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Prevent Your Prosthesis From Destroying Your Pants With This Trick

Posted by Bryan Potok, CPO on

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.

 A tear in denim pants due to wearing a prosthesis.

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 PatchSo, 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.
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  • I use a double layer of heavy Lycra. This provides cushioning and shearing factors. Plus it saves my silicon liners from great big tears

    Chris John on

  • Anyone else here have no idea what anyone is talking about? Need diagrams to figure out what’s being said. I can understand what the article is suggesting but certainly not in the comments. Honestly, if you have a nice pair of pants (or 2 or 3 or more..), you don’t want to sew ANYTHING that would mess them up; seems the best way is either the contact cement, sticking some kind of velcro on the inside of the pants and velcro on a pad of sorts that can be removed when cleaning, Or put a pad/hard foam/etc… on your actual prosthesis.

    Erik on

  • If you can find someone to sew for you, you can install a zipper a little shorter than the leg and it will save a lot of pants and frustration. You put the pants on before your prosthesis , then the prosthesis and pull the zipper down last. Voala – - finished, and no torn pants. Since I wear a prosthesis for 5 yrs now I have never had to glue anything and it washes like any other zipper !

    Sew on the inside leg.

    Hazel Balcaen on

  • I recently had the skin changed on my below knee prosthetic. I only have use of one hand the “skin” is so hard to pull a pant leg up over it. I struggle inching pants up 1/3" at a time. Any suggestions? How might I slick it up?

    Betty Pittman on

  • over 55 plus years of AK leg wearing … I found that just buying cheaper pants and tossing them when they get too ratty to even wear around the house …. I alternate my several pairs better pants to get longer wear

    David Williams on

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