Prosthetic Socket & Suspension Prosthetic Systems

Socket System

Style and fit will be unique to the person’s needs and activity level. There are many socket and suspension prosthetic systems available; each option will be discussed at length during your visit. At POSI, we encourage and welcome your participation in the design process. Our practitioners have experience working with a variety of prosthetic socket designs for each level of amputation. Designs are chosen on an individual basis from information gathered during your initial evaluation.

Prosthetic Socket Fit

This has the biggest impact on success in rehabilitation. Additionally, there is a correlation between proper fit and perceived weight. Well-fitting prosthetic sockets should have increased proprioceptive feedback, anatomical control, decreased energy expenditure, total contact and most of all, it should be comfortable.

Suspension Prosthetic

Closely related to the design of the prosthetic socket is the suspension, or how the socket remains in place on the limb. Suspension mechanisms are incorporated as part of socket design and will be chosen prior to casting. Suspension can be achieved through these options:

Mechanical Lock

Mechanical lock is achieved by the incorporation of a pin attached at the end of a liner which engages into a lock in the socket.

Suction Suspension Prosthetic

Suction suspensions are achieved through a number of methods including seal-in liners and direct skin contact.

Anatomical Suspension Prosthetic

Anatomical suspension is achieved when the contours of the prosthetic socket capture and hold onto the contours of the patient’s body.

Symptoms of Poor Fitting Prosthetic Socket

  • Unable to progress to expected goals
  • Pain
  • Feels like a lot of effort and concentration to walk, increased energy expenditure
  • Poor confidence/balance
  • Skin breakdown, callus or unusual discoloration
  • Significant space between residual limb and prosthetic socket in standing position
  • Inability to balance or transfer weight to prosthesis without fear or pain.
Proper prosthetic socket fit determines the potential outcome, regardless of the components and efforts of the medical team