How do prosthetic devices vary?

While prosthetic limbs generally have the same basic components, each device is defined for a specific level and type of amputation.

There is a big difference in the type of device required, depending on whether an amputation is above or below major joints, such as the knee or elbow.

A transfemoral amputation - which is an amputation above the knee -- requires the prosthetic device to have an artificial knee, while a transtibial amputation - which is an amputation below the knee - lets the patient keep his or her own knee.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.