm. These are dependent on the users abilities and available funding.

  • Single Site – as the name suggest this uses a single sensor to detect and initiate movement of the myoelectric hand. this is the simplest form of control
  • Dual site – This uses two sensors to allow voluntary opening and closing of the myoelectric hand. This can also be used to adjust the grip when using multi-grip devices. This is one of the more common control strategies used.
  • Pattern Recognition – This uses a series of up to 8 electrode channels and allows recording/training of muscle movement “patterns” to create the various movements of the multi-grip terminal device. This also allows more intuitive use of powered wrists and elbows.

As with any prosthesis it’s helpful to have a conversation with your prosthetist to figure out what is appropriate for you and suits your needs. Get in touch with our friendly team below through our contact form and we’ll help you in any way we can.

Myoelectric grip options


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Prosthetic Hands

Prosthetic hands are devices that are used to replace some of the appearance and function of a human hand. Some prosthetic hands have limited or no movement, but others can grip objects, hold pencils, and even move in a natural way. A prosthetic hand is also known as a terminal device, and this is because it doesn’t always look like a hand.

There are 3 main ways Prosthetic hands are used:

  • Passive – these prosthetics do no open or close. They are often used for cosmetic purposes but can also serve as a support for some activities such as catching, or stabilising an object etc.
  • Body powered – these prosthetic hands open and close using a harness that is suspended over the shoulders. Movements of the shoulder opens or closes the hand to hold items. These hands either look like a hook or a hand.

Male with a prosthetic hand in action

  • Myoelectric – these prosthetic hands are controlled electrically using sensors that detect your muscles moving to open or close the prosthetic hand. Similarly, these can be a hook or a hand. Typically, these can also incorporate multiple hand movements to improve the function of the prosthetic hand.

Example of a prosthetic hand

There are many different hands that are designed to do various unique tasks. Often upper limb (arm) prostheses are used for specific tasks and people might use several prosthetic hands interchangeably:

  • Bike riding – this hand allows grasp and release of the handlebars.

childrens prosthetic

  • Gym/working out – these kinds of hands allow grasping of various gym equipment and can serve as stabiliser for floor-based workouts e.g., push-ups, planking etc.

prosthetic hand user in the gym

  • Custom tools – these prosthetic hands are generally used for everyday tasks such as preparing and eating food and allow use of tools perhaps for the purpose of the user’s job e.g., cutlery, hammer, saw etc.
  • Gardening/home maintenance – this prosthetic allows the user to grasp of larger two-handed tools e.g., broom, mop, rake, spade etc.
  • Sport specific – these prosthetic hands are designed for the specific sport the user plays or participates in e.g., golf, swimming, and cricket etc.

prosthetic wrist device

APC Prosthetic Services

Please contact your prosthetist if you have any further questions, we are willing to go above and beyond to create a prosthetic hand to suit your needs and help you reach your goals.



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Prosthetic Arms

What APC Can Do

Our APC Prosthetics team can custom design prosthetic arms for you, for improved comfort and function using lightweight, reliable materials. Our team will work closely with you to agree on a prosthesis that is the appropriate fit for you based on level of amputation, functional capabilities, goals, and activities you enjoy to the best of your abilities.

Fill out our contact form or click the button below to hear back from one of our team members right away.

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Prosthetic Arms Cosmetic Prosthesis – Passive Prosthesis

A cosmetic prosthetic arm does not usually provide active functionality and they are commonly designed to resemble a lifelike arm. These can be used as a supportive guide when using your opposite limb and for maintaining muscle usage of the proximal muscles. Some options available to make this resemble a limb can include a cosmetic stocking, silicone cover or exoskeletal prosthesis with a pigment mixed in to match the colour of the skin. If there is a specific design that you have in mind and you’d prefer to have a pattern, logo, or picture on your prosthesis, it is important to discuss this with your prosthetist so we can design the perfect prosthetic to suit you.

Pictured to the right is a Passive Prosthetic Arm which allows this paediatric client to ride their bike. The terminal device can be easily unscrewed and replaced with other devices which makes this very versatile for the clients needs, goals and ambitions.

prosthetic arms

Specialty Prosthesis

There are a few options available, the most common type of specialty prostheses are body powered which allow the user to control the hand or hook by a harness system fitted around their chest and shoulder. Another option is the externally powered prostheses controlled by a battery powered electric motor, with sensors that pick up the EMG signal on the skin to control the prosthetic arms elbow or wrist. Hybrid systems can be used for above elbow amputees and are a combination of externally and body powdered prostheses which provide a functional elbow and hand.

