Externally-powered elbows, sometimes referred to as electric elbows, can be operated with myoelectric sensors or with switches, buttons, or other manual elements that “power” bending, unbending, or locking the elbow.
A myoelectric elbow uses electrodes placed on the surface of the skin over the muscles of the residual limb to detect the electrical impulses created by flexing those muscles. This type of elbow bends or straightens based on those electrical impulses.
Powered elbows that use manual elements to control the movement of the elbow bend, straighten, or lock based on input delivered via a button, switch, or other function. They move with their own power, but only after being directed to do so manually.
External powered elbows pair well with a variety of prosthetic hooks and hands. Your prosthetist will help you find a prosthesis that will help you achieve your goals.
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Speak with an upper limb specialist to find out if external powered elbow technology might be right for your prosthetic arm.