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VA Develops Sensor That Gives Real-Time Data on How Your Socket is Fitting

Posted by Bryan Potok on

Most lower-limb prosthetic users agree that poor socket fit caused by constant fluctuations in the size of their residual limbs is among their top three common prosthetic issues. Moreover, poor socket fit is the leading cause of most prosthetic related skin problems, such as chafing.

 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs developed a prosthetic socket fit sensor that identifies pressure points within a socket.

Existing solutions to this problem often involve adding or removing prosthetic sock plies. Still, not everyone can successfully implement sock management techniques. This is especially true for those who are new to the amputee life and people who experience significant changes in the volume of the residual limb daily.

To address this significant unmet need, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) developed a prosthetic socket fit sensor that identifies pressure points within a socket. As of this writing, the technology is patented and is available via patent license agreement to prosthetic companies that would make or sell the device commercially.

According to TechLink, the low-cost device design incorporates a self-contained sensor assembly. It can fit along the bottom end of a socket and can even replace the existing limb attachment mechanism. When worn, the sensor produces a signal in response to real-time changes in pressure. The sensors are intended to monitor the quality of fit between the prosthetic socket and the user.

The prosthetic socket fit sensor also includes an accelerometer, which produces an output indicative of the user’s type of movement and then provides much-needed context to the recorded pressure data.

The device is designed to be user-friendly and easy for prosthetists to build into a prosthetic socket. It is an excellent self-management tool for everyone who wants to maintain a good socket fit. It also works as an educational tool for those who are new to amputee life. 

Is maintaining a proper socket fit an ongoing struggle for you? Would you be willing to wear a sensor that gives you real-time data on your prosthetic socket fit? Please share your thoughts and experiences with the rest of the community in the comments section below.
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<a href="https://amputeestore.com/blogs/amputee-life/va-develops-sensor-that-gives-real-time-data-on-how-your-socket-is-fitting">VA Develops Sensor That Gives Real-Time Data on How Your Socket is Fitting</a>

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23 comments


  • That’s awesome! I’m a bilateral bk, and extremely active. I’d love to use this.

    Yusef Lewis on

  • I want to know general public availability and cost

    Jodi L. Wallace on

  • RE: VA Develops Sensor That Gives Real-Time Data on How Your Socket is Fitting.

    How can I be considered and can this be done through the VA Community Care referral system?

    I am a 90% SDV, high left AK, 67 year of age, amputation 3.5 year ago, and with variably mild to substantial chronic pain in residual limb as well as PLP. Asymmetry of end of residual limb and compression of sciatic nerve are the causes. Will send more details to person involved in management of the subject VA program. Thank you.

    Mark Hodges on

  • Yes, I am willing to wear a real time sensor equipped socket. I am a high AK (left) amputee, amputation 15SEP16. With about 6" of residual limb, comfort and maintaining connection (suction, not active vacuum) are major issues. I started with a lanyard system, moved up to suction that did not work, then to double walled negative pressure system from Orlando P&O, and I am now using a NW University NW SuFlex system with good success – but. The asymmetrical shape of the residual limb posed many problems with comfort and fit. The approach described sounds like an improvement over what I am doing now. How to get signed up as a candidate for participation in the study? Thank you. Semper fidelis, Mark Hodges

    Mark Hodges on

  • Will this technology Lead to a self adjusting Socket for the pressure .

    Leslie Chambers on


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