Prosthetic socks are worn over the residual limb within a prosthesis. Almost all types of below-knee and Syme’s prostheses are designed to be worn with a sock. Prosthetic socks are available in various materials and thicknesses. They add cushioning, reduce friction against your skin, and provide a means of adjusting the fit of the socket. This last point, adjusting the socket fit, is of critical importance and deserves further explanation.
As previously mentioned, your body is always changing. Early in your rehabilitation, the limb becomes smaller as the swelling subsides. Some muscle shrinkage is also likely to occur as a result of the muscles in the lower leg becoming atrophied. When you no longer have an ankle to move, these muscles aren’t used, and they shrink. Also, if you gain or lose weight, these changes will be noticeable in the residual limb.
In order to have and maintain a proper fit for your prosthesis, you will need to add or remove socks. This can be done by adding a thin sock over the existing sock, or by replacing the existing sock with a thicker one. Prosthetic sock thickness is rated in “ply’s”. Your prosthetist may give you socks varying in thicknesses so you can manage your socket fit. Therefore, if you know the ply thickness you are wearing and the socket feels to lose, you can simply add more ply. For example, if you wearing a 3-ply sock and you want the socket to fit a little tighter, you could add a 1-ply sock for a total of 4-ply. If this still feels a little loose, you may either add another 1-ply (for a total of 5-ply) or you could remove the 3- and both of the 1-ply socks and don a 5-ply. In general, it is better to reduce the total number of individual socks by using thicker socks. This will help lower the chance of getting wrinkles in the socks. Wrinkles are to be avoided because they cause higher pressure in the area of the wrinkle and can rub on and injure the skin.
It is important to keep your socks clean and to wear a clean sock each day. Most prosthetic socks come with washing instructions. Follow these instructions carefully.
Should any issues arise or if you have any questions, please call our office or follow up at 803-980-5080.