To make a better test / check socket let’s first take a look at exactly what that is. A check socket (also known as a test socket) is a temporary prosthetic socket that is manufactured and used to diagnose an amputee’s dynamic alignment. They are typically made from a plaster cast of the area to be fitted. The prosthetist will then take that information and create a socket that provides optimal fit and function. This definitive socket is what patient’s will come into contact with every day. Why is all of this done instead of just building a prosthesis from a plaster mold? Because comfort is key! Just as a poor fitting pair of shoes can lead to problems, a poor fitting prosthesis can lead to serious issues including rubbing, sores, pinching that cuts off circulation and they can be so painful that patient’s sometimes do not use their prosthesis unless they absolutely must. Not to mention the hazards for diabetics or others where healing of wounds can be a potential life threatening issue.
A socket that does not have a comfortable fit or is not aligned properly can negatively impact the amputee’s stability and their ability to move naturally which can eventually lead to other physical issues. It may also leave the patient with an overall lack of confidence in their prosthesis. Ultimately poor fit and discomfort adds physical and mental stress and tension. This can also mean people are missing out on enjoying an active healthy lifestyle.
What all of this comes down to is one thing: The more accurate the check socket the quicker an amputee gains confidence and optimal mobility and is able to lead the healthy active style that is so important to a good quality of life.
One of the things I enjoy most in my job at AIN Plastics is helping to solve problems, and as I listened to prosthetists in the field, I realized we could help solve a couple of check socket / test socket issues we heard about on a regular basis. Those issues were check socket clarity, and having a socket that could withstand testing on patients who fall into an above average weight range. The common test socket materials today have enough clarity to work, but they are subject to cracking or total failure if too much weight or pressure is put on them. I went back to my years of hands on work with plastics in other industries and began to research to find a material that would be both clear and tough. and I am happy to say we have now added Or-Pro Stiff to the AIN Plastics O&P Materials. I think you will like it too.
Or-Pro Stiff is an ultra-tough, clear plastic check socket material that resists cracking and breaking. Or-Pro Stiff thermoforms consistently and maintains outstanding clarity that allows the prosthetist to easily see and make adjustments where needed. It is also ideal for use with patients where they are above average weight.
Major Benefits of Or-Pro Stiff for Check / Test Sockets
- Eliminates the fear of cracking or breaking
- Excellent Clarity
- High Stiffness
- No Notch Sensitivity
- No UV Sensitivity
- No shrinkage
- Pulls easily and uniformly
- Eliminates the need to reinforce with fiberglass tape
- Stocked in standard thicknesses: 10mm, 12mm and 15mm (others thicknesses available).
Our O&P Team knows your patients count on you to help them and we are here to help you by providing material solutions. There are thousands of plastic materials on the market, so if you have a specific need, we are happy to put our resources and plastics knowledge to use which saves you many hours of time and valuable resources so you can focus on what you enjoy most – providing great patient care.
If you are interested in learning more please contact me. I am happy to work with you and show you how this material can be pulled to maintain the beautiful clarity you see in the photos.
Industry Segment Manager
Orthotics and Prosthetics
thyssenkrupp Materials NA
AIN Plastics Division
Scott Moore is a Florida native with over 20 years of experience in the plastics industry. In addition to Inside and Outside sales, Scott has been and a Leader for the Power Transmission Division of Quadrant EPP. Scott has been a Branch Manager with AIN Plastics and is now enjoying a full-time focus on the Orthotics and Prosthetics business.