The Flinders Medical Device Research Institute (MDRI) has received funding to improve the design of prosthetic limb sockets for greater safety, comfort and efficiency in fitting.
Current practices for designing lower limb prosthetic sockets involve a time intensive, trial-and-error approach that is largely dependent on subjective feedback from patients. This can increase the risk of injury and result in repeat medical appointments to obtain proper fit.
Additional challenges arise for patients living with diabetes, where issues with sensation loss often limit the ability of these patients to provide accurate feedback on pressure and pain.
As a result, some patients who wear prosthetics may experience rubbing, chaffing, bruising and tissue damage – which may not come to light until visible.
The International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics research grant, Closing the loop for the Next-Generation of Prosthetic Socket Design Using Biomechanical Computational Models, was awarded to MDRI members Professor Mark Taylor, Dr Rami Al-Dirini and Dr Saulo Martelli.
The 12-month project is a collaboration involving the MDRI, Orthotics and Prosthetics SA and Fowler Simmons Radiology.
Tools that provide thorough biomechanical evaluation of prosthetic socket designs will be developed, which will guide clinicians’ decisions on best-matched design for patients’ individual conditions.