Upper limb specialists vs.

general prosthetic providers

Of the thousands of prosthetic providers in the U.S., only a few are upper limb specialists with the training and experience to address the unique and complex needs of upper limb amputees.

To ensure your clients are able to return to work and independence as soon as possible, look for these five qualities in a prosthetist:

Specialization in upper limb

Upper limb amputees are the smallest subset of the amputee population---less than 10% worldwide.  As a result, most general prosthetic providers have minimal experience treating upper limb patients, which limits their ability to provide a successful first fit. Often, it becomes necessary for the patient to be refit by a second provider---a situation that can greatly increase the overall costs of care.

Consider the significant differences in the primary functions of lower limbs and upper limbs. While legs and feet are associated with gross motor skills like standing, walking and running, arms and hands are involved with a diverse range of  key functions:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Self-care and dressing
  • Eating and food preparation
  • Interaction with the environment
  • Interactions with other people
  • Self-expression
Upper limb specialists are qualified to address these key functions and more at your client’s first prosthetic fitting.

Rapid prosthetic fitting

Experience has shown that upper limb amputees achieve better rehabilitation outcomes when they complete their initial prosthetic fitting in a short span of time. However, general prosthetic providers often deliver care through multiple visits over an extended period, which can limit the patient’s rehabilitation potential.

At Arm Dynamics, our unique expedited fitting process gives personalized attention to a single patient over a period of two to five days. A team of upper limb prosthetic specialists and occupational therapists work in tandem, casting and fitting a preparatory prosthesis and guiding the patient in how to use it for daily activities.

On-site prosthetic training with an upper limb clinical therapist

Your client’s ability to regain independence and return to work is dramatically improved by integrated prosthetic training with a therapist who specializes in upper limb prosthetics. General prosthetic providers simply don't have enough experience with upper limb to supply payers with evidence-based recommendations and documentation.
Arm Dynamics provides both on-site and off-site prosthetic training with an upper limb clinical therapy specialist. This helps ensure that every patient is able to meet their specific rehabilitation goals, and has the training necessary to use their prosthesis in real-world situations like grocery shopping, eating in a restaurant and managing tasks at work.

Population-specific outcome measures

Because most general prosthetic providers focus on lower limb amputees, they have little interest or experience with outcome measures that evaluate the success of upper limb prosthetic patients.

As specialists, we’ve developed proprietary outcome assessments exclusively for upper limb patients. The objective data we collect is used to support our prescriptive recommendation, and assess and improve your client’s individual progress over the course of rehabilitation.

"Evidence-based outcomes that indicate a provider’s patient satisfaction rates or hours of prosthetic wear per day are part of the reason why I recommend Arm Dynamics."

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Susan Gordinier, RN, BSN, CCM
Workers' Comp Nurse Case Manager

Authorization specialists with experience in upper limb prosthetics

It’s critical for insurance professionals to interface with a justification and authorization team that’s knowledgeable about upper limb prosthetic rehabilitation. General prosthetic providers simply do not have enough experience with upper limb prosthetics to be able to supply payers with evidence-based recommendations and documentation.

Authorization specialists with expertise in upper limb prosthetics can:

  • Discuss the authorization request, documentation and prosthetic componentry in detail
  • Answer your questions
  • Partner with you to reduce expenses for upper limb prosthetic rehabilitation
  • Arrange for you to speak directly with an upper limb prosthetist

"Initially, my patient was very reserved. By the end of his first week at Arm Dynamics, he was talking openly with his therapist and trusting her. Just three months after his on the job injury, he was wearing a prosthesis and able to be functional in his life."

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Susan Gordinier, RN, BSN, CCM
Workers' Comp Nurse Case Manager

Together, we can redefine what’s possible for your clients with upper limb loss.

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