Search thousands of topics on CostHelper

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business sports weddings
CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Equipment and Orthopedics > Prosthetic Arm

Prosthetic Arm Cost


How Much Does a Prosthetic Arm Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copays + 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $5,000-$100,000+
post Post   Comments (3)  

A prosthetic arm, which can be cosmetic or functional, can be used when a patient has part or all of an arm amputated, usually due to an injury or other trauma.

Typical costs:

  • For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of doctor visit copays and coinsurance of 10%-50%. All types of prosthetic arms typically are covered by health insurance. However, coverage for certain types of prosthetics typically depends on the amputation level and the patient's physical condition. For example, according to the BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi upper limb prosthesis policy[1] , a myoelectric, or computer-controlled limb would be covered only when certain conditions are met. For example, the limb must be amputated at the wrist or above, the patient must have an activity level and specific needs that require the use of this type of prosthetic to perform daily activities. A body-powered prosthesis, controlled by body movements, would be covered for an individual for whom this prosthesis would be adequate to allow them to perform their daily activities, or an individual who does not meet the requirements for a myoelectric prosthesis.
  • For patients without health insurance, a prosthetic arm typically costs less than $5,000 for a purely cosmetic arm, up to $10,000 for a functional prosthetic arm that ends in a split hook, and up to $20,000-$100,000 or more for an advanced myoelectric arm, controlled by muscle movements, with a functioning artificial hand.
  • For example, according to a white paper[2] from the Bioengineering Institute Center for Neuroprosthetics, at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the cost of a prosthetic arm varies by the type of arm and the level of amputation. For example, a cosmetic arm and hand might cost $3,000-$5,000. A functional prosthetic arm with a "split hook" at the end might cost $10,000. A myoelectric prosthetic arm with a realistic-looking, functioning hand might cost $20,000- $30,000 or more.
  • According to a Department of Veterans Affairs study[3] , average cost of a myoelectric prosthetic arm depended partly on the level of limb loss. A myoelectric prosthetic for partial loss of a hand cost $18,703; up to the middle of the lower arm, $20,329; up to the middle of the upper arm, $59,664 and up to the shoulder, $61,655. At the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, a very advanced myoelectric prosthetic arm[4] costs about $100,000.
  • Thought-controlled arms that are surgically implanted and attached to nerves are not widely available and are very expensive. For example, a man who lost both arms due to electrical shock received experimental thought-controlled arms at a cost of $6 million.
  • A prosthetic arm likely will have to be replaced several times during the patient's lifetime. A study[5] by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimated the average lifetime cost for prosthetics and medical care for loss of a single arm for a veteran of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars to be $823,299.
Related articles: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • A few weeks or months after amputation surgery, the patient meets with a prosthetist, a health professional who specializes in evaluating and fitting patients with prostheses. The prosthetist takes measurements of the patient and create a cast of the stump so a temporary prosthesis can be created, to be used until the stump finishes healing and changing in size due to muscle atrophy.
  • When the stump size has become stable, the patient will meet with the prosthetist again. The prosthetist will take another cast of the stump, and the permanent prosthetic arm will be created. LimbSpecialists.com offers a step-by-step guide[6] to getting an artificial limb.
Additional costs:
  • Most patients require physical and occupational therapy, which helps them learn how to perform daily tasks at home or work. Physical therapy typically costs $50-$350 per session, and occupational therapy can cost $50-$400 per session. Total costs for therapy can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The Amputee Coalition offers a guide to physical and occupational therapy[7] for amputees.
Discounts:
  • Various non-profit organizations provide financial help or free prosthetic limbs for patients in need. The Amputee Coalition offers a list of financial resources and non-profit organizations[8] that help patients who need a prosthetic limb.
Shopping for a prosthetic arm:
  • OandPCare.org offers a prosthetist locator[9] . A patient should be evaluated and fitted for a prosthetic arm by a prosthetist who is certified by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics[10] or the Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification[11] .
  • The Amputee Coalition offers tips on choosing a prosthetist[12] .
  • MedScape offers a guide to choosing a prosthetic arm[13] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
post Post   Comments (3)  
CostHelper News