To achieve the best outcomes for our clients, we are willing to go above and beyond to create a prosthesis to best suit your needs whether this be a cosmetic or a specialty prosthetic arm. If you would like to learn more about upper limb prosthetics click the button below.

The Difference Between Bionics and Prosthetics

What are Prosthetics? What do you picture when you hear the word, bionics? Maybe the things you’ve seen in movies like Terminator – high tech computers integrated with the body? Sci-fi and movies portray a level of fantastic design that although we hope to aspire to one day in the future, in reality they are a lot more basic, and focused on ADLs (activities of daily living) and functional movement.

Prosthetics and Bionics are interlinked fields of healthcare, which are concerned with restoring missing biological function. You can read more on the difference between bionics and prosthetics, and how they are connected below.

What are Prosthetics?

What are Prosthetics? Prosthetics is the field of healthcare concerned with Prosthetic limbs, also known as prostheses. With regards to the work we do at APC Prosthetics, prostheses are custom made devices which restore some of the function of a missing arm (upper limb) or leg (lower limb).

Fun Fact

In everyday language, many people misuse the word “prosthetic” as a noun when talking about an artificial limb, when the word is actually an adjective in this context. You might hear someone say, “I’m getting a new prosthetic this week”. Instead, they should say, prosthetic leg or prosthetic arm. The correct word to describe the device as a whole is, prosthesis – “I’m getting a new prosthesis this week”.

Prosthetic = adjective/describing word
Prosthetics = field of study/work
Prosthesis = singular prosthetic device
Prostheses = multiple prosthetic devices
Prosthetist = clinician who prescribes and makes your prosthesis

Static devices

Traditionally, prostheses were fixed or static devices. As technology has improved, prosthetic devices can include body-powered mechanical joints that rely upon the manipulation of weight forces and compensatory body movements to activate. For example, a prosthetic user with an above knee amputation might use a mechanical knee, which is activated by movement of their body weight around the knee axis and relies upon the user’s strength and control for safety during walking.

Contact us below to find out more!

Man standing discussing what prosthetics are

Body-powered devices

Similarly, an example of a mechanical solution for a prosthetic user with an upper limb amputation is a body powered hook which is attached to a cable and harness system that requires specific shoulder movements to draw on the cable to open or close the hook. Most prosthetic feet utilise dynamic energy storage and return (DESR) to create a degree of movement, but the introduction of hydraulics can enable a greater range of motion with less input/effort required from the user.

Technological advances within the past 25 years have allowed the field of prosthetics to expand to incorporate bionic solutions.

What are Bionics?

Bionics is the field of healthcare concerned with mechanically replacing or enhancing the natural function of body organs and other body parts. In a prosthetic context, bionic devices are computer or microprocessor-controlled components, which provide additional benefits than the purely mechanical solutions discussed above, such as improved mobility, safety, and function. These benefits are useful for prosthetic users with upper limb and/or lower limb amputations or congenital limb differences.

For prosthetic users with an above knee amputation, microprocessor-controlled knees use state-of-the-art sensor systems to mimic a natural walking pattern and provide an extremely high level of safety and function for the user. These knees have sensors which detect movement at up to 100 times per second and then respond by controlling the resistance in their control mechanisms to provide the appropriate safety or mobility as required at each stage of the walking cycle. Microprocessor knees can be controlled through hydraulic control or smart fluids such as magnetorheological fluid and these control mechanisms change the way the knee reacts in each situation; the sensors act like a ‘brain’ in the knee and control the knee function to keep the user safe. Feet with microprocessor-controlled ankles which operate in a similar way can also be used by both prosthetic users with an above knee (transfemoral) or below knee (transtibial) amputation.

