Above Knee Prosthesis: Hip Joint, Pelvic Band and Waist Belt


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General Description:
There are many types of above knee (AK) prostheses. The type that an amputee is fit with depends on the shape of the residual limb, the length of the residual limb, activity level, prognosis, and individual preference.

An above knee amputee is unable to bear weight on the bottom of his residual limb. In order to keep the weight off the bottom of the limb, the amputee must support his body weight on either the ischial tuberosity (seat bone), the soft tissue of the limb, the gluteal tissues or a combination of the three. In order to hold the prosthesis onto the person’s body, a method of suspension must be used.

A hip joint, pelvic band and waist belt is generally used with someone who needs stability from side to side and rotational control. This often happens with a short residual limb or with a wearer who has weak hip abductor muscles. A movable hip joint is attached to the prosthetic socket with a metal band on a belt attaching around the waist. This prosthesis is easy to put on, but adds weight and bulk to the prosthesis.


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Application and Removal:
The wearer puts on a prosthetic sock or socks, pushes the limb into the socket, and then attaches the waist belt around the waist. The belt is usually held on by a buckle or Velcro closures. The prosthesis is usually put on while standing or lying down.

Care and Maintenance:
Clean socks should be worn daily.
The socket can be wiped out with mild soap and water as needed.

Tips and Problem Solving:

Periodic cleaning and lubricating of the hip joint may be necessary. If the joint becomes hard to move or loose, see your prosthetist for an adjustment.

For further troubleshooting, see AK Troubleshooting