Vivak, Polypropylene, Bulldog Plastic, and Copolymer all put through the bat test…see which one survives!

I am hoping this production may get a little feedback. Every plastic in this video, with the exception of copolymer, shattered catastrophically on the first hit.

Historically speaking, Vivak has always been used for test sockets because it was clear and you could see through it. Seeing through the socket was very useful because liners had not been invented yet and hard sockets with socks were the norm. Now, with the invention of liners, is there really a need to see through the socket even though you can not see through the liner?

I grapple with that question everytime I do an test socket for an Above Knee Amputee. There is something to be said for being able to look through a socket; however, if the patient is going to wear it for a long test run I do not send them out on a Clear Check Socket. A catastrophic failure may not have happened to you yet, but I hope the video shows that if the plastic does fail it is not pretty.

The other interesting and surprising observation that I made was that polypropylene is not as bullet proof as what I thought. I found this out the hard way in Guatemala after a gentleman that had been wearing an Above Knee Prosthesis came in with the distal end of his socket completely destroyed. From that time on, I began using copolymer sockets and have had no failures.

They key to copolymer is buying high quality as well as heating the plastic at the specified temperature (usually around 340 degrees). Shrinkage only occurs when the plastic is heated too quickly at a temperature higher than specified.

Try copolymer, your patient may like it, and you can have the peace of mind that a 31 oz. bat could not destroy the socket.


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Filed under Prosthetic Technical Tips, Prosthetic Tips

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