Common Fitting Problems
The recommendations outlined on this page are meant as a guide to help patients remedy prosthetic fitting problems assuming they have a properly fitted prosthesis. These solutions will not be effective if the prosthesis was never fit or aligned correctly and/or if your limb has experienced significant volume changes.
Limb shrinkage is the most common reason a well-fitting prosthesis can become uncomfortable. When a limb shrinks it shape changes relative to the original mold obtained during the casting process. This allows pressures inside the socket to move from tolerant areas to intolerant areas.
If you have a well-fitting prosthesis, residual limb pain due to shrinkage can usually be solved by adjusting the amount of sock ply that you are wearing. By layering different ply of sock, the wearer is able to temporarily restore the original size of there limb in order to keep pressures evenly distributed on weight-tolerant areas.
If you have an above the knee prosthesis you are most likely wearing an ischial containment socket or variation of this socket design. There are several methods for suspending this type of prosthesis; however, there are only three primary ways in current practice. One method is a gel pin locking liner, one is a tradition skin-fit suction socket and the third is called partial suction. Unlike a below the knee prosthesis there are very few ways to self-adjust this type of prosthesis but we can offer some helpful information.
Above Knee Pin-Gel Liners
If you have a well-fitting above knee prosthesis equipped with a pin locking gel liner, you should be able to adjust the comfort and fit of your prosthesis by simply adding or removing socks over your liner. Of course, if adding or removing socks doesn't remedy the problem you need to contact a Prosthetist.
Skin-fit, Suction socket
If you are wearing a skin-fit, suction socket there are no acceptable ways for a wearer to self-adjust this style of socket. Even slight changes in limb volume can cause discomfort and loss of secure suspension. If this occurs you will need to contact a Prosthetist to have adjustments made to the socket that might include the addition of pads to the inside of the socket.
This method of suspension requires the patient to wear socks between their limb and the inside surface of the prosthesis and a belt around their waist attached to the top of the socket. Typically, there is a small amount of suction generated inside of the socket as long as there is a one-way expulsion valve built into the socket. This suspension method allows the amputee to add or remove socks to self-adjust the fit of the prosthesis. When adding or removing socks no doesn't remedy the discomfort they will need to contact a Prosthetist.