Guest Post: John T. Brinkmann, CPO, LPO, FAAOP Review of Volume Management Pads for Above the Knee or Below the Knee Prostheses

To save time and reduce mess I’ve used a couple of different pre-fabricated pads for prosthetic socket adjustments over the past few years. I keep the pads in my exam room, which reduces trips back to the lab and overall time spent making the adjustments.

The first type I tried were Volume Management Pads from Coyote Design.

The pads are not pre-skived, so there was less time savings using these pads. They also have a high co-efficient of friction. Coyote promotes the friction characteristics as increasing suspension “without interfering with donning and doffing.” I did not find this to be the case. A pad with high friction makes it more difficult to don the prosthesis. Reducing the pad thickness to facilitate donning can then result in insufficient padding –so, you’re right back where you started. But I loved the idea, and props to Coyote for being the first company I came across to offer this simple solution.

I’ve had much more success with Fab Tech’s Fitting Pad.

They come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes – and by “wide” I mean more than a dozen different configurations. They are also available in bulk packages. The pads are made out of dense Aliplast, so the non-skived surface is smooth. The material resists packing out, maintaining volume consistently over time. I’ve purchased the wall hanging unit, which comes with double sided tape included, but I’ve found that I use only 2 or 3 pads consistently. The one down side is that the pads are only available in 1/8” thickness. The skiving is impeccable, however, so layering the pads has not been a problem. Fab Tech says they have to do a run of 20,000 pads in order to justify 1/4’” thickness, so maybe if enough of us ask for it….

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Filed under Component Reviews, Prosthetic Technical Tips, Prosthetic Tips

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