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Yanke Bionics - Device Wear and Care

Managing Prosthetic Sock Ply

Information for the amputee on how to maintain an appropriate fit using proper sock ply.

Prosthetic Socks
You might wear prosthetic socks over your residual limb inside the socket of your prosthesis. These socks are often made of knitted nylon, cotton, and/or wool and are shaped to fit your residual limb. Prosthetic socks add cushioning, reduce friction between the residual limb and the socket, and replace lost volume in the socket due to shrinking of the residual limb. They are available in many sizes and thicknesses.

Throughout your life the size and shape of your residual limb will change. Your residual limb will shrink significantly after the swelling from the surgery goes down and as your muscles atrophy. After this initial shrinking occurs, your residual limb will continue to change more gradually as your body ages and gains and loses weight.

To maintain a proper fit of your prosthesis as your residual limb changes, you will add or remove prosthetic socks. Prosthetic sock thickness is rated in “plies.” You can add a thin sock over an existing sock or replace an existing sock with a thicker one. By counting sock plies you can add thickness in measured amounts. If you are wearing a prosthetic sock and the socket feels a little loose, you simply add more ply. You can do this by adding more socks or adding one thicker sock. For example, if you are wearing a 3-ply sock and you want the socket to fit a little tighter, you could add a 1-ply sock for a total of 4-ply. If this still feels a little loose, you may either add another 1-ply (for a total of 5-ply) or you could remove the 3-ply and both of the 1-ply socks and don (put on) a 5-ply sock. It is better to wear a thicker sock than many thin socks to avoid getting wrinkles in the sock. Wrinkles cause higher pressure in the area of the wrinkle and can rub on and injure skin.

Your prosthetist may give you socks of varying plies so you can manage your socket fit. It is important to wear clean socks each day. Carefully follow the washing instructions that come with your prosthetic socks and keep the package or label from your socks so that when you need to replace your socks, you have a record of the type of socks you use.

Request an online evaluation

Use our evaluation form to request a no-obligation consultation from our clinicians. We will contact you to discuss your pre-surgery or prosthetic-related questions.