Amputee Education – Limb and Sock Care
Residual Limb & Sock Care
Maintaining the health of your residual limb/stump is extremely important. Hygiene is paramount to prevent problems. If you use a prosthetic liner it must be cleaned on a daily basis with a mild non fragrant soap or clean with a damp cloth and left to dry. Above knee amputees who don’t use a silicone liner should wipe out their socket with a cloth. Stump socks should also be washed and changed daily. In hot weather you may need to change your socks several times.
A small hand mirror can be helpful to achieve this. Look for any inflamed areas or blisters. If you are having trouble seeing areas of your stump ask a family member to help you. Remember, if you have impaired sensation on your stump you may not feel areas that are getting pressure or rubbing from your prosthesis. People with diabetes or skin grafts on their stump can have impaired sensation. In this case a daily visual inspection is even more important.
Most people experience changes in the size and shape of their stump from day to day, or over a long period. You are responsible for keeping an eye on how well your prosthesis fits each day, and adjusting your sock regime to suit. If changing socks does not help you will need to contact you prosthetist. Moisturise your stump daily to keep the skin supple and strong. Dry skin is more easily cracked and is less able to tolerate the pressures of a prosthesis. Moisturising at night allows the cream to be absorbed by the skin, not your stump sock. Ingrown hairs can pose a problem for some amputees. It is recommended that you do not shave or wax your residual limb.