How To Choose The Correct Armboard


What is an armboard?  They are OR Table Accessories that attach to the OR Table to support patients arms during surgery.  It may seem very insignificant but it is in fact an important piece of equipment as most things in the operating room are.  The proper placement and proper type of armboard can make any surgery easier if done right and complicated if done wrong.  There are many different types on the market today. This post will help identify which style will best suit your needs as well as make sure it is compatible with your current table. Here at Mid Central Medical we have designed armboards by listening to our customers. Every style that we manufacture has been requested by our clients and serves a unique need.

Before you start, answer these 3 questions:

  1. Do you plan on C-arm imaging through that table?
  2. What is the thickness of the pad on your current table?
  3. Is there a side rail on the table you want to use?

Drop Latch Style

Drop Latch ArmboardThe drop latch style armboard is our most common and has been time proved and tested. As the name suggests, it attaches to the OR Table rail with a drop style lock. Simply hold the lock up, lock over the top of the side rail, lower in to place and release the drop lock to secure to the rail. To adjust the position, use the lever at the end of the board. It has a gear casting that is cast from specially formulated material guaranteed to minimizes broken teeth on the gear that adjusts the location of the armboard. We have several different options on this style.

Available in 3 sizes:


    • Cannot C-arm image through this armboard.
    • Pad thickness must match the thickness of the table.
    • Attaches to table side rail.

Radiolucent Style

The radiolucent style clamps securely to the OR Table side rail with a knob on the bottom side. It also adjusts in height to match the thickness of the table pad and locks from rotating with a separate clamp. This armboard is radiolucent so very easy to C-arm through if needed. Because it clamps positively to the OR table rail it will not slide, even in Trendelenburg and reverse Trendelenburg positions.

Available in 1 size:


    • You can C-arm image through this style.
    • Standard 2” pad is fine because it can be adjusted to the height of the table pad.
    • Attaches to table side rail.

Underpad Style 

Underpad style, are flat boards shaped to slide under the pad on a table. There is a large portion of material that slides under the pad and is held in place by the weight of the patient. The armboard is suspended off the edge of the table. They can be turned to whatever position is desired. Ensure the larger part of this board is under the torso of the patient. Available in standard 6” width or 13.25” width. These work great for imaging tables and the extra wide style is used in vascular facilities.

MCM440 6”W x 24”L Underpad 
MCM442 13.25”W x 21”L Extra Wide Underpad 

  • Easy to C-arm image through this armboard.
  • Pad thickness must match the thickness of the table.
  • Slides under pad so no side rail needed on table.

Pads for Armboards

There is varying widths, thicknesses, and lengths of pads. Makes sure the one chosen is compatible with the armboard you have chosen. They are held in place with Velcro.

Storage Options

You’ve made a large investment into armboards for your facility. Make sure that asset lasts for many years. Get Wall Holders. They will keep your armboards off the floor, safe from un-needed handling and bumping, and also nearby for any case. Never go searching for missing armboards again.

From the type used, to the pad that’s chosen and especially the storage and maintenance of armboards, every step is important to the smooth operation of every healthcare facility. Makes sure you don’t skip over any of these important steps in your facility. Improve the lives of your staff and patients, every day.

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