How to Measure Yourself for Prosthetic Socks
We go through enough stress in a day to worry about ill-fitting prosthetic socks. Here at Amputee Store, we advocate for your utmost comfort which is why we also want to help you find the right size and fit. And to get this, you need to correctly measure your limb before setting out on a quest to buy socks.
If it’s time for you to buy new socks, we recommend reading on to get our tried-and-tested step-by-step instructions to ensure a great fit.
But first, how do you know that you’re wearing the wrong sock size? Here are some telltale signs:
• The sock wrinkles inside your socket.
• Your limb feels like it’s swinging or “hammocking” inside your socket.
• If the sock started as a 5-ply, but after putting it on it transformed into a 2-ply.
• For below-knee (BK) amputees, the sock doesn’t extend past the socket.
• Your sock slides inside your socket after about an hour of walking.
• You find it difficult to increase your sock ply.
If you suffer from any of these issues, then take out a measuring tape (the type that the tailor uses) and let’s start measuring. If you don’t have a tailor’s measuring tape on-hand, you can also contact us at Amputee Store, and we’ll send you one.
Measuring best practices
While measuring one’s self can seem like a no-brainer, it’s all too easy to do it the wrong way. So, we put together some of the best measuring practices for you.
First, make sure to hold the measure tape level. Doing this by yourself can be tricky. So, our second tip is to enlist a friend, family member, or even a friendly stranger to assist you. An extra pair of hands is critical to keeping your measurements accurate.
The third tip is don’t pull the tape measure too tight. Doing so creates an inaccurate measurement, which can lead to tight-fitting and uncomfortable socks. Fourth, it’s always best to get your measurements while you’re standing up. Measuring yourself in this position helps ensure accuracy. But if you’re a bilateral amputee, it’s best to get measured while sitting down.
And lastly, be patient. Getting the most accurate numbers requires a good dose of persistence. After all, you might need to measure the same spot at least three times to ensure that the numbers always match up.
Now that you have the best practices covered, it’s time to do it. Grab your measuring tape, your assistant, and keep the step-by-step guide near you for easy reference.
Step 1: Determine your circumference size.
For leg amputees, have your assistant measure up to 2 inches from the bottom of your limb. Then, place a mark on the 2-inch mark for reference. For arm amputees, measure 1.5 inches up from the bottom of your limb. Next, wrap your measuring tape around your limb along the mark. Take note of this measurement.
It’s also important to remember that size Regular is often used by BK amputees, size Wide is often preferred by AK amputees, and size Narrow is reserved for a child and arm amputees.
Step 2: Calculate your circumferential sock size.
If you order prosthetic socks on Amputee Store, we do the calculations for you. Just click on the Size Chart link on each product page. But if you’re figuring out your size on other products, you can refer to the standard sock size chart.
A formula which you may find helpful is to take your measurements as usual and then reduce by 2%. Divide the number in half to arrive at the industry’s standard sizing chart based on flat width measurements. However, if you’re still unsure, you can always send us an email or start a chat. Just send us your measurements, and we’ll walk you through it.
Step 3: Take your length measurement
For BK amputees, it’s best to measure from the bottom of your limb up to 2-3 inches past the middle of your kneecap. While sock length is a matter of preference, comfort dictates that you ensure that the sock doesn’t end right at or below your prosthetic sock trimlines. If they do, you will experience pressure along the side of your knee, and that does not make things comfortable for you.
Meanwhile, AK amputees have the freedom to defer to their preferred sock length. While one may prefer reflecting the sock over the socket to create a soft edge, another might prefer for the sock end just below the sitting bone, which can create relief for the said bone as well as the pubic ramus bone.
That wasn’t too hard, was it? The next thing you have to decide is the brand. Do you already have a favorite brand? Perhaps you’re still trying to find out which brands work for you. Below are some of our customers’ favorites. Your next favorite sock could just be a click away.