International Encyclopedia of Rehabilitation


  1. The part of the upper limb between shoulder joint and elbow joint. Term less correctly used for the entire limb
  2. The part of a chair that supports the forearm.

Here are the most important aids related to the arm:

Boston arm : Above-elbow prosthesis activated by minute electric signals given off by muscles in the arm stump. Developed in the 1960s by Melvin J. Glimcher, orthopedic surgeon at Massachusets General Hospital, and Robert W. Mann, engineer at Massachusets Institute of Technology, Boston.

desk arm : A wheelchair with an armrest that is not full length, thus allowing a closer approach to a table, desk, or workbench.

fixed arm : The arm of a chair, usually of a wheelchair, that cannot be removed

Heidelberg arm : A pneumatic prosthesis with hand for amputation at any level of the upper limb, powered by carbon dioxide gas and providing a great variety of functions. It was created about 1951 at the University Clinic in Heidelberg, Germany.

Hendon arm : Upper-limb prosthesis for children, powered by carbon dioxide gas. Developed at the West Hendon Hospital, England, about 1966.

retractable arm : Wheelchair arm that can be retracted for a closer approach to a table, a desk, etc. Most often it is only the upper part of the arm, i.e. the armrest itself, that is retractable.

Russian arm : A myoelectric prosthesis (see under prosthesis) for the upper limb. Developed by the Russians and exhibited at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958.

training arm : An artificial upper limb used as a training device by therapists. Applied to their own normal limb it provides a valuable experience for teaching amputees the use of such a prosthesis. Also called simulated arm prosthesis.


Eisenberg MG. 1995. Dictionary of Rehabilitation. New York: Springer Publishing Company. 375 p. Used with permission.

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