ORLANDO, Fla. — A brimless interface design for vacuum assisted suspension might be a better option than traditional ischial ramus containment interfaces for some transfemoral amputees.
Jason T. Kahle, CPO, LPO, FAAOP, from the University of South Florida School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, presented his preliminary findings on this topic last week at the 2011 Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.
Kahle said he hopes to determine through his ongoing research whether this interface creates better control of the thigh, meaning better control of the pelvis, resulting in better control of the spine. Of the three patients included in the pilot study, all three preferred the brimless interface design, according to the study abstract.
He compared the power of vacuum-assisted suspension to a can of soda: If a 200-pound man stands on an empty can, he will crush it. If it is full, it will support even a 300- or 400-pound man. The can does not change. Likewise with an interface; the interface does not change — the pressure around the interface changes.
Kahle acknowledged that brimless interface does not meet every patient’s needs.
“If they don’t have that ‘Eureka!’ moment, where they say this is the greatest socket system I’ve ever worn, it’s probably not for them,” he said.
His study, funded by Southern Bone & Joint Specialists, will be completed soon, but he said that additional interface studies are necessary. The reason for the lack of trials in this area lies in the lack of continuous funding from the profession.