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Review
. 2016 Jul 20;16(7):1119.
doi: 10.3390/s16071119.

Techniques for Interface Stress Measurements Within Prosthetic Sockets of Transtibial Amputees: A Review of the Past 50 Years of Research

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Free PMC article
Review

Techniques for Interface Stress Measurements Within Prosthetic Sockets of Transtibial Amputees: A Review of the Past 50 Years of Research

Ebrahim A Al-Fakih et al. Sensors (Basel). .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The distribution of interface stresses between the residual limb and prosthetic socket of a transtibial amputee has been considered as a direct indicator of the socket quality fit and comfort. Therefore, researchers have been very interested in quantifying these interface stresses in order to evaluate the extent of any potential damage caused by the socket to the residual limb tissues. During the past 50 years a variety of measurement techniques have been employed in an effort to identify sites of excessive stresses which may lead to skin breakdown, compare stress distributions in various socket designs, and evaluate interface cushioning and suspension systems, among others. The outcomes of such measurement techniques have contributed to improving the design and fitting of transtibial sockets. This article aims to review the operating principles, advantages, and disadvantages of conventional and emerging techniques used for interface stress measurements inside transtibial sockets. It also reviews and discusses the evolution of different socket concepts and interface stress investigations conducted in the past five decades, providing valuable insights into the latest trends in socket designs and the crucial considerations for effective stress measurement tools that lead to a functional prosthetic socket.

Keywords: PTB sockets; TSB sockets; biomechanics; interface stress investigations; liners; pressure measurement transducers; prosthetic sockets; suspension systems; transtibial amputee.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Transducer mounting techniques: (a) transducer mounted on socket wall through drilled hole and the piston extended to be in direct contact with residual limb skin; (b) the same mounting technique with a slight difference that the piston is flush with the inner socket face and does not penetrate the liner; (c) transducer inserted inside prosthetic socket; and (d) transducer embedded in the socket wall.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Traditional strain gauge [78].
Figure 3
Figure 3
Three common types of FSRs: Interlink, LuSense, and FlexiForce [85].
Figure 4
Figure 4
Four F-socket transducers covering all aspects of the residual limb to give an overall impression of pressure distribution inside transtibial prosthetic sockets [92].
Figure 5
Figure 5
FBG sensor working principles; (a) the light spectrum (brown color) passes through the FBG fiber and a narrow wavelength band (green arrow) is back-reflected and monitored by OSA; (b) the back-reflected wavelength is shifted (Δλ) shortly after applying external perturbations [75].
Figure 6
Figure 6
Diagram of normal and shear stress sensor using PFBGs [122].
Figure 7
Figure 7
Optoelectronic pressure sensor for prosthetic applications [124].
Figure 8
Figure 8
Locations of SG-based transducers on PTB socket [16].
Figure 9
Figure 9
Three different liners, (Left) seal-in silicone liner; (Middle) pin/lock silicone liner; and (Right) Pelite liner [151].

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