Below Knee Prosthesis: Supracondylar


CARE AND USE OF YOUR DEVICE


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General Description:

SC or supracondylar suspension keeps the prosthesis on the limb by holding on above the inside bone of the knee. The user wears a soft insert with a wedge that locks into the socket and keeps the prosthesis on the limb. (See Figure 1) A variation of the SC design is SCSP or supracondylar suprapatellar. This design extends the socket above the kneecap. This compresses the firm tissue of the quadriceps muscles in the thigh and prevents hyperextension (bending backwards) of the knee. (See Figure 2) SCSP is generally used on short limbs to increase loading areas and increase knee stability.

Below Knee Prosthesis

Figure 1: Wedge locks in over the bone of the knee.

 

Supracondylar Suspension

Figure 2

Application and Removal:
1.     To apply the prosthesis, first a nylon sheath is pulled onto the limb (See Figure 3). The sheath should be pulled up tightly without any wrinkles. The sheath helps to wick away moisture and reduce friction between the limb and the prosthesis. Some people prefer not to wear a sheath, which is acceptable as well.
2.     Secondly, a prosthetic sock is pulled on over the sheath (See Figure 4).
3.     The soft insert is then pulled onto the limb (See Figure 5). A nylon or sock covers the outside of the soft insert (See Figure 6).
4.     The limb is then pushed into the prosthetic socket (See Figures 7 and 8).

figure-3

Figure 3

figure 4

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 5

figure 6

Figure 6

Figure 7

Figure 7

Figure 8

Figure 8

One method to remove the prosthesis is for the patient to put his sound side foot on top of the prosthetic foot (See Figure 9). The patient then grabs the tops of the prosthetic socks with both hands, including the nylon or sock that is over the soft insert (See Figure 8). The patient pulls up with his hands and his affected leg while holding down the prosthesis with his sound side foot (See Figure 11). The insert and socks can then be removed (See Figure 12).

Figure 9

Figure 9

Figure 10

Figure 10

Figure 11

Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 12

Care and Maintenance:
The prosthetic socks and sheaths should be cleaned following that particular manufacturer’s directions. The soft insert and the prosthetic socket may be wiped out with warm, soapy water or alcohol as needed. Clean socks should be worn every day.

Tips and Problem Solving:
Generally, the most difficult concept for an amputee to master is how to determine the correct sock ply to wear. Wearing the correct amount of socks is critical for comfort as well as safety. Your prosthetist and physical therapist will supply you with general guidelines in wearing socks, but if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact or visit your prosthetist.

For further troubleshooting, see BK Troubleshooting.