“After only two hours from entering the clinic, the prosthetist was able to show me the new, definitive socket.”
"Before I had my first fitting with Direct Socket I was doubting for a long time whether I should go for a new socket or not, mainly because of the intensive fitting process. Then I had the opportunity for a fitting with Direct Socket TF. I had to travel quite a distance, but they promised me that it would only take half a day to get my new, definitive socket.
When I entered the clinic, there was a calm atmosphere and relaxed and everything looked very well organized. The team of two clinicians started by asking questions and explaining that they were going to do everything different compared to what I have experienced before. I was curious, but excited at the same time.
As a transfemoral amputee I know how challenging and demanding a fitting process can be. Standing on one leg for a long time, finding support from the parallel bars, uncomfortable situations, hoping for the correct size, alignment, and pressure distribution of a new socket. With Direct Socket I only had to lay down on my side on a special chair, waiting for the result. After only two hours from entering the clinic, the prosthetist was able to show me the new, definitive socket and after installing the components, doing the correct alignment and some minor adjustments, I was able to walk around.
I immediately felt the difference in range of motion of my hip. The snug fit of the new socket eliminated the need for an active vacuum system. I can now go cycling or do other activities that makes me sweat and I don’t have to worry about (loosing) my leg. Next to that, I’m also able to sit on my buttocks – both of them, again. The set-up of my new prosthesis allows for a more extended (default) stance which helps me to improve the functionality of my knee.
One thing I really had to get used to is the feeling of stability at uneven terrain and rougher surfaces. The socket design requires more muscle control and a new user really needs to be aware of this. It means that you must – together with a physiotherapist – put effort in specific training on muscle activation to improve the outcome in daily life.
The overall experience was great and really changed my mindset: You – as a user – are in the middle of the fitting process and you can see everything that is going on. Every step in the process is explained and visible and you really feel you are part of the process. I still have to get used to the improved freedom and different stability experience, but that is something I have to work on myself. The way this new socket was made, lowers the burden of asking for a new one and enables me to always have the best possible solution."