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Insights from our prosthetists about new technology, advances in prosthetics, & more

Can a double wall socket double your socket comfort?

September 6, 2018 ,

The answer is – it might! Double wall sockets or 2-stage sockets are essentially two sockets in one. The shorter inner socket is secured to your limb with either suction or elevated vacuum. This is then connected to the outer socket with a mechanical “pin”. MCOP is a leading provider of this socket type for many amputees ranging from trans-tibial to high level above the knee.

 

We always try to make the lightest and easiest possible socket for our patients, so why have we fit so many of these? 

The answer is usually the same, this socket will not ever move or come off of your limb, period!  No other socket solution is as secure and stable. I’ve had patients wear this system on long trans-pacific flights of over 18 hours without any discomfort and without the socket ever budging. Why does a double wall socket offer exceptional hold and comfort?  The answer is in the seal – the inner socket is sealed so well to your limb with the sleeve and liner that no air can leak. This separation of the outer and inner sockets also allows you to disengage the outer socket when sitting resulting in the most comfortable travel experience possible. When you are ready to walk again, reengage and off you go. 

For most amputees I aim for the most lightweight and simple to wear solution – but in the case of very short above knee amputations, I always consider the double-wall socket. In my time working with the military, I saw a lot of short above knee amputees due to trauma, and we would use the double wall approach. In addition to the suspension and comfort benefits, this approach allowed us to create one inner socket that could fit into multiple outer sockets. This way a sailor or soldier could rapidly switch between their different legs for walking, running, diving, etc.

 

Double Wall Socket Patient Case Study: Chris and MCOP Prosthetist John Warren

I’ve seen some really tough cases and Chris’ proved to be amongst the most challenging.  His residual limb is extremely short, less than 3” from the hip and the entire limb was completely covered in skin graft and boney overgrowth.  His range of motion was very limited as well.  He had not been able to regularly wear a prosthesis due to the pain that he experienced. Chris just wanted to regain his independence and to have a leg that “didn’t hurt”. 

From my experience at Walter Reed with military amputees, it was immediately clear that the right socket solution for Chris was a double-wall socket. After two check sockets, we arrived at a liner and inner socket that fit to our satisfaction by using a custom liner. Once the double wall socket was aligned, Chris’ stability and gait efficiency skyrocketed. He was able to increase his wear time and participate in physical therapy. Through Chris’ hard work and the power of the double-wall socket, Chris is walking again and has regained his independence. Today Chris is walking daily with his double-wall socket prosthesis, the difference is remarkable.

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