Prosthetics manufacturer Ottobock has released a new socket system for below-knee amputees designed to instil confidence and optimise safety and comfort.
The Dynamic Vacuum System (DVS) creates a continual vacuum in the socket simply by walking.
Fitted into the bottom of the socket, the discreet DVS component connects magnetically to the liner.
Air is pushed out when placing pressure on the prosthesis, then pulled in when the leg is lifted, and so on until a permanent vacuum matched to the wearer’s walking speed is achieved.
Users of the DVS have described how the system has reduced the separation between the leg and socket, which is often a cause of discomfort.
Emma Gillespie, head of prosthetics, Ottobock UK, said: “We are incredibly excited about DVS and the benefits it will give to below-knee amputees.
“First and foremost it’s an incredibly simple system to use and to activate. On top of that the wearer will enjoy optimal safety and comfort, meaning they’ll be able to do more without having to worry about each step they take. We’re very proud of DVS and look forward to introducing it to our customers.”
Achieving a consistent vacuum within the socket is an important component for any amputee who wishes to feel confident and pain free when walking.
To accompany the main DVS component in the socket, Ottobock has created a specific DVS liner to be worn alongside it to achieve optimum results.
It is tear-proof and protects sensitive areas of the residual limb, with a medical white oil infused into the liner to provide soothing protection throughout.
One of the first patients to trial DVS was Maeve McGrath from Ireland, who lost her leg three years ago through osteomyelitis. She said her prosthesis feels more integrated thanks to the system.
“Before, I would feel the separation between my leg and my socket. Lifting my leg up, I would feel a dragging sensation. It wasn’t comfortable and it made me feel unsure of myself,” she said.
“With DVS I have none of those issues, it’s like my is prosthesis a continuation of me. I wear it from the minute I get up to when I go to bed, and I’ve been able to improve my health and fitness as a result.”