29 Apr Residual limb volume variation management systems
Being able to adequately manage volume variations in the residual limb is essential for being able to comfortably and safely wear a prosthesis.
Size variations of the limb can have a negative impact on the fit of the prosthesis and can cause skin irritations, making it difficult to keep wearing the prosthesis.
The natural variations in the volume of the limb through the course of the day are due to variations in fluid retention. Many factors can influence these variations, including the degree of physical exertion or the swelling that can typically accompany the post-operative period.
Using different thicknesses of prosthetic socks is a simple way to manage the volume changes that occur throughout the day, making sure that your fit is constantly comfortable.
Having a set of socks in a variety of thicknesses is highly recommended so that you can handle any and all changes in residual limb volume. Having a complete set allows you to change them and wash them daily, giving them time to get their original shape back as the fibers regain their elasticity.
Changing socks often and using the proper combination of thicknesses helps guarantee wearability of the socket, which is fundamental to the health of the residual limb and for the overall well-being of the wearer. In addition, the correct use of prosthetic socks extends the life of your prosthetic liner by reducing the amount of friction it is exposed to.
Should you be unable to manage the variations in residual limb volume just with the use of prosthetic socks, it is advisable to consult your orthopedic technician. You might be experiencing a “long-term” variation in volume. This is a frequent phenomenon among new amputees in the post-operative phase when the limb is still stabilizing, but it can also occur much later on as a consequence of weight gain or loss, for example, or a change in the muscular structure of the limb itself.
How and when to wear prosthetic socks
Excessive movement of the residuum within the socket and/or the fact that the limb can be inserted into the socket without resistance could indicate the need to compensate for variations in volume.
The prosthetic sock should be worn over the prosthetic liner.
More than one sock may be worn at a time to achieve the desired thickness.
Sock thickness is measured in plies (1, 3 and 5 ply). Therefore, should you need, for example, a 4-ply thickness, you obtain it by wearing a 3 ply over a 1 ply.
By the same token, it is important to pay attention to signs that you need to reduce the thickness of your socks, in particular when there is a complete lack of contact with the distal end of the socket. In this case, sock layers should be removed until a correct fit is obtained.
ALPS prosthetic socks
ALPS offers a wide range of prosthetic socks in 3 different thicknesses (1, 3 and 5 ply), in 3 sizes (Narrow, Medium, Large), in 4 lengths (Extra short, Short, Regular and Long) and with or without distal hole.
They are available both in single packets or in the practical ALPS Socks Bundle set that includes several socks in the size and length you desire, but in different thicknesses, to allow you to handle variations in limb volume with ease and to be able to change them every day.
Choosing the best sock to suit your needs is easy with ALPS socks’ color-coded thickness indicator: blue for 1-ply; 3-ply, yellow; 5-ply, green.
ALPS prosthetic socks are light and soft, extremely comfortable with a perfect fit. They are made with technologically advanced fibers, highly effective in moisture management, that wick away perspiration so it can easily evaporate. This advanced fabric means that socks maintain their original quality for a long time, without getting misshapen or matting up.
ALPS Skin Reliever
ALPS Skin Reliever is a prosthetic sock made of styrene gel to compensate for the loss of volume in the residual limb. Made with ALPS EasyGel, it has a uniform thickness of 1.5mm at the proximate end, progressively increasing to 3mm at the distal point, to provide the maximum comfort.
It is made to be worn directly against the skin of the residual limb, under the prosthetic liner.
It can also be worn by those who do not use a prosthetic liner and combined with ALPS prosthetic knitted socks.