A check socket is typically clear so that your Prosthetist can view all the pressure that is exerted on the residual limb prior to the fabrication of your temporary prosthesis. This is an important step in making sure that all the measurements and adjustments are correct when making your “finalized’ prosthesis.
During this time your Prosthetist will allow you to stand up and walk along parallel bars in order to make sure everything is aligned properly and fitting like a glove, no pun intended. If there are adjustments needed, your Prosthetist will fix them accordingly to optimize your walk and comfort.
It is very common in new amputees to feel slightly uncomfortable with standing in your check socket. Some might even say it’s quite painful even with a perfect fit. This can be due to many factors; some factors are only helped with time. For instance, if you are having trouble standing and putting your full weight down in your check socket the cause might be because of how sensitive your residual limb is. There are multiple nerve endings that have just been severed leaving them in a frenzy. It could take a couple of days or a couple of weeks for you to fully adjust, so try and stay patient. It truly does get better every day.
Helpful things to remember are trying to “desensitize” your residual limb by applying a rough towel and rubbing it against your stump multiple times a day – this is but a small, uncomfortable price to pay in wake of you getting out there and walking again.
A shrinker can also come in handy. It is a sort of an elastic, compression sock that allows your stump to stay a good size and shape while you aren’t wearing your prosthesis. It also helps with the shrinking process of your residual limb. Why do you need to shrink your stump, you ask? Like the towel mentioned above, a “stump shrinker” helps to desensitize your residual limb making it easier when the time comes for you to roll on a liner before initially fit into your first prosthesis. When you become an amputee, your muscles will begin to atrophy which, in essence, is that your residual limb will become significantly smaller due to the fact that the muscles are no longer being used to their full potential.
Whichever way you choose, make sure that you are being careful not to overexert yourself and please consult with your practitioner. Our handy-dandy Prosthetist, Nick, is available for any questions you may have.
Call us at: (281) 292-2255