How a simple nylon sleeve protector can add months to your prosthetic sleeve's lifespan:
Knee sleeve protectors, also known as gaitors or sleeve savers can prolong the lifespan of your suspension sleeve. Sleeve protectors essentially create a frictionless barrier for your BK sleeve to glide against your socket during knee flexion and extension. They are a critical component in vacuum systems, because as anyone using a vacuum system understands, a pin hole or tear will create a serious suspension problem.
Socket Trim: It may take a little initial work and patience, but gluing socket trim onto your socket trimelines will not only protect your sleeve and/or prosthetic liner from sharp trimelines but add a finished look to your socket.
Storing your spare sleeve: Don't store your prosthetic bk sleeve in a hot environment, ie the trunk of your car. Never leave your sleeve folded for an extended period of time when not in use. It will develop a permanent crease. Try either a prosthetic wipe or cleanser.
Tip: Don't care for your prosthetic bk sleeve with harmful chemicals. This may cause premature wear and/or create a form of dermatitis skin condition.
Trick: Cut the top 1" of a filler sock and place it under the top edge of your sleeve to prevent pulling of your skin. Some amputees will add a spot treatment or anti-friction crème to the part of your thigh that is covered by the edge of your prosthetic sleeve.
Washing: Skin irritations, usually in the form of a rash, can occur when the sleeve is not regularly washed. Neoprene or cloth sleeves can generally be put in a washing machine and dryer. Gel and silicone sleeves must be hand washed.
Good-to-Know: If you find your prosthetic below-knee sleeve wants to roll down you thigh, look for a conical shaped sleeve or one size larger. Your prosthetic Below-Knee sleeve wants to roll down because the it's too small along the thigh area. A conically shaped sleeve will offer proper room for your thigh as well as the socket.
Tip: Be extra careful if you have sharp nails!
Related Prosthetic Sleeve Articles:
- The Complete Prosthetic Suspension Guide
- What is the difference between Vacuum and Suction suspension systems?
- Which prosthetic sleeve features are important to amputees.
- Prosthetic sleeves that offer the longest life.
- How-to install a Below-Knee Sleeve onto my prosthesis?
- How-to protect and care for suspension sleeves.
- Prosthetic Sleeve Materials Primer