Merck Manual

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Loosening of the Prosthesis


Jan J. Stokosa

, CP, American Prosthetics Institute, Ltd

Last full review/revision Jan 2021| Content last modified Sep 2022
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The prosthesis socket may become loose because of

  • Morphologic changes in the residual limb (eg, atrophy, fluid volume change)

  • Mechanical problems with the prosthesis

Mechanical problems may be due to a loss of suspension or connection to the residual limb or body. A suction valve or vacuum pump may be malfunctioning. The suction or vacuum sealing sleeve may have developed a hole allowing air to enter and the prosthesis to slip off slightly. In upper limb cases, a harness or strap may have stretched or torn.

Patients typically have instructions from their prosthetist on how to troubleshoot problems with their specific prosthesis. If these steps do not remedy the problem, patients should see their prosthetist to assess and correct the problem and thus prevent injury to skin or loss of stability and falling.

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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version
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