Technical Brief

Understanding Displacements and Strains of the Gel Liner for Below Knee Prosthetic Users

[+] Author and Article Information
Amy Lenz

Michigan State University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 428 S. Shaw Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824

Katie Johnson

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Prosthetics, 235 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Tamara Reid Bush

Michigan State University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 428 S. Shaw Lane, 2555 Department of Mechanical Engineering, East Lansing, MI 48824

1Corresponding author.

ASME 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 (c) 2018 by ASME
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