Friday, May 20, 2022

Responses: Socket warmer

zach harvey

Thanks to all who
responded.  I have a couple friends/
former patients embarking on a big endeavor, doing a bike ride across the
country this fall.  It’s going to be
quite difficult considering both are bilateral AK’s and doing this on upright
bikes.  We are just in the planning
stages now and are preparing for anything and everything that could go
wrong.   Things could get a little cold along
the way, and I am looking for a warming element for the sockets that could aid
in keeping the residual limbs warm.  I
had some great ideas and advice from people who have addressed this problem
before.  A couple people mentioned the
Night- Kap from Although this will heat the residual limb, it is designed to be worn without
the socket on.  Someone else referenced
an article in which a student had developed a prototype socket with a warming

I think the most practical
solution would be to find a pair of electric socks without bulky wires in which
the heat can be regulated.  It sounds
like these are easy to find and could be modified to fit inside the socket or
over the residual limb. 
Again, thanks for everyone’s
ideas, and please check out Rob’s website/ upcoming trip at:

Original post:

 Hello prosthetists,
 Typically, heat dissipation is the
problem in a prosthetic socket, but those who wear a prosthesis in really cold
weather will often tell you that their residual limb gets cold.  
Heated foot warmers and battery powered socks have helped out people’s feet
from getting too cold.   Just wondering if anyone has found a good
electric sock or other product that works for this purpose.  I’m looking
for something for a bilateral AK but am interested in other amputation level
solutions as well.  

Zach Harvey, CPO
Sounds like a great idea for product development.  It
should be easy enough to laminate a heating element into the socket.  
battery to create effective heat is so large and heavy that the amputee cannot
carry it. We looked at this back in the 70s, but good luck.
have a patient that took a pair of  heated socks apart and stitched it on
a prosthetic sock .He uses it while sitting in a deer stand and says it works
How about dilithium crystals?
You could pick up an emergency
survival blanket, and sew it into a removable outer covering for the
socket.  If that insulation isn’t enough,
adding a pocket for a chemical hand warmer should do the trick.
A student at West Virginia
University just won an award for such a product. I cannot remember the name,
but it was a product killing name like “The Perfect Socket”, or
something humble like that.
An old prosthetist told me that
he once wrapped (coiled) copper wire within a socket and then connected it to a
9v battery to provide heat. The pt. was a farmer in upstate NY.
Milwaukee tools makes a heated
jacket which uses their rechargeable tool battery. A bit more bulky but it may
be the answer for high heating requirements. Check at Home Depot or LoWEs.
I would stay away from this
problem!  I fully understand and empathize but if YOU install some kind of
heating element in the socket which is in intimate contact with skin that could
be somewhat insensate, then YOU become responsible for the consequences. 
We all have patients who have lost limbs due to the mild heat of heating pads
or blankets.  Just had a TMA pt in my office yesterday due to
this. The circulation in his residual limbs id compromised and that is a
major problem.   I used to practice in the mountains of NC and that
is certainly a cold climate.  I would advise them to respond as if they
still have their native limbs – wear thermal underwear.
If I get any response on this
issue please forward me the details to me also…

One of my climbing Everest mountain I we get things what u r looking for will
help him ..
I’ve had success with laminating
an electric hunting sock directly into a trans radial socket.  I used the
one with a 9v battery not the d-cell.  This one had better longevity and
heat.  We put a variable resistor in line with the battery to allow him to
run it cooler.  So far so good.
contact Steve Bogna, he has created his own limb Warmer. It works wonders. 
[email protected]


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