Patterns of use of contemporary prostheses by 135 patients with major upper extremity amputations were evaluated by questionnaire. Eighty-four percent of the patients were male and 16% were female. Amputation levels represented were below elbow, 44%; above elbow, 40%; and shoulder disarticulations or forequarter amputations, 16%. The follow-up interval averaged 12 years (range, 1-67 years). One hundred and thirteen patients were fitted with either a myoelectric or body-powered prosthesis. The overall rejection rate was 38%. Thirty-nine of 42 in the below-elbow amputation group used the prosthesis and appeared to benefit the most. Eight of 141 in the wrist disarticulation group used the prosthesis: as did 9 of 21 in the above-elbow amputation group. In contrast, all bilateral amputees used their prostheses. Stiff shoulders and brachial plexus injury were both predictors for poor prosthetic usage.