Artificial Arms

Because artificial arms are so much more complicated than artificial legs, they take more training, practice and perseverance to learn to use. But the results are worth it. You can do so much more with an arm and hook than with your stump.
Another good reason for wearing an artificial arm is that it can prevent the later development of arthritic problems from excessive overwork of your sound arm over many years.
The split hook can perform only two actions - gripping and steadying. It is operated by cables attached to a shoulder harness. A below-elbow amputee opens and closes the hook by moving the upper arm. An above-elbow amputee operates the hook by moving the opposite shoulder. This needs quite a bit of practice and concentration, but after a while, these arm and shoulder movements become second nature.
After much practice, the list of things you can do with a hook is almost endless. They are limited for fine movements like picking up change, but seasoned hook-wearers can get quite dexterous. Double-arm amputees who use two hooks can get by very well.
Whether you were right-handed or left-handed before the amputation, your second hand will become the dominant one and your hook will play a supporting role in two-handed activities. Becoming left-handed if you have always been right-handed (or vice-versa) is not as difficult as you may think. The muscles are there, but you are probably not used to using them.
Besides being so functional, a hook has other advantages over a cosmetic hand. Because the hook has an open design compared to the cosmetic hand, it is easier to see exactly what you are doing or holding. A cosmetic hand also tends to deaden sound, which is another drawback that the hook does not have. As you have lost the ability to feel with your hand, these sight and sound cues become very important.
Grip Prehensors are voluntary closing as opposed to voluntary opening which means you can get some feeling of how tight you are gripping an object. These are generally for below-elbow amputees.
Cosmetic hands are soft, skin-coloured and as realistic as possible. There are two types of cosmetic hand, working and passive.
Passive hands do not have any movement. Working hands perform a limited gripping function in the same way as a hook. However, because they are soft, they can only grip a pen or be used for light clerical work.
Some types of replacement hands are quickly interchangeable. This means that you can use your hook at work, then clip in a cosmetic hand when you go out in the evenings
Hints for Arm Amputees
Arm amputees should wear a light T-shirt or vest under the harness to absorb any perspiration and stop the webbing from chafing. Shirts and tops should be loose-fitting, especially around the cuff. Tight cuffs may stop the cables of your artificial arm working properly.
When getting dressed, place your artificial arm in your clothing first. There are many ingenious ways of adapting clothes to make it easier to get dressed; for example, sewing cuff buttons on with elastic thread and using Velcro fasteners. However, most arm amputees find that it is a lot simpler to buy clothes that are easy to cope with. Choose slip-on or elastic-sided shoes, rather than ones that fasten with laces, buckles or zips; Western-style shirts with press-studs, and skirts and slacks with elasticised waists. Women find that bras with stretch straps are easier to put on and more comfortable under their prosthesis.

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