While bionics improve safety and mobility for prosthetic users with above knee amputations, for prosthetic users with upper limb amputations or congenital limb differences there are other functional benefits. Upper limb bionic solutions include myoelectric prostheses, which rely on sensors in the socket to detect electrical signals from muscle activity in the residual limb to control prosthetic components, such as a prosthetic hand. This allows a prosthetic hand to function in a more natural way, without the need for harnesses and compensatory shoulder movements. Such systems can provide an improved level of control over traditional mechanical systems, and there are even systems which can recognise patterns of residual limb muscle activation to allow movements of multiple upper limb joints at a single time. Check out our Instagram to see little Brody learning to use his myoelectric hand.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about this, please speak to your prosthetist.

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What Materials are Commonly used for Prosthetics?

What materials are commonly used for making prosthetics?

We get many questions about how prosthetic limbs are made. Below, we explain some of the different aspects and types of prosthetic limbs and what materials are used for making prosthetics and what makes up each part.

How Are Prosthetic Limbs Made?

The prostheses (prosthetic limbs) that are delivered to our clients are made up of parts which can be grouped into three broad categories: Prosthetic Socket, Prosthetic Components, and Consumables.

The Prosthetic Socket is the upper part of the prosthesis which fits around your residual limb (AKA stump). This Socket is custom made onsite within the APC prosthetic workshop by our talented technicians. Below the socket are Prosthetic Components which include connective components (made of aluminium, stainless steel or titanium), prosthetic joints (such as prosthetic hips, knees, elbows and wrists), and prosthetic feet or prosthetic hands (also known as a terminal device). These Prosthetic Components are ordered from suppliers to meet each client’s specific requirements. Finally, consumables include items such as liners, knee sleeves, and socks which allow your prosthesis to comfortably hold on to your residual limb. These Consumables, like Prosthetic Components, are ordered specifically for each client, featuring materials such as silicone, TPE, rubber and much more.

Download our resources about how to care for your prosthesis and consumables. Or ask for our limb care guide at your nearest APC clinic.

Prosthetic Sockets


Diagnostic Socket Fabrication

The process of having a prosthetic socket made begins with your prosthetist taking a plaster cast of your residual limb. This is then filled with plaster to become a plaster copy of your residual limb (positive plaster cast) which can be used to make a Diagnostic Socket or a ‘check socket’. The primary aim of this clear plastic socket is to optimise the socket fit, refine the alignment, and ensure the prosthesis meets all necessary functional and comfort goals.

A diagnostic socket utilises materials which are suitable for a short-term trial period. These include thermoplastic sheets which are heat blistered and vacuum moulded onto the client’s positive plaster cast. Following this step, the socket is attached to a lamination anchor which provides the connection between the custom-manufactured prosthetic socket and the remaining prosthetic componentry. To ensure safety and security, the anchor is secured to the socket. This can be done in a variety of ways from wrapping it in a fibreglass bandage, laminating carbon fibre or fibreglass over it. Once this is achieved, the diagnostic socket is ready for trial!

Definitive Socket Fabrication

Once the prosthetic socket fit and alignment have been optimised, the diagnostic socket is ‘duplicated’ in an alignment jig creating an identical plaster mould whilst retaining the correct alignment of the connective componentry. Plaster or alginate is used in this step. If the shape of the socket allows it to be removed from the positive mould, the client can continue to wear their check socket whilst an APC manufactures their ‘definitive socket’.

The materials used in making definitive prosthetic limbs can vary. Factors include impact, weight of the user, activities that will be undertaken, method of suspension, socket design etc. Most definitive sockets will be made using at least two separate laminations, although some are made using a single lamination.

Some prosthetic socket designs will incorporate a compressible liner (typically made of a material called pelite), PET-G or a flexible plastic inner depending on what the prosthetist has deemed most suitable for the client. If your socket has one of these features, this is fabricated first on the inner most layer to the plaster cast. If not, the plaster cast will be first sealed with lacquer or similar (to prevent moisture leaving the plaster during the lamination).


Next an appropriate combination of materials including carbon fibre, fibreglass, stockinette, perlon and/or nyglass are layered over the cast, sealed under vacuum between PVA bags. Acrylic resin mixed with a hardener and sometimes a coloured pigment is then added. The resin penetrates the material fibres and solidifies the lay-up as the chemicals react, in a process called lamination. The initial lamination is focused on creating a strong, structured framework.

