Development of a Custom Data-Logger for Wired and Wireless Collection of Prosthetic Socket Data and Its Uses in Volume Management Strategies
Swartzendruber, David Lee
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Transtibial amputee residual limbs shrink and swell throughout the day for a variety of reasons. If an amputee does not properly regulate their limb fit due to volume changes, then ulcers, irritation and other maladies can result. Stump socks are by far the cheapest way to manage volume. However evidence suggests that improper use of socks is one of the top reasons for socket discomfort and injury. In order to determine what constitutes proper usage of socks, the current use patterns of amputees need to be understood. This requires tracking the use of the amputee sock habits as well as their physical activity. However there is currently no way to objectively observe or track the sock usage of an amputee. A low power monitoring device capable of measuring sock usage and physical activity was developed and tested on human subjects. Between two subjects, 54% of donnings and 12% of doffings of socks were successfully detected. The future of this device should include additional development of the hardware and firmware to improve battery life and antenna effectiveness. Clinical intervention through sock recommendation should be explored after a thorough understanding of how amputees use their socks is established. This device has the potential to improve the comfort and fit of a transtibial prosthetic socket and to reduce the incidence of residual limb soft tissue injury.
- Mechanical engineering