The prosthetic socket joins your residual limb to the prosthesis and fulfils an important function: it ensures optimum adhesion and the proper fit of your prosthesis. In order to do so, the prosthetic socket is custom-made for each patient according to the shape and condition of the residual limb and the respective mobility grade.
The prosthetic socket consists of a liner, a matching closure system and a load-bearing outer wall (the actual socket), which forms the connection to other components (knee joint, prosthetic foot). The liner acts as a sort of “second skin” between the movable soft tissue of the residual limb (muscles, tissue, skin) and the hard shell of the socket. This minimises movement and friction between the skin and prosthetic socket. The “second skin” is a thin protective membrane made of a flexible material that is rolled over the residual limb. It connects your residual limb to the prosthesis and protects the sensitive skin on the residual limb by reducing friction and pressure points of the residual limb in the socket. Selecting the right liner is essential in order to ensure the prosthesis fits well and is comfortable to wear. But a liner can only ensure optimum safety and comfort in combination with the right closure system that keeps the socket in place on the residual limb.
The prosthetic socket assumes the load-bearing function within the entire socket system. It constitutes the connection to the other components. Different versions are available and can be classified into three major groups: