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Are you curious about prosthetic socks and how they work? Do you use ply socks or deal with someone who uses them daily? If yes, then you’ve landed on the right page. Here we’ll tell you about the selection, uses, maintenance, and other crucial aspects of prosthetic stump socks.

The prosthetic systems have several components, stump socks being the most crucial. One can’t directly connect the amputee part of the body with the prosthetic.
Linking the prosthetic directly with the skin causes blisters and ulcers in worse cases. Prosthetic components like liners, sheaths, and snug-fit stump socks are beneficial for avoiding friction. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss how to select the best snug-fit sock, use it and maintain it for future use.

Why do people use prosthetic socks

Prosthetic snug-fit socks are a common commodity for people who have lost a limb. They prevent your skin from getting in contact with the prosthesis. Here are some of the main utilizations of these socks:

  • Prevention of blisters, abrasions, and ulcers occurring due to friction 
  • Comfort  
  • Management of perspiration 
  • Cushion and support to the residual limb 
  • Proper adjustment of a limb into a prosthesis socket 
  • Compensation for shrinkage and swelling of the limb

The amputee’s limb undergoes changes in weight, usage time of socks, and physical activity. It may swell or shrink in different scenarios. Learn more about the management of daily limb changes here. 

Prosthetic socks are crucial in compensating for the change in limb size and shape and help in prosthetic rehabilitation. 

How to choose the best fit for prosthetic socks

Like the human physique variations, stump socks come in various sizes, shapes, and designs. You can also choose thickness and length as per your requirements.
For optimal comfort, select the size and consider the ply of socks. Ply tells you how thick the socks are. Knowing the total ply value that fits your limb, you can select the best prosthetic stump socks. Learn more about ply socks and their material here. 

The residual limbs tend to shrink and swell, so a single-ply sock doesn’t always fit someone. It needs modifications. Add and subtract the ply numbers to make your socks fit precisely. When your leg shrinks, you’ll need to add the ply number; conversely, when your leg swells, you’ll need to subtract the ply number. 

If you need to learn about your total ply, you can take help from an orthotics and prosthetics expert. 

How to use prosthetic socks

Before using, make sure you have the most suitable prosthetic socks. 

  • Most people use socks with liners and sheaths. In such cases, you’ll have to begin with sheath. Place the sheath on the back of the limb, and then place your liner. 
  • The socks are placed over the liners and shouldn’t touch the skin directly.
  • Gently pull the socks to eliminate all wrinkles. The locking pin should be carefully inserted so it’s not exposed fully. 
  • Make sure your socks don’t run front to back. Side to side is the right way of wearing prosthetic stump socks.
  • It’s crucial to be cautious and keep the sock in the right place. Abrasions are mainly caused if the socks cross over the shin bone. 
  • Stop using the socks if you feel pain and constant unending discomfort. 

If the socks fail to fit correctly even after adding and subtracting the ply number, you can contact us and book an appointment

Maintenance of prosthetic socks

To maintain the prosthetic accessories, you first have to get used to them. In the beginning, it’s very troublesome to use socks. People get irritated by the constant existence of such things on their bodies. Make sure you take time to adjust the socks, and don’t give up. 

Quick tip; Buy socks in bundles:

It’s always wise to buy socks in bundles and sets to keep changing them according to your needs. You’ll notice that the people who use prosthetics carry separate bags for different accessories and have a lot of different-sized socks.
Here are some tips for the maintenance of socks:

  • It would be best if you always worked out wrinkles before wearing socks. 
  • Follow the washing instructions for socks and change them daily. 
  • Use soap to wash your socks. 
  • Washing socks by hand is, so far, the best option. Air-dry your socks, and don’t put them in the sunlight. 

How to clean your socks

It’s eco-friendly to reuse ply socks and also saves you money. Cleaning socks regularly and adequately can serve the purpose. The manufacturers always add cleaning instructions pamphlets with the socks; you should always read them carefully and follow them.

One crucial tip about cleaning socks is washing them by hand; cold water prevents shrinking possibilities. 

Follow these steps to clean your socks properly:

  1. Fill cold water in a container. 
  2. Soak the prosthetic socks in the water. 
  3. Use a mild soap for cleaning. 
  4. Rinse the soap properly. 
  5. Make sure all of the soap is removed because soap residues are most likely a cause of irritation to the skin.  
  6. Lay your ply socks flat on a clean surface. 
  7. Air-dry your socks.  

Intense exposure to sunlight ruins the socks’ material, so ensure you never dry your prosthetic socks in the sun. Learn more about cleaning your socket here. 

Final thoughts

Prosthetic socks are a blessed invention for people with amputee limbs. These are uniquely designed 3D prosthetic components knitted with special machines. The volume of the residual limb fluctuates when it shrinks or swells. 

Prosthetic stump socks add comfort, protect from abrasions and bruises and accommodate the volume of a limb. You can only get optimum comfort if you know the total ply and wear the most appropriate socks. Here we help people with finding the perfect sock match for them. 

Becoming an amputee can be scary if you don’t access the correct information. Check out the answers to FAQs of new amputees here

Learn more about our services here.