Northwestern University flexible subischial vacuum socket for persons with transfemoral amputation: Part 2 description and preliminary evaluation Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Current transfemoral prosthetic sockets are problematic as they restrict function, lack comfort, and cause residual limb problems. Development of a subischial socket with lower proximal trim lines is an appealing way to address this problem and may contribute to improving quality of life of persons with transfemoral amputation. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to illustrate the use of a new subischial socket in two subjects. Study design: Case series. Methods: Two unilateral transfemoral prosthesis users participated in preliminary socket evaluations comparing functional performance of the new subischial socket to ischial containment sockets. Testing included gait analysis, socket comfort score, and performance-based clinical outcome measures (Rapid-Sit-To-Stand, Four-Square-Step-Test, and Agility T-Test). Results: For both subjects, comfort was better in the subischial socket, while gait and clinical outcomes were generally comparable between sockets. Conclusion: While these evaluations are promising regarding the ability to function in this new socket design, more definitive evaluation is needed. Clinical relevance Using gait analysis, socket comfort score and performance-based outcome measures, use of the Northwestern University Flexible Subischial Vaccum Socket was evaluated in two transfemoral prosthesis users. Socket comfort improved for both subjects with comparable function compared to ischial containment sockets.

publication date

  • 2017