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Which Socks to use with Your Prosthesis?

This information explains how you use the prosthetic socks to make sure your prosthesis fits properly and is comfortable. If you have any further questions, please speak to the prosthetist or therapist who is caring for you.

Why do I need to wear a sock at all?

Socks and liners are an important part of wearing your prosthesis and help with the comfort as well as the fit. When used properly they:

  • Provide a cushioning effect with the socket
  • Help to stop friction between the skin and the socket • Provide even pressure within the socket.

Why do I need to vary my socks?

Your residual limb (stump) will continue to change in shape and size throughout the day for several months after your amputation. In order that you have a good fit between your residual limb and your prosthesis, you may need to vary the number of socks you wear during the day.

How will I know when to vary my socks?

You will learn to do this during your rehabilitation. As you progress each day you will find out what fits best in the morning and how your residual limb changes during the day, or from day to day.

Your prosthetist and therapist will help you with this

What happens if my residual limb gets smaller?

You may experience the following:

Below knee amputees only:

  • Your residual limb goes too far into the inner liner
  • Pressure on your knee cap rather than under your knee
  • Pressure on the bottom or the front end of your bone when you walk
  • The inner liner goes on too easily.

Above knee amputees only:

  • Pressure in your groin or between your legs.

All amputees:

  • The prosthesis feels loose and your residual limb may move around inside the socket when you walk.

What do I do if my residual limb has got smaller?

As a guide 2 thin socks are the same as wearing one thick sock.

Below knee amputees

If you are wearing:

  • One thin sock, you need to add another thin sock
  • Two thin socks, you need to replace these with one thick sock
  • One thick sock and one thin sock, you need to add another thin sock
  • One thick sock and two thin socks, you need to replace these with two thick socks

This sequence continues until you reach the stage of wearing three thick socks on a regular basis. When this happens you need to contact the centre for a review appointment.

Above knee amputees

As with the information above for below knee amputees. However, you may only use thick socks and go straight to adding a second thick sock. This means you miss out the thin sock stages.

What happens if my residual limb gets bigger?

You may experience the following:

  • your residual limb does not fit into the inner liner/socket • your liner/socket feels tight
  • your prosthesis feels too long

What do I do if I think my prosthesis is too tight?

  • Reduce the amount of socks you are wearing – e.g. take off either a thin or a thick sock
  • If you are only wearing one thin sock, you will need to contact the centre for some advice

How do I care for my socks?

  • You will be given a set of socks to take home to allow you to wear a clean set of socks every day
  • In hot weather you may need to change them during the day
  • Wash your socks on a 50 degree wash. You can tumble dry the white cotton socks The thin nylon sock is used to help slide your residual limb into your liner/socket and to help stop friction on your residual limb.