A study published in the December 10 issue of Prosthetics and Orthotics International found that people in the United Kingdom who use lower-limb prostheses have low cosmesis satisfaction levels. The most important features to the participants were that the shape of the prosthesis match that of the sound limb, free prosthetic joint movement, and a natural fit of clothing over the cosmesis.
With participation from prosthetic device manufacturers, clinicians, and amputees, the researchers created a cross-sectional questionnaire to focus specifically on cosmesis features. Nine features were categorized in three subgroups, aesthetic (color, shape, touch/feel), dynamics (the fit under clothes, lifelike/natural bending, influence on prosthetic joint movement), and maintenance (waterproof quality, ability to keep clean, durability). Satisfaction scores and the overall importance ranking of cosmesis features were calculated from questionnaires completed by 153 people with lower-limb amputations in the United Kingdom. Between 49 percent and 64 percent of respondents reported neutral or dissatisfied opinions with the cosmesis features (greater than 50 percent for five of the nine features). According to the researchers, the results can be used to direct future cosmesis design research in the areas that are important to individuals with amputations.