The impact of limited prosthetic socket documentation: a researcher perspective

Jennifer Olsen, Shruti Turner, Alix Chadwell, Alex Dickinson, Chantel Ostler, Lucy Armitage, Alison McHregor, Sigrid Dupan, Sarah Day

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The majority of limb prostheses are socket mounted. For these devices, the socket is essential for adequate prosthetic suspension, comfort, and control. The socket is unique among prosthetic components as it is not usually mass-produced and must instead be custom-made for individual residual limbs by a prosthetist. The knowledge of what constitutes “good” socket fit is gained by expert prosthetists and technicians over years of experience, and rarely documented. The reliance on tacit knowledge makes it difficult to standardize the criteria for a well-fitting socket, leading to difficulties understanding the impact of socket fit. Despite its importance, the workflow for socket fitting is often overlooked in literature. Due to the customized nature of sockets, if information is provided in literature, generally only the type of socket and suspension mechanism is noted, with information regarding the fitting and manufacturing processes omitted. In this article, the concerns, issues and consequences arising from lack of upper and lower limb socket documentation are discussed from a researcher perspective, supported by healthcare professionals and socket fabrication specialists. Key changes are proposed to the way socket manufacturing and evaluation are documented to assist future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number853414
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences
Early online date7 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2022


  • prosthetics
  • sockets
  • documentation
  • socket fit
  • prosthetic socket


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