No matter what you do, your prosthetic socket always leaves small holes in your pants. It seems as if there’s no winning, right? Some people add some covering over their socket trimelines or stitch a durable material to their pants. Others wear slick yoga pants underneath their jeans, but inevitably, the prosthetic socket wins.
Here at Amputee Store, we’ve been experimenting with a few ideas to prevent your socket from destroying your favorite pair of jeans or pants. Here’s what we have so far.
Test One: Using Ripstop Nylon
We began this series of tests with an old and tired donning sheath used to help apply above-knee (AK) prostheses or prosthetic arms. We salvaged a piece and stitched a section to the back area of our physically active volunteer and friend Anthony’s jeans. His above-knee prosthesis won this battle after only five months.
Test Two: Using a double layer of Ripstop Nylon
We went back to the drawing board. After a few discussions, we realized that we needed a double layer of Ripstop Nylon to allow one layer to move over the other easily. The idea was that any movement or pinching from his socket would get absorbed between the two layers.
This time, Anthony’s pants have so far lasted six months without any signs of wear and tear. We were all excited about this news. However, Ripstop Nylon isn’t readily available, and sewing it to pants weakens the material.
The final and successful test
It didn’t take us long to realize that our double-layered Ripstop Nylon invention was simply a knock off of Tamarack’s Glidewear Liner Patch. So, for our final (and what has been a successful) test, we used a large oval Glidewear Liner Patch and, instead of stitching it to Anthony’s pants, we used contact cement.
We carefully outlined a liner patch onto his pants with a pen. Then, we added two layers of contact cement to his pants, as well as on one side of the liner patch. We then grabbed a blow-dryer to warm up the glue before finally applying the liner patch to his pants.
Everyone here at Amputee Store was giving each other high-fives because it worked well until Anthony washed and dried his pants. Turns out, the Glidewear Liner Patch doesn’t do well inside a high-temperature dryer.
Regardless, we replaced it with a new patch. We’re two months in, and it’s holding up well. It's still undecided whether this is the ultimate answer or if we need to sew the liner patch as well.
If you want to try out the Glidewear Liner Patch trick, don’t machine-dry your pants; air-drying will do. And always remember to be careful with contact cement. Excessive amounts of contact cement will prevent your liner patch from properly adhering to your jeans. Most importantly, any excess cement can irritate your skin.Are you interested in trying out our pants-saving trick? If yes, please update us on your progress in the comments section.