Lower Limb Prosthetics – Socks

Purpose of using socks:

To take up extra space in the prosthesis.

How to put on your socks:

  1. Slide sock on over liner.
  2. Make sure NO wrinkles are in sock.
  1. Wrinkles can cause extra pressure on limb which can cause skin breakdown or irritation.
  1. Socks should go past the top of the liner.

Wearing Schedule:

Wear socks as needed.  Be careful to not wear too many socks or not enough.  Both can cause serious issues.

Sock Ply:

Socks typically come in 1 ply, 3 ply and 5 ply.  The amount of ply depends on the amount of space inside the socket.

When to add/subtract socks:

Add a sock if,

a. On the bottom edge of the patella a. The groin area
b. Under the fibula head b. Ischial tuberosity
c. The back of the knee c. The end/bottom of the femur
d. At the femoral condyles d. The front end of the femur
e. The end of the tibia         e. The outside of the tibia
f. The front end of the tibia  
g. The end of the fibula  
  1. Feel like the prosthesis is too short
  2. Expelling air out of the top of socket
  3. The prosthesis “spins” on your residual limb causing your foot to turn excessively inward or outward

Subtract a sock if,

  1. Your residual limb throbs, is feeling constricted and choked
  2. Uncomfortable pressure at patella tendon and back of knee
  3. Uncomfortable pressure on either side of the wide part of the knee
  4. Direct pressure from the side of the socket on the fibula head
  5. End of the limb is moist, cold and red/purplish in color
  6. Feel like the prosthesis is too long

Cleaning and Maintenance:

  • Socks are machine washable with a mild detergent and air dry or spin dry in dryer. Do not use heat or socks will shrink.

Things to remember:

  • Wear clean socks every day.
  • On hot and humid days feel free to put on fresh socks half way through the day.
  • Do not wear socks for several days before washing them. It is not good for your skin or the prosthetic socks.
  • Be sure to carry extra socks with you daily. Your limb will shrink throughout the day.