Study Sees Lower Overall Volume Loss With Elevated Vacuum
Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of elevated vacuum for managing limb fluid volume compared to suction suspension with an in-socket measurement modality during many hours of activity. Although individual results varied, 11 of 12 participants experienced lower overall rates of fluid volume loss in at least one limb region when using elevated vacuum.
Twelve transtibial electronic elevated vacuum users participated in two sessions. Elevated vacuum was used during the first session and suction suspension in the second. Participants completed a 5.5-hour protocol consisting of multiple intervals of activity. In-socket residual limb fluid volume was continuously measured using a custom portable bioimpedance analyzer.
The overall rate of fluid volume change was not significantly different, though the rate of posterior fluid volume change during the third cycle was significantly lower with elevated vacuum.
The researchers concluded that elevated vacuum may be more effective as a volume management strategy after accumulation of activity, and that individual variation suggests the potential to optimize the limb fluid volume benefits of elevated vacuum by reducing socket vacuum pressure for some users.
The study was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.