Technical Brief

Understanding Displacements of the Gel Liner for Below Knee Prosthetic Users

[+] Author and Article Information
Amy L. Lenz

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Michigan State University,
428 S. Shaw Lane,
East Lansing, MI 48824
e-mail: allenz@uwalumni.com

Katie A. Johnson

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Prosthetics,
235 Wealthy Street SE,
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
e-mail: katie.johnson@maryfreebed.com

Bush Tamara Reid

Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Michigan State University,
428 S. Shaw Lane 2555,
East Lansing, MI 48824;
Chair of Dynamics,
Design and Rehabilitation Committee,
East Lansing, MI 48823
e-mail: reidtama@msu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received August 21, 2017; final manuscript received April 16, 2018; published online May 24, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Pasquale Vena.

J Biomech Eng 140(9), 094502 (May 24, 2018) (5 pages) Paper No: BIO-17-1376; doi: 10.1115/1.4040125 History: Received August 21, 2017; Revised April 16, 2018

Many people with amputation utilize a prosthetic device to maintain function and ambulation. During the use of the prosthetic device, their residual limbs can develop wounds called pressure ulcers. The formation of these wounds has been linked to deformation and loading conditions of the skin and deeper tissues. Our research objective was to develop a complete profile of displacements on the gel liner at the interface with the socket during walking in transtibial amputees. Displacements for seven regions along the limb were quantified in addition to six calculations of displacement and three rotations relative to the prosthetic socket. The largest displacements were observed in the distal region of the gel liner, near the pin locking mechanism on the gel liner. Displacements were uneven throughout the liner with distal regions showing higher displacements. This mechanics-based information, combined with clinical information, will allow us to understand the local skin and muscle displacements, and will provide insights regarding localized tissue breakdown. Knowledge of how the liner displaces within the prosthetic socket can also help prosthetists modify designs to reduce these displacements, and reduce the potential for shear on the skin and in deeper tissues.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Example of clear thermoplastic duplicated socket ((a) and (b)) for one participant compared with their original opaque prosthesis. Componentry and alignment was maintained with only the socket exchanged for the experimental test configuration ((a) and (b)). The duplicated socket allowed the cameras to track the markers within the socket whereas the original socket does not.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Calculation of displacements from anatomical marker locations on the gel liner within the prosthetic socket

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Analysis of vertical displacement and rotation relative to the prosthetic socket during a gait cycle. ΔZ indicates the change in the local z direction for relative displacement.



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