A project combining smart textiles with cutting edge technology to improve usability for prosthetic limb users

Sweden, approximately 3000 persons are amputated every year; about 90% of which cases are amputees of the lower extremites and about 10% of the upper limbs. When a person becomes a limb amputee, he or she is faced with staggering emotonal and financial lifestyle changes. The amputee requires a prosthetic device(s) and services, which become a life-long event. The simple truth is that if the prosthesis is uncomfortable, the person is not going to wear it. Surveys from Europe indicate that overall satisfaction with prosthetics among amputees is ranging between 70-75%. Many prosthetic limb users experience problems related to prosthetic socket fit and phantom limb pain. The use of prosthetic socks can reduce discomfort from wearing a prosthetic limb. Electrodes integrated in the sock can be used to pick up muscle activity signals to control a virtual arm in phantom limb pain therapy. As no two residual limbs are exactly the same, a mass-produced sock won´t fit everyone.