Your Shopping Cart

Don't sweat it! Vacuum Sockets

A constantly sweaty limb is more than a nuisance. Excessive sweating can lead to friction, odor, and skin disorders if left uncontrolled.  Antiperspirants go a long way towards reducing sweat, but prosthetic antiperspirants alone won't solve your perspiration problems. What you need is a multi-pronged approach that includes proper hygiene, prosthetic textiles engineered for perspiration control, an antiperspirant made for prosthetic users, and the right socket, with the right socket fit.  

There are two kinds of socket suspension systems that manipulate atmospheric pressure: elevated vacuum suspension and suction suspension. Both rely on differences in atmospheric pressure to create suspension for your prosthesis. That vacuum secures the limb to your prosthesis as you move around. But whereas in suction suspension systems, a passive valve expels air from the socket to create negative air pressure only when the limb is in motion, vacuum sockets rely on an active pump instead. Active vacuum socket valves maintain negative air pressure regardless of the limb's movement or position. 

Although not suited for everyone, vacuum sockets are reported to be more comfortable, and they seem to improve circulation, so skin disorders and wounds heal more quickly. And the active pump system in vacuum sockets has another benefit: sweat control. 

That's because the vacuum means that the limb and liner will always be in close contact, preventing the sweat glands from generating excessive amounts of sweat. The pump also keeps the limb drier in the socket by maintaining a constant residual limb volume. That will come in handy during particularly sweaty moments or activities! 

Your Prosthetist can tell you if a vacuum socket system will work for you. 

Related Articles:

Subscribe

Sign up for Amputee News and Offers