A Manual for Above-Knee Amputees

Care of the Stump

The stump must be washed daily to avoid irritations and infection. A mild soap and warm water are recommended.

The interior of the socket must be kept clean as well by washing daily with warm water and a mild soap. Use of detergents should be avoided.

Some amputees have found a hair dryer to be very useful in drying the stump and the inner walls of the socket.

When prosthetic socks are used, they should be replaced daily with newly laundered ones; more often, in warm humid weather. The socks should be washed in warm water with a mild soap. Manufacturers recommend that socks be rotated on at least a three or four-day schedule to allow the fibers to retain their original position.

Prosthetic socks must be applied carefully to avoid wrinkles which can cause skin problems.

Reductions in the size of the stump can be accommodated by adding one or more prosthetic socks.

Prosthetic socks are woven especially for their intended use and are available in three thicknesses and a variety of sizes.

The thicknesses generally available are 3-ply, 5-ply, and 6-ply. With this combination, various thicknesses can be obtained as follows:

One 3-ply = 3 plies
One 5-ply = 5 plies
Two 3-ply = 6 plies
One 3-ply + One 5-ply= 8 plies
One 6-ply sock can be used instead of two 3-ply socks.

Some amputees have found that use of a one-ply cotton cast sock provides a satisfactory way to obtain still finer adjustment in thickness. When the amputee has trouble in obtaining comfort by a combination of prosthetic socks, he should consult with his prosthetist immediately.

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Copyright 1996 - Alvin L. Muilenburg and A. Bennett Wilson, jr.

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