• ExpHand Prosthetics

What is upper limb difference? Which words to use

Updated: Aug 20



ExpHand Prosthetics supports people with an upper limb difference, whether congenital or acquired, but why do we use the term 'limb difference'?


People may be more familiar with terms such as "limb loss", "limb deformity" or "congenital limb abnormality" which are more often used by medical professionals. At ExpHand Prosthetics, we prefer to use limb difference as it is a positive and empowering term. Another term that you may hear is "lucky fin" which refers to the film Finding Nemo, as Nemo himself has one fin smaller than the other.


Limb differences are diverse and can affect one or both arms or hands. Limb differences including having shortened arms, missing bones in the hand or arm, missing joints such as the wrist or the elbow, webbed fingers or completely absent fingers, ranging from missing one to all fingers on a hand. People may also have nubbins which are small stumps of soft tissue that usually form where a finger or thumb would have developed.


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