At the 2010 Academy Meeting, Ohio Willow Wood unveiled the latest addition to the Alpha® family of liners. The new Alpha Select will be released, pending completion of clinical testing, in early June 2010. For practitioners not able to attend this year’s Academy Meeting, here’s a brief preview of the Alpha Select.
A Comfortable Balance
The Alpha Select Liner combines several highly desirable liner characteristics into one product: controlled pistoning, easy knee flexion without bunching, comfort, durability, and ease of donning. The liner is well-suited for amputees accustomed to the durability of silicone but seeking greater comfort and skin-friendly composition.
The first key to comfort is the liner’s progressive gel style. Distally, the Alpha Select’s gel thickness is 9mm. The gel then thins to 6mm over the tibial crest and finally thins to 2.5mm of gel behind the knee and proximally. This new, progressive style allows for distal comfort and protection, easy flexing of the knee, and a smooth silhouette under clothing.
An innovative new umbrella design was created for Alpha Select Liners with the progressive profile. The accordion-style distal umbrella is flexible and blends smoothly with patient anatomy. Clinical-test patients reported the accordion umbrella was practically unnoticeable while wearing the liner.
One of the most remarkable features of the Alpha Select Liner is the gel. This is a thermoplastic elastomer liner. However, the gel was engineered to be a hybrid between the Classic Alpha gel and silicone. This Hybrid gel is a firmer durometer thermoplastic elastomer and performs as a bridge between comfort and durability.
Controlled Pistoning with Unlimited Flexion
The Alpha Select Liner uses two different fabrics in order to control pistoning and provide a broad range of knee motion.
The majority of the Alpha Select Liner is constructed of a one-way stretch, or uni-directional, fabric. This fabric allows for circumferential stretch to permit easy donning of the liner. Conversely, the one-way stretch fabric does not give vertically and effectively controls pistoning.
A fabric panel runs from the front proximal edge of the liner to just below the knee. This panel is a flexible, bi-directional stretch fabric which permits stretch vertically as well as circumferentially. When a knee is bent, the stretch of the fabric allows for easy knee flexion without uncomfortable pressure on the limb or pulling on the knee. Unlike many other liners, the panel offers patients the ability to comfortably rest their residual limbs at a 90-degree angle.
A new socket is recommended for an Alpha Select Liner. However, a retrofitable option is available in a uniform, 6mm gel style. This option includes the benefits of the new hybrid gel, the flexible Select knee panel, and the one-way stretch fabric. The retrofitable option is suggested for amputees currently wearing 6mm, uniform Alpha Liners and are requesting controlled pistoning but do not currently need a new socket.
The anticipated release date of the Alpha Select Liner is early June.
For more information about the Alpha Select Liner, contact your distributor or Ohio Willow Wood at 800.848.4930 or visit www.owwco.com