Sockets, Liners, & Accessories


    A socket is the portion of a prosthesis that wraps around the residual limb. It should always fit properly, and give comfort and confidence to be utilized, along with providing stability and an appropriate distribution of weight. Each socket is custom made to fit the patient that will be using it.


    Liners are the barrier between the residual limb and the socket of the prosthesis and are placed directly over the skin. The most common types of liners are:

    • Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE), or Gel liners – These are the softest and most flexible types of liners. They are ideal for people with sensitive skin as well as new amputees.
    • Silicone Liners – These are less flexible and more durable. They are ideal for more active individuals who are not allergic to slilcone.
    • Urethane Liners – These are the stiffest and least flexible, although they offer durability and help distribute pressure more evenly. These are ideal for high activity individuals.

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    Suspension Options:

    There a variety of suspension, or how the socket is attached to the residual limb. When considering what will be best for you, it is important to take into account, your individual needs, the location, shape, and condition of your residual limb.

    • Locking Liner Suspension – There is a pin attached to the end of the liner that locks the prosthesis in place, using a shuttle lock positioned in the bottom of the socket. This locking mechanism has to be released in order to remove the limb from the socket.
    • Suction Suspension – There is a silicone sleeve that is worn over the outside of the prosthesis that also rolls over your residual limb to create an airtight seal between the prosthesis and the limb. To remove there is a one way valve that allows air to expel from the system, creating suction inside the socket and holding it firmly in place.
    • Active Vacuum Sockets – Being similar to the suction suspension, but there is a vacuum pump within the socket that actively expels air from the system. This creates an even stronger adherence to the residual limb and maintains the vacuum effect.


    Many times patients will experience fluctuations in the size of their residual limbs. To ensure a snug fit of their sockets, prosthetic socks can be added over their liners. Prosthetic sock come in different sizes and thickness, and even with or without holes for locking pins.

    Another important device for amputees is a prosthetic skrinker. A shrinker is an elastic sock that is made to control swelling, and promote healing. It also helps with shaping the amputated limb and allows for a more consistent fit with their prosthesis. They are supposed to be worn at night and when the prosthesis is not being used.


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