Many people with an upper limb difference may be wondering what activities are possible with the help of a prosthesis. Terminal devices are the part of the prosthesis that fill in for the hand. With the right device, a well-fitting frame, and training in how to use the prosthesis, there are so many options out there for people who want to start or get back into an activity.

Putting the Specific in Activity-Specific

Activity-specific devices are some of our most requested prostheses. In the video below, you can watch our patient Xavier talk about the body-powered prosthesis he uses at the gym, and see the two different terminal devices he has: the JAWS and the Multi-D, both by Fillauer TRS (you can forward the video to the 4:09 mark to see Xavier at the gym).

Looking for more gym inspiration? Check out our patient Claudia, who uses a V2P, the Shroom Tumbler and the Criterium Bike Adapter from Fillauer TRS. Or watch Wendi, who heads to the gym with her Multi-D, also from Fillauer TRS. She uses that same tool for other activities, like paddleboarding you can also see our patient Angel using the Multi-D in the header image at the top of this article. Another helpful tool is the Black Iron Trainer by Fillauer TRS.

The Shroom Tumbler mentioned above can be an excellent tool for yoga. Here’s our patient Shaholly using her prosthesis to move into a low lunge.

Shaholly Yoga at home-1

It feels strange to segue from yoga to hunting, yet both of these activities require an activity-specific terminal device. In the Instagram video below, you can watch our patient Sam use a Multi-D as a gun turret from Fillauer TRS, though there is also an actual gun turret made by the same company:

Other patients who you can see using the Lamprey Gun Turret by TRS include Alex and Nicole.

There are lots of sports-related devices as well, including those for fishing, bowling, playing pool, bicycle riding, and basketball, as can be seen below:

Last but not least, there’s an activity-specific option for motorcycle riding, the Mert Lawwill Device (MLD). Check out this video of the MLD in action on a motocross track.

One Wrist, Lots of Options

Having a wrist that allows the user to preposition their terminal device that is, change the angle so they can do the activity can be a game changer. Many of the patients above have a wrist that allows them to change positions. But the wrist itself can also work with many activity-specific devices. The Midwest ProCAD is a device that was actually created by one our patients, Matt. Below are the tool options that can be attached directly to the wrist.


Because the Midwest ProCAD wrist offers an almost limitless number of positioning options it can be helpful for many people to use with their everyday terminal devices, and especially helpful for people with bilateral differences. Watch our patient Gerry, a bilateral upper limb amputee, use his Midwest ProCAD in combination with his V2P and body-powered hook, to weld, and use a skill saw and other power tools:

Another option is Texas Assistive Devices. This company offers a range of activity-specific devices that attach to their N-Abler B Version Five Function Wrist. The options include various tools, kitchen gadgets and self-grooming implements.

More Than Just the Terminal Device

If we just built our patients a basic prosthetic frame, then gave them their terminal device and sent them on their way, there’s no way that they would be able to achieve the kind of success you’ve seen in the videos above. What’s the secret? Well, one is the frame. Wearing a comfortable, well-fitting, easy-to-put-on frame can be the difference between someone wearing their prosthesis and just leaving it in the closet, no matter how great the terminal device is. Both Craig and Isaiah visited other prosthetic providers before us, and they told us about how crucial the fit (and weight!) of the frame is to their success. Watch Craig here and Isaiah below:

The next secret is our clinical therapy specialists. Each of our prosthetic care centers has a therapist who is there at each session with the patient, helping them learn how to use their device. If the patient’s goal is to weightlift, well, there are weight bars and small barbells at our centers to help them experience how the device feels:

We’ve helped our patients learn how to use their devices to cook, hammer, or run a forklift.

Lastly, we’re innovative. If you come to us and want to accomplish something that requires a device that simply isn’t on the market, we’re not about to let that stop us. Check out Austin’s video to see how we made him a device that allowed him to quickly release his chainsaw. Or check out our patient Brian in the picture below. He wanted to rock climb with his activity-specific device, so his prosthetist at our Dallas center bought the pick from a camping supply store, then made it into an attachment for his frame. 


If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the available activity-specific options, please contact us to schedule an in-person or video consultation with our clinical team. If you have a comment regarding this article, please leave it below.


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