Researchers from the departments of bioengineering and rehabilitation medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, collected data from 23 participants with transtibial amputations and found that verbal reports of prosthetic sock use were often inconsistent with data measured by logs, which showed that sock changes were infrequent.
Using a customized, self-report questionnaire covering a 14-day period, data from 16 men and seven women showed that socks were changed less than once per day and ply increased over the day. Results showed that subjects generally added socks to account for volume loss, and end-of-day sock thickness frequently exceeded five-ply. Subjects wore prostheses longer and changed socks more often on weekdays.
Participants were divided into two subgroups: those who used socks to manage limb volume and those who used socks for socket comfort. Sock use did not differ between subgroups.
The researchers suggest that objective tools, such as sock logs, are needed to better understand sock-use habits, enhance volume management strategies, troubleshoot fitting issues, and may facilitate improved residual-limb health.
The study was published online in the journal Prosthetics and Orthotics International.