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Research

Healthcare Innovation Centre

QuickFit - quick fitting of prosthetic sockets for above knee amputee.

QuickFit - quick fitting of prosthetic sockets for above knee amputee.

There are an estimated 2.4 million amputees in the EU and approximately 215,000 amputation surgeries performed each year. The ageing population are prone to diabetes and cardiovascular problems, which often lead to amputation. In the UK this accounts for approximately 90% of the amputee population.

Since the amputees have to wear a prosthetic limb for the rest of their life, comfort is crucial for them to regain a good quality of life. Attaching artificial limbs to the body remains clinically challenging and the conventional way to attach a prosthetic limb to the body is by means of a socket. However, many patients experience serious discomfort wearing a prosthesis because of pain, instability during walking, pressure sores or skin irritation.

Socket related problems mainly emanate from the over-reliance on a skilled prosthetist to determine the load bearing capability across the stump using a ‘touch and feel’ technique without quantitative measurements. This project aims to change the subjective approach into a science-based technique so that a good-fit socket can be designed and fabricated within one day.

Advanced sensors will be adapted to measure the dynamic pressure distribution between mock-up residual limbs and the socket during simulated gait tests. The data, together with biomechanics analytical models to be developed during the project, will be used to optimise the socket design. Finally a new procedure will be formulated at the end of the project.

QuickFit will help clinicians to provide amputees an opportunity to have an enhanced quality of life by having a best fit socket to wear the prosthetic limb more comfortably.