A Clinician's perspective

Amalia Gruman Laird, Clinician of Winkley Orthotics & Prosthetics, MN has been working with LIM for a year. From ordering the Infinite Socket™ the first time, she fit Pam Selinski and provided feedback that helped us fine tune our product to better perform not only for the patient, but also for the Clinician.

After fitting three Infinite suction sockets to patients I feel that I have seen a significant amount of growth in the fabrication of the Infinite socket. To me, seeing the difference between fitting my very first socket, while experiencing the need to troubleshoot a great deal and fitting another one about a year later with ease speaks volumes for LIM itself. The socket itself has already been updated several times with increases to the durability of the brim, as well as improving the socket fabrication process which has made it easier for the prosthetist to fit to the patient.

The benefits of the Infinite socket are great. One of the biggest things that I believe helped my patients the most, is the ability to don and doff easily, and be able to tighten the proximal brim up to truly get the support needed for high function. This improved proximal support which would otherwise be compromised to allow for a patient to don and doff.

One of the other benefits although it seems quite overwhelming at first, is the ability to swap out parts without having to remake a socket if incorrect. The molding capability of the struts is very helpful if that type of modification needs to be done. Re-moulding a strut is somewhat worrisome as heating up the piece to allow you to move it, also removes any prior curves that once existed. I’ve also been able to decrease the amount of flexion by swapping out plates for one patient to allow her to progress in therapy and experiment with getting back into her Zumba movements.

Something that I would hope could possibly be changed in the future is the bulk/weight of the socket itself, though it is not necessarily heavier than a traditional socket.

For the more conservative female population the socket is a little bulky appearing, and the distal plate appears quite large in terms of aesthetics. I’ve also noticed there are a lot of places for things to rub together and make noise, which I’ve managed to subside by adding some neoprene in the said area. The only other issue that could possibly keep someone from wearing the Infinite Socket is if they cannot tolerate the addition of a roll-on liner, which some patients would really hesitate to try.

I do look forward to working with the Infinite socket in the coming years and hope that it continues to be a beneficial part of my practice and improve the lives of my patients.

– Amalia Gruman Laird CP, CTP

How the Infinite Socket is like an iPhone

At LIM Innovations, we strive to defy convention.  Our Infinite Socket embodies this intention in a couple major ways: By design and model.

Conventional prosthetic sockets have forever been a fixed rigid shape.  They contain a finite volume and for most intensive purposes, the alignment is inherently built into them.  Conventional sockets are like a work of art, a one-time snapshot of an object that interacts with a residual limb.

The problem? A residual limb is anything but fixed and rigid.  Short-term and long-term volume fluctuations like temperature changes, eating a meal containing a high sodium level, undergoing dialysis and seasonal changes (like the upcoming Holiday Season) are a few examples that can leave the user in a constant battle to maintain the appropriate fit.

This is one of the many reasons why we designed the Infinite Socket to be dynamic and flexible: to give the user the ability to tackle their volume fluctuations in a simple, user-friendly way without sacrificing control of their prosthesis.

The analogy I like to use is wearing a conventional socket is like wearing a clog versus wearing the Infinite Socket is like a high-performance running shoe.  It’s designed to work with the residual limb, not against it; a concept we like to call the Dynamic Motion Frame.

So what about the Model?  An iPhone is composed of the phone itself (the hardware) as well as an operating system and apps (the software) that together constitute the platform and create the user’s experience.  We feel the modularity of Infinite Socket is a platform.  The Base Plate and Struts are ‘hardware’ and the Distal Cup, the 3D printed Ischial Seat and the Brim are the ‘software’.  Just as operating systems and apps are updated, so is our software.   Our Innovations Team uses User Generated Innovation (UGI) to drive our software updates and we have many planned throughout 2015.

As we release new brims, suspension methods, and new ischial seat designs, the user can update them with their LIM Clinician. Rather than undergo a lengthy conventional socket replacement (weeks of appointments and high costs) the user can simply swap out one of the many modular components for an updated version in one quick visit.

Empowering our users requires thinking unconventionally and unconventional thinking allows the Infinite Socket to create Infinite possibilities.

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Here at LIM Innovations we pride ourselves on the diversity of our team. We have a fantastic group of engineers, designers, machinists, clinicians, and amputees with relevant experience in the field. With such a diverse group working behind the scenes, we invite you to join one of our staff members each week for an in-depth look at what they bring to table. It is our goal to provide our loyal readers a behind-the-scenes look at LIM Innovations. Clinical Director, Jon Smith, picked up the pen this week to share how the Infinite Socket is similar to the iPhone and provides users with a dynamic system for their residual limb.