Saturday, April 1, 2023


Lucy Fogarty

Transfemoral Suction Sockets – a different shape

I am Strathclyde University educated and am now working in Switzerland.

In Switzerland the majority of transfemoral patients are fitted with

suction sockets, including the very elderly and primary patient. In the

UK this was not the case and indeed was felt not possible. The way we

were taught to make a suction socket in the UK was to make it rather

tear-drop shaped, with the proximal circumference normally being

narrower than say 5cm more distal. This was to achieve a proximal seal.

However, the Swiss shape is very different, being usually conical with

suction being maintained, even if the proximal area ‘gaps’. This is

achieved by measuring the circumference under firm tension and then

asking the patient to tighten the musculature. The tape measure is

released at the same time to this new measure. This is repeated for all

incremental circumferences. The cast is then rectified to these

measures. The cast is also shortened by 1-3cm (or wait until the check

socket is made and add appropriate distal padding to fill the space).

When I first came to Switzerland, I really was very impressed by the

success of these sockets. I really would encourage you to try this and I

hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The nylon donning “bag” is also

much easier to use than bandages or a nylon sock.

Lucy Fogarty, prosthetist/orthotist BSc Hons


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