The lamination anchor (or adapter) is attached with bog in a similar process to diagnostic sockets but using the alignment transfer jig. The use of foam and putties allows for improved cosmesis and a smooth transition from the adapter to the socket. The second lamination utilises similar materials to the first, however, its focus instead shifts towards strength and security of the lamination anchor to the socket.

This layer can incorporate further coloured pigments or fabrics to personalise your prosthesis and show off your personality. We can laminate most materials as the final layer in the socket allowing endless cosmetic possibilities. Many clients opt for a specific design to finish their prosthetic sockets ranging from Indigenous Art to sports teams – there is such a variety! Clients are encouraged to bring in fabrics, t-shirts, or designs which they desire on their final socket. Sometimes a third clear layer of resin is needed to ensure a quality cosmetic finish is achieved when customising with images.


Interim Socket Fabrication

Your first limb following amputation is known as an interim prosthesis. This is because it is only used for a short time, typically a period of a few months. Why such a short time? Following amputation, your residual limb will shrink and change shape as the muscles waste away (muscle atrophy).

An interim socket is intended to be used during this initial period of rapid muscle atrophy. The time frame to stabilising is different for everyone, as is the shape or how your muscles will change over time.

Interim sockets are made using similar prosthetic materials and methods as diagnostic sockets, for adjustability during the initial post amputation period.  Once residual limb volume has stabilised, a new cast will be taken so that a diagnostic socket and later definitive socket can be manufactured.

For more information, read our resources about the processes involved in being a new amputee, support services and amputee peer support

Specialised Sockets

Exoskeletal socket fabrication


For a more cosmetically shaped prosthesis, the socket can be laminated down to the foot or hand and shaped to closely match the shape of your sound side limb, this is known as an Exoskeletal Prosthesis (Exo for short!). This design removes the need for standard tube clamps and pylons (known as a modular or endoskeletal prosthesis). An exo design has a few extra steps involved.

Over the first lamination as above, the APC technician pours a two-part expanding foam around the socket on the transfer jig down to the adapter. Sometimes an aluminium or carbon puck is used, or in upper limb this is where the joint’s attachment site will be attached to the socket. Once the foam is hardened, the technician precisely carves the shape of the limb according to the client’s measurements of their sound side. Exoskeletal prosthetic sockets include two additional laminations to gain strength and finish with a cosmetic appearance.  This style of socket is commonly used for upper limb prostheses, and for waterproof prostheses. Some benefits of this design are that these prostheses are lightweight and have fewer components which might otherwise rust.

Recreational socket fabrication


The initiation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has allowed many clients the opportunity to explore a recreational prosthesis such as running blades, rock climbing arms/legs, weight-lifting arms, surfing legs, cycling legs and many more. The custom design and materials used in prosthetics, allow for many recreational prostheses to be achieved.

The final definitive prostheses for recreational limbs reflect the great deal of detailed hours undertaken by both the prosthetist and technician to create custom-manufactured prosthetic sockets. This follows the same steps as everyday and waterproof limbs, using similar materials and processes to laminate the socket.

If this is a part of your goals, or something that may interests you long term, make sure you talk to your prosthetist to include a recreational limb in your funding request. For more information about planning for NDIS and goals click to see our NDIS page.

For more information on materials used for prosthetics please get in contact with the team below.


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Prosthetic Fingers

The objectives in upper limb prosthetics is to meet the requirements for our clients work, lifestyle and recreational needs of each amputee in order to reach a pleasing outcome. Technological advancements over the decades  have been made in body powered prostheses, external powered prostheses, hybrid systems and the sockets & interface. Improvements made with upper limb prosthetics, specifically in myoelectric units has vastly increased the opportunities and possibilities for prothesis such as Prosthetic Fingers.

Body Powered Prosthesis

The most common type is the Body powered Prostheses. They allow their prosthetic user to control the terminal device (that being a hook, hand or prosthetic fingers) that fits around the users shoulder or chest via a harness. The body powered prosthesis is reliable, durable and can be used for places where dust and water are present though some have found it cumbersome and uncomfortable.

Externally Powered Prosthesis

Externally powered prostheses use a battery powered electric motor to control the terminal device, which removes the need for a harness. The sensors that are implanted in the socket, picks up an EMG signal on the skin and sends that signal to a processor which controls the functions of the motor. The motor then powers the elbow/wrist or terminal devices. Training with your prosthetist and occupational therapist along with the training apps which is essential to have a successful outcome. The apps available with the myo-electric have the option of allowing for custom movements or settings for specific movements that fit your needs in most cases. To be considered for a candidate for a Myo-electric there must be enough viable muscle sites.

