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Prosthetic Soft Goods 


Prosthetic soft goods are additional 'soft' supplies that are used on the residual limb when wearing, or not wearing, a prosthesis.  These goods are fabricated exclusively for amputees and are typically replaced more frequently than the prosthesis itself.   Soft goods commonly used with a prosthesis could include:

·          Prosthetic sock:  These are the most crucial soft goods for most amputees.  Socks come in a variety of materials, thicknesses and sizes.   Various combinations of these socks can be used at one time.  Sock ply management, or managing this combination of socks when wearing a prosthesis, is the easiest way for an amputee to compensate for gradual volume fluctuations that occur throughout the day. Each ply of sock equals 1/8” of circumferential volume loss.


·          Prosthetic sheath:  These are thin, shear hose that are worn in a variety of ways, whether against the residual limb or between two socket interfaces.   These sheaths often reduce friction and can sometimes reduce skin irritation.  They also reduce moisture and come in variety of sizes.



·          Non-custom liner:  Liners come in a variety of types (locking, cushion, and seal-in), materials, and sizes.  These are worn on the residual limb and the various types of liners service various purposes:

Locking Liners:  

Cushion the residual limb and also lock into the socket via a pin locking system.  These liners can serve as the major source of suspension in this type of prosthetic design.

Cushion Liners: 

Cushion the residual limb, but as they do not lock into the socket, they are used in conjunction with another form of suspension.

Seal-In Liners:  

Cushion the residual limb and also lock into the socket via a suction mechanism.  These liners can serve as the major source of suspension in this type of prosthetic design.

·          Custom liner:  Custom liners are an option for any atypical residual limb and also come in a variety of design, materials, and sizes.  Locking liners, cushion liners and seal-in liners are all available in custom sizes.  Custom liners are fabricated by taking a cast of the residual limb.  A mold is fabricated based on this cast and filled with silicone, resulting in a custom shaped liner based on the person’s unique anatomy.


·          Suspension sleeve:  These sleeves are usually composed of neoprene, latex, or silicone, and slip over the outside of below the knee prosthesis, covering the amputee's knee, and come up towards the thigh.   Prosthetic suspension sleeves are excellent at providing auxiliary support and concealing prosthetic trimlines.  This photograph shows various suspension sleeves designs.


·          Cosmetic Hose:  This is a shear hose worn over the foam cover.  The hose come in variety of sizes and shades. 


Stump Shrinker:  A stump shrinker is a compression garment used to reduce swelling in the residual limb, typically used soon after surgery and prior to prosthetic fabrication.  This is a tightly fitting sock that is worn when a prosthesis is not in use.  These garments are available in a variety of fabrics and sizes.  A physician usually orders this item once the residual limb is well healed.  An amputee will usually wear a shrinker for approximately two weeks prior to fabrication of the initial prosthesis.  Amputees are generally given two shrinkers at one time, to alternate wear and ensure proper hygiene.  It is not unusual for a new amputee to require two progressively smaller sized shrinkers, to account for rapid volume loss.

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