Who said that a missing limb limits one’s life? If anything, it makes you more full of life than ever.
Moreover, with the advanced developments in the HealthTech industry, it’s only a matter of weeks before you get back on your feet (literally and metaphorically).
People opt for prosthetic implants or prostheses to mend or fill in for their lost body part - usually one of the limbs - with an artificial device.
In this procedure, external mechanical joints are attached to the region of amputation due to various conditions, often at birth.
Prosthetic implants require care and vigilance. Prosthetic socks are designed to cater to such troubles. For every amputee's condition, there is a pair of socks with a suitable thickness and cloth type.
Prosthetic socks are worn over the amputated limbs that have gone through prostheses.
As the acceptance of prosthetic implantation grows, so does the awareness and search volume for prosthetic socks.
These socks are not like your regular ones! Prosthetic socks are made to serve essential functions with their distinct shape and variety in length and size.
Why Does One Need Prosthetic Socks?
These socks play a significant role in the management of prosthetics. The thick fabric provides cushioning to the mechanical joint and reduces friction.
Prosthetic socks also help keep the joint intact. They adjust the socket's fit to prevent the residual limb's internal changes from being visible. These changes occur due to the shrinkage of muscles in the suffering limb. The shrinkage, in turn, is because of the atrophy of the amputated limb.
What difference do Prosthetic Socks make?
Prosthetic socks protect the skin around the amputated region from the harshness of pressure, air, and friction. Additionally, they even absorb sweat in the region so that the moisture doesn’t itch the skin.
Prosthetic Socks Materials
Prosthetic socks, unlike regular socks, offer a range of choices in material. Cotton, wool, and synthetics are some common materials for prosthetic socks.
Another significant factor for prosthetic socks is their thickness. It’s usually measured in “ply rating,” starting from one to six. By changing the ply number of the socks, the size of the residual limb can be altered.
Wool is ideal for its absorbency and comfortability. The resilience of this material provides a cushion for the amputee and ensures the utmost comfort when worn. It’s the most popular fabric because of its capacity to absorb sweat and moisture from the region.
Due to its low absorbency, and rigid and non-stretchable nature, cotton has limited prosthetic applications. Yet, its antiallergic nature makes it a safer option for many skin types.
The most popular combination of man-made fiber along with natural fiber. An all-synthetic sock is that of polypropylene and Lycra. This commendable fusion ensures moisture absorption and a comfortable fit. Lycra’s stretchability and elasticity can easily be catered to troubles like edema and atrophy.
Wool is also being fused with man-made fibers to prepare cost-effective socks for amputees. These socks get the softness and resiliency of the wool but with extra stretch.
Nylon, with its characteristic ability to resist moisture, is a profound material for prosthetic socks. It also limits friction.
Just like prosthetic socks, prosthetic liners serve a similar function, only in a different form. These are not worn around the skin in a typical “sock” manner. Instead, they simply secure the areas in contact, providing an interface. To ensure protection and proper fit, it won’t be wrong to call these liners “barriers” worn before the prosthetics.
Prosthetic Liner Materials
Primarily, there are three main types of prosthetic liners, depending on their material. There are two ways by which the quality of a liner can be analyzed with:
- Their degree of softness, and
- The level of durability
Thermoplastic Elastromer Liner
The TPE liners are very soft for their material and are typically used by fresh amputees only looking for comfort. Its rubbery outer provides the ideal cushion for the severed region and protects the skin from friction.
However, the gel that ensures the softness with TPE liners may soon get worn out. Due to this, TPE liners for prosthetics are not as durable.
Silicon liners lie somewhere near average in both softness and durability. However, if your priority is softness, silicon liners are better when compared to TPE liners.
Urethane liners are the least soft among their predecessors. However, urethane is known for its flow property, thus making it significant at rest. The flow property allows the gel of the liner to distribute pressure evenly, enabling a better fit.
A Urethane liner is the most suitable option for people that require high activity.
How to clean Prosthetic Socks, and how often should I do it?
Timely washing of the socks keeps them free from bacterial growth. On hot days, changing socks regularly keep the region free from allergies and itching. It’s recommended to hand-wash prosthetic socks with mild soap.
When to change the ply of Prosthetic Socks?
Ply setting is totally upon the user and can be changed according to the demand. However, you should refrain from wearing a ply that is loose to you. If you find a specific ply setting loose, add a ply; if it’s tight, remove one.
How to choose between Prosthetic Liners and Prosthetic Socks?
Many users tend to “pick” between a prosthetic liner and a pair of prosthetic socks. However, both products hold separate and distinct functions, depending on the user’s needs. Depending on the demand, a prosthetic liner can even be used along with prosthetic socks.
When to dispose of a liner?
The lifespan of prosthetic liners often depends on the material it’s made of. TPE liners have less durability. Hence they should be disposed of when they no longer cushion the region.
For other durable materials, a prosthetic liner should be replaced every six months.
Top-Notch Limb Protection
Prosthetic socks or prosthetic liners are a must-have to keep your limb’s end protected from the friction of the prosthetic, along with the harsh environment.
Prosthetic socks are an ideal choice if you wish to have protection and cushioning. However, liners will be the perfect investment if your primary concern is providing a barrier between the limb and the prosthetic.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.