This case study represented a unique opportunity wherein a long-time user of sub-ischial sockets had kept nearly every socket he wore for a decade. This individual let us borrow these sockets so we could digitize them and indirectly assess change in residual limb size over time by calculating changes in socket volume and circumferences over time.
Case Description and Methods:
Over a decade, the subject maintained a relatively stable body weight of 84–88 kg and received nine sub-ischial sockets. The internal surface of each socket was scanned using a mechanical digitizer and volume and circumferences calculated.
Findings and Outcomes:
Socket volume increased 31.3%, from a low of 2659.2 cm3 for the oldest socket to a high of 3490.6 cm3 for the most recent socket. Proximal circumferences increased more than distal circumferences with a 15.9% total increase proximally versus 8.9% total increase distally.
Discussion and Conclusion:
The results suggest that this individual’s residual limb increased in size over time despite the compressive effect of the socket and liner. In addition, the increase in circumference was greater proximally than distally, which is where the remaining muscle bellies are located.
This case study provides insight into the long-term effect of the sub-ischial socket on residual limb volume given compression of the soft tissues by the socket system.