Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 53 Number 6, 2016
   Pages 721 — 728

Abstract — Prosthesis management of residual-limb perspiration with subatmospheric vacuum pressure

Glenn K. Klute, PhD;1–2* Kathleen J. Bates, MS;1 Jocelyn S. Berge, MSE;1 Wayne Biggs, CPO;1 Charles King, CP3

1Center of Excellence for Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering, Rehabilitation Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 3Arusha Control Inc, Cumberland, MD

Abstract —  For the ambulatory person with lower-limb amputation, insufficient management of perspiration can result in inadequate prosthesis adherence, reduced mobility, and discomfort. This study compared a dynamic air exchange (DAE) prosthesis designed to expel accumulated perspiration with a total surface bearing suction socket (Suction) that cannot. Five people with unilateral transtibial amputation participated in a randomized, crossover experiment. All subjects were given a 1 wk acclimation period to each study prosthesis while we measured their step activity levels. A rest-walk-rest protocol, including a 30 min treadmill walk at a self-selected speed while wearing thermally insulative garments, was then used to observe residual-limb skin temperatures and perspiration. Afterward, subject opinions about the prostheses were assessed with questionnaires. During the weeklong acclimation period, no statistical difference in step activity levels were detected between prostheses (p = 0.22), but this may have been due to self-reported behavioral modifications. During the rest-walk-rest protocol, no differences in skin temperatures were observed (p = 0.37). The DAE prosthesis accumulated 1.09 +/ 0.90 g and expelled 0.67 +/ 0.38 g of perspiration, while the Suction prosthesis accumulated 0.97 +/ 0.75 g. The questionnaire results suggest that participants were receptive to both prostheses. The DAE prosthesis was able to expel more than a third of the total perspiration, suggesting it may enable longer uninterrupted periods of perspiration-inducing activity.

Key words: activity level, amputation, comfort, dynamic air exchange, lower limb, perspiration, prosthesis, skin temperature, suction, sweat.

View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 53, No. 6
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Klute GK, Bates KJ, Berge JS, Biggs W, King C. Prosthesis management of residual-limb perspiration with subatmospheric vacuum pressure. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2016;53(6):721–28.

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