7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013


Fix-it Favorites: Duct Tape and WD-40
My mother taught me that all home fixit-projects can be accomplished with either duct tape or WD-40. If something shouldn't move and it does, use duct tape. If something should move and it doesn't, use WD-40. || Posted September 30 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Hybrid Myoelectric above elbow
Amount: $80,000.00
Posted by: Hailey Germaine in Greys Harbor, WA.Posted: February 27th, 2019 08:02AM
Type of Arm: Hybrid MyoelectricProsthetist: Hanger
My prosthetic is a hybrid-myo LAE(Left Above Elbow). Built with carbon fiber and containing a body powered elbow, myo wrist, and basic myo hand(also have an additional myo split hook) cost insurance $80,000.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Myoelectric above elbow
Amount: $160,000.00
Posted by: Jason Morris in Huntington Beach, CA.Posted: May 4th, 2018 10:05PM
Type of Arm: Myoelectric (advanced)Prosthetist: Bio-Designs
My myoelectric has a Boston powered elbow, powered wrist and i-limb quantum hand. Also intergraded patter recognition controls. The hand alone cost $38K! Brenda sounds like a bad fitting. Check out Bio-Designs!
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Myoelectric below elbow limb
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Brenda S Pope in Little Rock, AR.Posted: November 9th, 2017 05:11PM
Type of Arm: Right armProsthetist: Snell
Was not given a temporary limb while waiting on muscle atrophy to complete and injury to heal. I was given myoelectric at 3 mths after amputation. Arm hurts, makes gas noices and will not work when arm is down to side with fingers pointing down. Arm doesn't benefit me in ways promised and need to know what recourse I have
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

Comment On Your Experience With a Prosthetic Arm
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Type of Arm: Prosthetist: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.bcbsms.com/index.php?q=provider-medical-policy-search.html&action=viewPolicy&p...
  2.  www.nist.gov/tip/wp/pswp/upload/239_limb_prosthetics_services_devices.pdf
  3.  www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/10/474/Blough.html
  4.  www.ucsfhealth.org/newsletters/orthopaedic_surgery_news/winter_2006/myoelectric/
  5.  www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/10/474/Blough.html
  6.  limbspecialists.azamputee.com/new-amputee.html
  7.  www.amputee-coalition.org/military-instep/reclaiming-independence.html
  8.  www.amputee-coalition.org/fact_sheets/assist_orgs.html
  9.  www.oandpcare.org/Search
  10.  www.abcop.org/certification/OrthotistsProsthetists/Pages/Default.aspx
  11.  www.bocusa.org/becoming-certified
  12.  www.amputee-coalition.org/first_step_2003/choosing-a-prosthetist.html
  13.  emedicine.medscape.com/article/317234-overview#aw2aab6b2
More Health & Personal Care Topics
Check Out All Costs for Health & Personal Care How Much Does an Emergency Room Visit Cost? How Much Does an X-Ray Cost? How Much Do Body Piercings Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com

 
Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Replace Toilet Wax Ring (DIY)
Paid: 25.00
Cost could have been cheaper, but previous owners hired a plumber and contractor who didn't do the job right. So we ran into problems. The first wax ring didn't work, so we had to buy the old fashioned type... [more]
-JT Holm
Toilet Repair Cost
Plumbing totourial
Paid: 0.00
I am appalled by some of these charges myself and yes plumbers have a hard,disgusting and exhausting job and it’s not for everyone... [more]
-Caleb Domec
Plumber Cost
Ischemic stroke
Paid: 89000.00
I had a CT scan, they called helicopter to transfer to trauma hospital in Atlanta, but neurosurgeon there said the stroke is is I n a deep area, and would be too dangerously to remove the clot surgically... [more]
-Marie-Jose
Stroke Treatment Cost
Connective tissue graft
Paid: 1300.00
Had to get a connective tissue graft for three of my teeth on my lower left and likely will need a few more done down the road (genetics). The procedure took about an hour and was pain-free... [more]
-
Gum Tissue Graft Cost
Alaska propane pricing 2020
Paid: 130.71
No contract price is $3.87 x 32.8 gallons + $3.81 fee = delivered remote Cooper Landing Alaska. New contract renewal $1.91/gallon for delivery plus propane cost which I need to check on... [more]
-Keith Mantey
Propane Cost
Funeral
Paid: 160.00
Can somebody contact me... [more]
-Terrance Samuel
Releasing Doves Cost