Design and Manufacturing method of Prosthetic Socket without physical presence of the Amputee

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Javier Vargas-Duque, José Ruiz-Ariza, José Caicedo-Ortiz, Javier Jiménez-Cabas


Background and aim: Traditional and advanced development methods of prosthetic sockets for limb amputations has been well investigated in the literature but some issues still remain with these procedures: previous experience of the prosthetist, large amount of waste material  and hardware and software costs. The aim of the technical note was to propose a low-cost method for digitizing the residual limb and generate its corresponded prosthetic socket; and where the physical presence of the amputee is not a requirement.

Technique: Three photographs are required as input to generate 2D profiles of the contour of the residual limb, which define its geometric shape, a 3D model is generated using standard  CAD operations; and then, the prosthetic socket is generated using a sculpting software.

Discussion: Experimental tests validated the prosthetic socket fit in a real case application; the generated prosthetic socket was comparable with the prosthetic socket currently used by the patient.

The proposed method presents a virtual prosthetic socket design procedure that use open-source software and CNC low-cost hardware that facilitates its manufacturing; it also opens the possibility to generate prosthetic socket remotely.

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