Nonprofit Develops More Affordable Prosthetic Liners

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Erenstone mixes the silicone to make a liner in Nepal.

Photograph courtesy of Jeff Erenstone and Operation Namaste.

Volunteers with Operation Namaste have successfully tested a process of making more sustainable and affordable prosthetic liners. Using CAD-designed, 3D-printed molds, Operation Namaste's SILC Solutions method produces standard-size silicone liners that cost less than $50 each to make. The cost and lack of availability of traditional liners puts them beyond the reach of most people with amputations in low-income countries.

Jeff Erenstone, CPO, is the founder of Operation Namaste, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing tools and support to O&P practitioners in low-income countries, starting in Nepal. Erenstone is also the owner and head clinician at Mountain Orthotic & Prosthetic Services, headquartered in Lake Placid, New York.

Operation Namaste has partnered with the Range of Motion Project (ROMP) to improve prosthetic care.

"Gel liners are just not within reach for most people in developing countries," said Eric Neufeld, chair of the board of directors of ROMP. "This has been a limiting factor in the quality of care for amputees."

In October, Erenstone led a team of practitioners, including prosthetists, a physical therapist, and an amputee peer counselor, to test out the new liner system in Kathmandu, Nepal, to prove that the liners can be made anywhere in the world.

Operation Namaste has plans to finalize the SILC prosthetic liners and return to Nepal in spring 2020 to train practitioners on the process and deliver materials.