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Loss of Suction

By James Baird, CPO, Director of Education, Hanger Clinic

Sometimes a prosthesis becomes loose while it is being worn. The cause may be malfunction of part of the prosthesis. The one-way valve on the socket (used to form a tight seal) may leak, breaking the seal required to keep the prosthesis on. Or other devices used to hold the prosthesis in place (such as a belt or harness) may malfunction, causing loss of suction.

Suction may also be lost because the residual limb shrinks, the person loses weight, or the sock worn between the residual limb and socket is not thick enough.

If suction is lost, people should take the prosthesis off, put it back on, and verify that it is on correctly. If the problem persists, they should contact their prosthetist to assess the problem.