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Helpful Tips & Tricks for your prosthetic sleeve

Posted by Bryan Potok on

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:

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