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)
- You 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.
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 suction can be used to hold on a transhumeral prosthesis. This is necessary for myoelectric devices (Visit our Bionics page for more information)
Can be used with either silicone liner or skin fit systems. Provides additional suspension for improved security.
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.
- 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!