How to Evaluate an Upper-Limb Prosthetist

Would you go to a foot doctor if you injured your hand? Probably not—you’d go to a hand specialist. The same logic applies to prosthetic care. If you need an upper limb prosthesis, it’s important for you to see an upper limb prosthetic specialist.

In the U.S., lower limb amputees outnumber upper limb amputees by a factor of nearly 10 to 1. This means that most prosthetists will only see a few upper limb cases in their career, while a true upper limb specialist will see hundreds.

Be sure that you select a prosthetist who is qualified to treat the unique rehabilitation needs of upper limb loss patients.

Be certain that the prosthetist:

  • Is certified by the American Board for Certification (ABC)

  • Has a minimum of three to five years of current upper limb experience, with at least 30 patients being fit in the past two years

  • Works with an upper limb clinical therapy specialist

  • Can specify what type(s) of upper-limb prosthetic devices they have fit in the past two years (Ideally, this will include a mix of electrically-powered, body-powered, activity-specific, hybrid devices, and passive devices.)

  • Regularly considers and appropriately integrates custom rolled silicone sockets into their upper limb solutions

  • Will arrange for you to speak with some of their patients to discuss their prosthetic care experience

  • Be certified and trained by the following prosthetic component manufacturers:
    • Otto Bock
    • Touch Bionics by Össur
    • Naked Prosthetics
    • Point Designs
    • Fillauer
    • TASKA
    • Mobius Bionics
    • IBT
    • Liberating Technologies
    • COAPT
    • Didrick Medical