Improper suspension between the residual limb and prosthesis can result in pistoning, which may compromise skin integrity and reduce overall user comfort. In addition to objective measures of limb pistoning, user perspective may provide insight into suspension system effectiveness.
The primary objective of this analysis was to explore differences in self-reported measures among adults with transtibial amputation (TTA) using pinlock vs suction suspension systems.
This is a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data.
Participants (n = 48) were included if they (1) were ≥18 years of age, (2) were community-dwelling, (3) had a unilateral TTA of ≥6 months, and (4) were prescribed a prosthesis with either pinlock or suction suspension. Participants completed self-reported measures evaluating socket comfort (Socket Comfort Score [SCS]), prosthesis-enabled mobility (Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire—Mobility Section [PEQ-MS]; Locomotor Capabilities Index [LCI]), and balance-confidence (Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale [ABC]).
Participants using suction suspension reported significantly higher SCS as compared with participants using pinlock suspension (P ≤ .001). No differences were observed between groups for PEQ-MS, LCI, and/or ABC.
Individuals with TTA using suction suspension may report greater socket comfort than peers using pinlock suspension, but prosthesis-enabled mobility and balance-confidence may be similar. Future research is warranted to confirm these preliminary findings using a prospective, crossover study design that controls for all suspected factors that might influence socket comfort.