All-Day Comfort in an Upper Limb Prosthesis

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from Arm Dynamics

People who navigate life with an upper limb prosthesis understand that a comfortable socket is the foundation for their success. While every component is an important part of the equation, it’s the fit of the socket that usually determines whether someone accepts or rejects using a prosthesis.

It’s like wearing a pair of stylish, new shoes, but every step hurts your feet. Before long, you’re going to toss those shoes aside. Likewise, if the socket is uncomfortable, you’ll quit wearing it.

That’s why Arm Dynamics focuses exclusively on meeting the unique needs of people with upper limb loss at our six Centers of Excellence. Our proprietary, industry-leading socket designs are anatomically contoured and made from silicone, delivering comfort all day long to patients across the country and around the world. 

Based on years of clinical experience fitting thousands of people with upper limb loss or limb difference, it’s clear that a well-fitting socket leads directly to better function with a prosthesis.

Shaholly Ayers was born with a shortened right arm that ends below the elbow. Growing up, she struggled with using a prosthesis: “I never had a socket that felt right. I didn’t wear my prosthesis much because it was uncomfortable, and I was told they couldn’t adjust the fit.”

Working part-time as a model, Shaholly finished college and graduate school without a prosthesis, and went on to pursue modeling full time. She read about some of the newer prosthetic hand options and decided to try again: “I chose Arm Dynamics to fit my new prosthesis because they specialize in upper limb. And I have to say, this new silicone socket fits like a glove. They made sure that it felt good and that I could wear it all day. I recently wrapped up a three-day modeling gig and I was comfortable wearing my arm for eight or nine hours a day.”

The unique qualities of silicone make a tangible difference in how Shaholly’s socket feels. Like human skin, silicone is soft and springy to the touch. If you press your fingers against your forearm, you’ll feel the cushioning beneath the surface and see the skin shifting naturally. This is how your skin moves against the supple inner layer of a silicone socket.

Aesthetically, silicone sockets have an unexpected and stylish option that people love – they can be made in almost any color imaginable! Silicone sockets are formed with an inner and outer layer, so there’s the possibility of using more than one color for a truly distinctive look.

Gerry Kinney is a bilateral amputee who lost his arms below the elbow while working as an electrical lineman. “It’s extremely crucial to have a proper, customized fit, because I guarantee you, there are no two limbs alike,” he said. “I tell everybody that the key is how the socket fits.”

Silicone is hypoallergenic and biocompatible, making it a perfect choice for people like Gerry, who have burns, skin grafts or boney areas that need extra padding. “One of the neat things about going with a silicone socket is that they can add more cushion in one place and thin it out somewhere else,” he said. “They can fine-tune it to the shape of your limb.”

Gerry has been wearing silicone sockets for a few years now. He operates power saws, trimmers and weed eaters; does welding, woodworking and electrical wiring; and drives a tractor, a front-end loader and a truck.

“Between my body-powered and my myoelectric arms, I’ve easily worn them 18 hours a day,” he said.

The comfort of an anatomically contoured, silicone socket encourages people to consistently use their prostheses, helping them become more functional and confident. 

Schedule a free consultation to find out if a proprietary Arm Dynamics silicone socket would be a good fit for you. 

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