Hybrid Systems

Hybrid Systems are a combination of externally and body powered prostheses. This specific type of prosthetics can be used for Trans-humeral (above-elbow) amputees. By allowing restoration of elbow and hand this has allowed one of our clients to get back on his motorbike. The elbow joint is controlled via a harness system and the hand or hook is controlled through an external power source such as myo-electrically.

Upper limb prosthetics is a highly customised process in not only the prosthesis itself but for the socket design as well. Being highly customisable allows the socket for your upper limb and prosthetic fingers not only for adults but for our paediatric clients as well. To find out more about our Upper Limb Prosthetics click here.

Prosthetic Fingers


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Upper Limb Prosthetics

The main objectives in upper limb prosthetics are to meet the vocational, recreational and lifestyle needs of each amputee and to achieve an aesthetically pleasing outcome. Upper limb prosthetics management is a highly customised process.

Significant technological advancements in recent decades, especially the use of myo-electric units and targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) have vastly increased the possibilities and capabilities of many Upper limb prosthetics users.

The basic components of Upper Limb Prosthesis are:

  • Terminal device – attached to the distal end of the prosthesis to provide function. This may include hands, hooks, other activity specific devices.
  • Socket – envelopes the residual limb and provides the foundation of the prosthesis
  • Harness – provides stability and suspension of the prosthesis and combines with the control system to provide function; &
  • may also include a wrist, elbow and shoulder joint.

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There are several different types of prostheses for upper extremities. Your prosthetist will work closely with you, your rehabilitation specialist and other allied health team such as PT & OT to devise the solution right for you. Get in contact with us below or fill the form out above to get in contact with a prosthetic expert now!

Upper limb prosthetics

Body Powered Prostheses (Conventional)

Body powered prostheses are the most common type of upper limb prostheses. They allow 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 reliable, durable and can be used in environments involving dust and water though it can be cumbersome and uncomfortable for some.

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 transfer it to a processor which controls the functions of the motor. This motor then powers the elbow/wrist or terminal device. Intensive training with your prosthetist and occupational therapist is essential to ensure a successful outcome. Many myo-electric devices come with training apps that you can use in the comfort of your own home. You can also add in custom movements or settings for your specific needs in most cases. There must be enough viable muscle sites to be considered a candidate for this style of prosthesis.

Hybrid Systems

Hybrid systems are a combination of externally and body powered prostheses. This type can be used for Trans-humeral (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.

Cosmetic Prosthesis

This type of prosthesis is traditionally considered purely cosmetic and does not provide functional restoration. However, there are many benefits and uses of ‘cosmetic’ Upper limb prosthetics, including but not limited to using as a support/brace when using your contralateral limb (eg. Holding down paper with your prosthesis as you write) and maintaining muscle usage/limiting wastage of the proximal muscles. Having the cosmetic prosthesis present is often beneficial for regaining a sense of self confidence, and often has a positive effect on mental health. A cosmetic glove is applied to match individual skin colour.

Socket & Interface

The purpose of the prosthetic socket is to transmit forces from the residual limb to the prosthesis. The socket suspension, interface/liner design and prescription will be chosen to work with you level of amputation, residual limb shape and available funding.

Specialty upper limb prosthesis

Upper Limb Prosthetics – More Information

For more information on Upper Limb Prosthesis, view the following pages:

Specialty & Recreational Prostheses

Prosthetic running leg in motion

Specially designed prostheses are often required when an amputee wants to perform activities that exceed or differ from day-to-day ambulation (walking) and recreational activities. APC Prosthetics continues to lead the profession in prosthetic innovation. Our team is internationally recognised in specially designed and sporting prostheses in a broad range of activities including athletics, swimming, skiing, cycling, golf, weightlifting and more. Whether you need a prosthetic wet leg or a prosthetic running leg, reach out to your clinician so that they can assist you in organising funding and achieving these goals.

If you are interested in competitive or social sporting activities, we are happy to provide contact details for the respective sports institutes and sporting bodies.

