Why is a liner important?
As a prosthesis wearer, the stress that is placed on the body and residual limb is felt every day. The residual limb in particular is exposed to almost all of the forces that act when the body moves, and this is greatly impacted by an amputee’s body weight as well. This can cause side effects such as increased sweating, pressure and shearing forces which can cause stress to the skin and put prominent and sensitive bone areas at risk.
A prosthetic liner is the link between the residual limb and the socket of the prosthesis. It contributes to the best possible fitting by:
- Distributing the forces acting on the residual limb over a larger area
- Cushioning the limb under high pressure loads.
- Taking care of bumps, scar tissue and sensitive skin areas.
- Reducing migrating, twisting and slipping out of the socket.
- Relieves the skin.
- Promoting blood circulation in the residual limb with an even compression pressure.
Össur prosthetic liners are available in two different materials: medical-grade silicone or TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). Both materials have individual properties and advantages.
Our Iceross® prosthetic liners are made from medical-grade silicone, which offers the following benefits:
- It combines static friction, hygiene and dimensional stability
- It is skin-friendly
- It does not react with other substances, like sweat
- It cannot be absorbed by the body or skin
- The excellent damping properties minimise the shearing forces acting on the skin of the residual limb and the scar tissue
- The incorporation of substances permanently and actively care for and strengthen the skin, like aloe vera, silicone oil and menthol
Prosthetic Connection systems
Distal connection (Pin liners)
Characteristics of liners
Note: There are more features available and some of the features shown are optional and not included with every liner.
The importance of skin care
Silk interior coating
Wearing an Össur liner
We recommend a short adjustment period for everyone who is wearing an Össur liner for the first time or who has received a replacement liner. The Össur liner should be very comfortable to wear and fit snugly on the residual limb. But in order to give the skin time to get used to the new pressure, we recommend increasing the wearing time by the hour. The break times can be chosen according to personal preference. For the first week, the time chart should help you to keep an eye on our recommended wearing times. After a week, you can wear your Össur liner however you like. You can also rely on the experience and recommendations of your prosthetist.
Maintenance of the liner and skin care
The various properties and functions of the skin are stressed by wearing a prosthesis.
The skin is exposed to pressure and friction in every prosthetic socket. In addition, the skin's ability to regulate temperature is affected. The combination of increased sweat and stress on the skin leads to skin irritation and bacterial growth.
To prevent this further stress on the skin, it is important to thoroughly clean and care for the residual limb. This will allow for the best use of the prosthesis.
Clean your residual limb with a mild or pH-neutral soap. We recommend the use of a nourishing skin cream of your choice before going to bed to support skin regeneration.
Washing the liner
We recommend cleaning your Össur liner daily by hand with a mild soap and, for silicone liners, once a week in your washing machine with a mild detergent without fabric softener. Use a laundry bag.
Turn the liner inside out (the silicone must be on the outside).
By hand: Wash the liner with a mild soap
Dry the liner
(inside & outside) with a towel.
Turn the liner right side out (fabric cover or coating outside).
Hang the liner to dry (out of direct sunlight and not directly over the heater) or use a liner stand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why a silicone liner?
Silicone ensures high adhesion, reduces friction and pressure and is easy to clean. In addition, there are no known allergic reactions from medical silicone. Skin irritations are avoided or reduced.
How long do Össur liners last?
Össur liners are of particularly high quality and therefore have a very long service life. However, the crucial question with regard to your fitting is: Does your liner still meet all the requirements? This question cannot be answered solely by the nature of the material. Above all, it is important to check to what extent your personal requirements – and primarily your physical conditions – may have changed. For this reason, we recommend regular checks (every 6 months) by your prosthetist. Also remember that the care substances in your liner are used up after about 6 months.
What do I do with a damaged liner?
In this case, please contact your prosthetist urgently. If the damage is more severe, the liner may need to be replaced.
Is daily cleaning of the liner really necessary?
For the trouble-free use of a liner, daily cleaning of both the liner and the skin are important. Soap residue or sweat residue can lead to skin irritation, which can be avoided by cleaning and thoroughly rinsing with clear water. We recommend thorough daily cleaning of the residual limb and liner according to our liner care instructions.
I have blisters on the skin at the top of the liner. What is the cause of this and what can I do about it?
The cause is probably mechanical, e.g. Friction from clothing or other shearing forces. Your orthopedic technician can shorten the liner. The best way to heal the skin is to use a Vaseline-based cream.
Where does the reddening of my kneecap come from?
In this case too, mechanical problems are usually the cause, e.g. Pressure or shear forces when bending the knee. Your prosthetist should check the liner size and matrix length. Possibly the cut of the liner or socket can be changed. Applying petroleum jelly can also reduce shear forces. Some liner models have the "Wave" option, which makes bending the knee easier.
I suffer from small pustules or sores on my skin, what can I do about it?
This can be an issue for people with oily skin in particular. Causes can include bacterially infected hair roots or shaft-related pressure points. It is helpful to reduce the pressure on the affected area. Increased skin and liner hygiene and thorough washing with antibacterial soap are also helpful.
Where do blisters at the end of the stump come from?
Blistering can occur in the case of diabetes or inverted scar tissue. Have your prosthetist check the size selection of the liner and the end contact in your prosthesis as a matter of urgency. Is your liner unrolling technique bubble-free? A temporary reduction in daily activity and a thin, breathable bandage may help. Your prosthetist should check whether the use of silicone pads could be advantageous for you.
Attention: If you have any problems with your prosthesis, you should contact your prosthetist directly.
I suffer from profuse sweating. What can be the reasons for this?
The main causes can be a poor fit or incorrect rolling technique of the liner over the residual limb. Air bubbles between the skin and the liner can lead to increased sweating. Scar retractions can also lead to air pockets in which sweat collects. Have your prosthetist check the size of the liner and check your rolling technique to ensure that the liner really lies on the skin without air bubbles. When using antiperspirants: always try it on uncritical skin areas and only use at night when the liner is not worn.
What do I do in case of skin irritation?
Mechanical influences such as pressure or friction, infections or chemical influences can cause skin irritation. If this occurs with a new liner, a petroleum jelly based cream can be used to reduce liner adhesion. Rinse the liner thoroughly with clear water before putting it on. Soap residue, which can lead to skin irritation, should be removed during daily care by rinsing thoroughly with clear water. Only put on completely dry liners and follow the care instructions.