Premier Prosthetics & Orthotics Blog 

4 Main Types of Artificial Limbs

February 24, 2021
Limb amputation is a very common procedure—in the U.S. limb amputation is most commonly due but not limited to vascular disease, trauma, and cancer. Whichever scenario, a person may become a candidate for limb amputation, and it can be a difficult transition for the patient and their families. In some cases, the damaged limb can be restored however, there are many times when the best option is to remove the limb to avoid any further complications in the body. 

Though there’s nothing that can truly bring back the natural limb, patients do have a number of options that are available should they choose to replace the removed limb. With resources and technology, artificial eyes, teeth, bones, arteries and heart valves are considered prostheses and can be replaced— yet the most known amputation procedures involve legs and arms, to be exact there are four main types of artificial limbs.

Transhumeral Prosthesis

A transhumeral prosthesis is an artificial limb that helps to replace an arm missing from anatomical segment(s) above the elbow, below the shoulder, and including the hand. In comparison to transradial amputees, movement after this procedure is a more difficult due to the loss of the elbow which is a main source of motion for the arm.
Transradial Prosthesis

A transradial is an artificial limb that helps to replace arm from anatomical segment(s) below the elbow, including the hand
Transtibial Prosthesis

A transtibial prosthesis is an artificial limb that helps to replace the functions of missing anatomical segment(s) from below the knee, excluding the feet. Regaining movement is quite common for transtibial amputees due to the knee remaining which allots for majority of the movement in the leg.
Transfemoral Prosthesis

A transfemoral prosthesis is an artificial limb that helps to replace the functions of missing anatomical segment(s) above the knee, including the foot. With the knee also being amputated, regaining movement is more complex and causes transfemoral amputees to use more energy to walk.
With each type of the artificial limbs listed above, amputees will have a few unique options when it comes to installations, moving components and cable activations to provide additional support in limb movement.

If you or a loved one have interests in learning more about our service offerings at Premier Prosthetics & Orthotics, please feel free to reach out to us!
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