CARE AND USE OF YOUR DEVICE
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.
With locking liner suspension, the user rolls a silicone or other liner onto the residual limb. The liner is fit directly against the skin and is snug fitting. Traditionally the liners were made of silicone. Currently, there are liners made of silicone, gel, and hybrid materials. The liner has a pin or a pull strap on the end that locks into the bottom of the socket. A prosthetic sock is worn over the liner in order to allow for volume fluctuation.
Application and Removal:
To apply the prosthesis, the liner must first be turned inside out. The liner is then placed directly against the end of the residual limb and gently rolled onto the limb. Avoid using lotions or creams on the residual limb before putting on the liner. Be careful not to tug at the top of the liner as this may cause irritation or blisters to develop at the edge of the liner. A prosthetic sock is then pulled on over the liner. The volume of the residual limb and the fit of the prosthetic socket determine the thickness of the sock that is needed. At the end of the liner is either a strap or a locking pin. The strap feeds through a slot in the bottom front of the socket. By pulling the strap through the slot, the residual limb is pulled into the socket. The strap then attaches to the outside front of the socket with either Velcro or an attachment buckle.
If a locking pin is used, the residual limb is pushed into the socket and the pin inserts into a lock in the bottom of the socket. Clicks can be heard as the pin inserts into the lock. This prosthesis can be removed by pushing a release button that is located on the outside of the prosthesis. The release button must be held down as the leg is removed from the prosthesis.
The liner is removed by unrolling off of the limb.
Care and Maintenance:
The inside of the liner must be hand washed daily with mild soap such as Soft SoapÒ Brand (no perfumes, lotions, or deodorants) and water. Blot dry with a towel. Store the liner right side out away from direct heat.
Clean socks should be worn daily. Follow manufacturer guidelines for washing the socks.
The socket can be wiped out with mild soap and water as needed.
Tips and Problem Solving:
If the locking mechanism is sticking, spray the lock with WD-40 or similar lubricant.
For further troubleshooting, see AK Troubleshooting.