Passive hands are designed to replicate the look of a natural hand. Users who opt for a passive prosthesis are primarily concerned with aesthetics or body symmetry rather than function. Passive prostheses can assist with some actions like pushing, pulling, stabilizing, supporting, light grasping and typing.

Passive hands are an especially important consideration for the development of children. Passive hands promote body symmetry; aids balance and can protect a child during a fall.

Passive hands come in two broad types; rigid PVC (glove) or a separate inner hand covered with a silicon glove.

PVC gloves have no moving parts and are completely rigid. These are lighter than types using an inner hand and external glove.

If an inner hand forms the base of the prosthesis, two types are seen; a foam hand with wires within the fingers which allow them to be pre-positioned, or a simple mechanical hand which uses a spring arrangement to close the hand.


  • Highly cosmetic.
  • Silicon is more stain-resistant than PVC.
  • Many color and styles available.
  • Very lightweight (PVC).
  • Some manufacturers offer custom hand painting.
  • Usually self-suspending. No additional straps are required.


  • PVC may become discolored.
  • PVC can be affected by inks, oil, chemicals and heat.
  • Lack of function.
  • Custom manufacturing may cause delivery delays.