Validation of a Custom Interface Pressure Measurement System to Improve Fitting of Transtibial Prosthetic Check Sockets

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Achievement of fit between the residual limb and prosthetic socket during socket manufacture is a priority for clinicians and is essential for safety. Clinicians have recognised the potential benefits of having a sensor system that can provide objective socket-limb interface pressure measurements during socket fitting, but the cost of existing systems makes current technology prohibitive. This study will report on the characterisation, validation and preliminary clinical implementation of a low cost, portable, wireless sensor system designed for use during socket manufacture. Characterisation and benchtop testing demonstrated acceptable accuracy, behaviour at variable temperature, and dynamic response for use in prosthetic socket applications. Our sensor system was validated with simultaneous measurement by a commercial sensor system in the sockets of three transtibial prosthesis users during a fitting session in the clinic. There were no statistically significant differences between the sensor system and the commercial sensor for a variety of functional activities. The sensor system was found to be valid in this clinical context. Future work should explore how pressure data relates to ratings of fit and comfort, and how objective pressure data might be used to assist in clinical decision making.

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University of Wollongong



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