Volume 53 Number 6, 2017
Pages 1121 — 1132
Abstract — A growing number of clinical trials and case reports support qualitative claims that use of an elevated vacuum suspension (EVS) prosthesis improves residual-limb health on the basis of self-reported questionnaires, clinical outcomes scales, and wound closure studies. Here, we report first efforts to quantitatively assess residual-limb circulation in response to EVS. Residual-limb skin health and perfusion of people with lower-limb amputation (N = 10) were assessed during a randomized crossover study comparing EVS with nonelevated vacuum suspension (control) over a 32 wk period using noninvasive probes (transepidermal water loss, laser speckle imaging, transcutaneous oxygen measurement) and functional hyperspectral imaging approaches. Regardless of the suspension system, prosthesis donning decreased perfusion in the residual limb under resting conditions. After 16 wk of use, EVS improved residual-limb oxygenation during treadmill walking. Likewise, prosthesis-induced reactive hyperemia was attenuated with EVS following 16 wk of use. Skin barrier function was preserved with EVS but disrupted after control socket use. Taken together, outcomes suggest chronic EVS use improves perfusion and preserves skin barrier function in people with lower-limb amputation.
Key words: amputation, elevated socket suspension, perfusion, prosthesis, residual limb, socket, suspension, transfemoral, transtibial, vacuum.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, March 21, 2017 11:03 AM