How To Increase Wear Time with Silicone Sockets
by Amber Henson, on Jan 25, 2021
If you have an upper limb difference and you find yourself with two choices:
1) Wear your prosthesis all day because it helps you with your job and home life — but you experience pain throughout the day and each night due to your device.
2) Take off your prosthesis once your device starts hurting, but that means having to finish your day without your prosthesis (making dinner, say, without the help of your device).
We might just have the solution for you.
Silicone is a material that feels a lot like skin. It cushions and cools. We use it in most of our custom-made sockets. Before silicone, we used to use (and other prosthetic offices still use) thermoplastics for our definitive prostheses, but we found that when silicone is appropriate for the individual and their amputation, it offers so many benefits.
Our silicone sockets are much more flexible than the same socket created in thermoplastic. This means your socket, and therefore your device, will move much more fluidly with your residual limb. It is also very stretchy and will return to the form we mold it in, customized for your specific amputation. So, say, if you have a partial hand amputation, and you need the silicone to go over a large part of your hand to settle in on the residual part of your palm, the silicone can stretch over the large part and then return to fit the smaller part.
Do you have scarring on your residual limb? Silicone does double-duty. Silicone products not only feel pleasant on scars and cushion them, but silicone also has an awesome ability to help heal the scars, and overtime, promote new skin growth.
Maybe you don’t wear your device when it’s hot because you can’t stand how sweat builds up in the prosthesis. Well, guess what. Yep. Silicone can help with that, too. There’s less heat build-up with silicone sockets, so they feel lighter and cooler.
That feeling of lightness helps with wearing sockets all day, too. Even though silicone does not actually weigh less than thermoplastic, we have had several patients report that it feels that way — and perception is what it’s all about when it comes to wear time.
One last thing – since we custom create each silicone socket, we can also make them ANY COLOR YOU WANT. Pink, green, banana-rama yellow — just tell us what floats your boat.
Does silicone seem like a magical material that can solve so many problems? Yes, it does to us, too! That’s why we’re telling you about it! Want to hear some testimonials from our patients about how their silicone sockets help them wear their devices all day, at work, at home or, say, at Disneyworld? We have some great quotes from several super star patients for you.
If you are looking for more ways to increase your wear time, check out our article, "How to Increase the Wear Time of Your Prosthetic Device."
Do you have any questions for us about silicone? Bring them on — if you can’t tell, it’s one of our favorite subjects. Have a comment for us? (Some suggestions: “Wow!” “Gracious!” or “Let’s get me into a silicone socket!”) You can comment below. Thanks for reading!
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