Why do you need a separate device to the everyday prosthesis?

  • Alignment needs of components are often unique to the recreational activity and incompatible with everyday walking or tasks
  • Water, snow, mud, sand and corrosives need to be cleaned and dried before further use (you wouldn’t want to put wet shoes and socks on all day if you had to wear them in the shower!)
  • Joint range of motion and forces etc have different requirements to everyday walking leading to different socket shapes and trim lines

There are many different activities you may be interested in. Below are a few of the most common prescribed devices. If you are interested in multiple sports, make sure you include this in your consultations with your prosthetist as they can prescribe a device that will suit your goals.

Waterproof Prostheses

The most common specialty prosthesis is a prosthetic wet leg, which enables the amputee to use the prosthesis for tasks involving water and activities in wet environments. Recent development of waterproof fibreglass feet have provided great advances in water-based recreational activity and swimming prosthetic legs. When it comes to swimming, prosthetics can be specially designed to allow for the use of flippers.

Why is a waterproof prosthetic device important?

  • People with limb difference and amputees have reduced lever arms for propulsion when swimming – either kicking (lower limb amputees) or paddling (upper limb amputees).
  • Stability and safety in wet, slippery environments is paramount when balance is affected.
  • Doesn’t only help with recreation but with safety and independence in showering, which has been shown to have great benefits with mental health and quality of life.

What activities may need a waterproof prosthesis?

  • Self-care Activities of daily living (ADLs) e.g. showering
  • Swimming (fresh, salt and chlorine)
  • Accessing the beach
  • Fishing
  • Boating

Prosthetic Running Leg

When it comes to running with a prosthetic leg, propulsion and energy generation is lost or altered with amputation or limb difference. Asymmetry and imbalance can affect the quality of a runner with either upper or lower limb affected. The development of “hybrid” prosthetic components has expanded greatly, in particular the numerous designs of prosthetic feet which allows the amputee to access a wide range of recreational activities without compromising general walking. Great examples for prosthetic running legs are carbon fibre feet such as the Cheetah Xplore (a blade prosthetic running leg).

Child running with a prosthetic leg


Riding bikes for amputees with either upper limb or lower limb amputations and limb difference can be difficult without the use of a specialty prosthesis or a specific attachment. Holding the handlebars, power generation, range of motion are all things that can affect the prescription.

Recreational prostheses can allow amputees to get back to sporting activities such as, riding a bike with a prosthetic leg or arm with family, friends, at the gym or competitively.

Riding a bike with a prosthesis


High torsion forces (twisting) that occur during golf can lead a user who participates regularly to require a recreational prosthesis for golf. Different suspension methods may be required to the everyday prosthesis to help reduce socket forces, sometimes with additional torsion components such as the Pro-Flex XC Torsion (prosthetic foot) can help with success and comfort when playing golf with a prosthetic leg etc.


Crouch positions, wet environments and high impact forces found in snow sports mean that a regular participant may require a sport-specific prosthetic device. Ossur’s mobility clinic on the snow is a great day to get exposure to snow sports as an amputee, where you can try different methods of participation.

Snow-sports with prosthesis

Task Specific Prosthesis

A prosthesis used for a specific task/sport/activity– e.g. A weightlifting arm, drawing attachment, can be vital for a functional life and participation especially with upper limb prosthetics. Different terminal devices can be prescribed to allow the user to change between activities with different needs whilst wearing the same socket. Sometimes an entire task-specific device is required such as a motocross arm, or this example of a walking stick integrated into the prosthesis to aid with mobility.


If you have any questions about specially designed prostheses, please contact us now or fill out the form below!


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Osseointegration is the structural connection between living bone and a load- carrying metal implant. First introduced into dentistry in the 1960s, Osseointegration has been an option for some lower and upper limb amputees since the 1990’s in Europe. The prosthetic components are attached directly to the implant via a connector, eliminating the use of a traditional socket. Whilst there may be numerous functional benefits to Osseointegration, there are also a variety of advantages and disadvantages to explore when considering if this option is right for you.

APC Prosthetics has been actively involved in the establishment of amputee services for Osseointegration users since its introduction to Sydney in 2010 and we have been managing over 500 amputees who have undergone the procedure. If you would like to find out more about this, please ask to speak to one of our prosthetists.

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