Posts filed under ‘Prosthetic Tips, Tricks & FAQs’

What did you say?

Every industry has their own vocabulary and the Prosthetic community is no exception. A lot of times the prosthetic vocabulary is confusing for our patients. We have heard every interpretation of this vernacular. When we aren’t speaking the same language, it is pretty hard to communicate with one another. It becomes difficult to describe where you may be having problems or what you might need to fix a problem you have identified. Have no fear, we are here for you. Below you will find some of the more common terms used to describe the parts of an average prosthetic. Consider it your personal glossary to the Prosthetic industry.

Socket: Is the hollow shell that the residual limb fits into. Some people call this a bucket.

Check Socket: Is a socket but instead of being solid colored it is transparent and made of plastic, we use         this to determine the fit of your socket. Many patients wear these for several months.

Pylon: Is the aluminum tube that connects the socket or the knee to the foot of your prosthesis. Commonly patients refer to this as the pole.

Foam Cover: Is the foam construction that is placed over the limb to give the leg a more realistic look. Sometimes patients simply call it a cover, which is a bit confusing because there are so many types of covers.

Sheath: Looks a lot like panty hose and is another type of cover typically placed over the foam cover.

Liner: Is a device placed over the residual limb that attaches the socket to you. We hear a wide range of terms referring to this device and liners come in a wide range of styles. They are always made of cloth, silicone or plastic. They are easy to identify because they are the connector between yourself and the prosthesis.

Socks: Are cloth socks that cover the residual limb. They come in several ply (thickness) options.

Shrinker: Is another cloth device that typically is worn post surgery or if you are having issues with swelling. It is not part of the prosthetic device but a compression garment that reduces edema.

Removable Rigid Dressing:  If you are a new amputee you are very familiar with this term. This is the device used directly after amputation. It is usually white and black and made of plastic. It is a protective device similar to a cast.

We hope that this glossary of terms will be of great assistance to you. Try out your new vocabulary next time you are in, we are sure your prosthetist will be impressed.


May 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment


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