Feasibility testing of a novel prosthetic socket sensor system

Tonya L Rich, Greg Voss, Stuart Fairhurst, Mary Matsumoto, Steven Brielmaier, Karl Koester, Theoden I. Netoff, Andrew Hansen, John E Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Poorly fitting prosthetic sockets contribute to decreased quality of life, health, and well-being for persons with amputations. Therefore, improved socket fit is a high clinical priority. Methods: In this study, we describe the design and testing of a novel sensor system that can be incorporated into a prosthetic socket to measure distal end weight bearing in the socket and can alert a prosthesis user if poor socket fit is suspected. We present the results of testing this device with three Veterans who were new prosthesis users and three Veterans who were experienced prosthesis users. Results and conclusions: We collected sensor data during walking trials while participants wore varying numbers of sock plies and qualitative feedback on the design of the socket fit sensor system. For analysis, peak sensor measurements during walking cycles were identified and combined with socket fit data (i.e., a clinician-determined level of “good,” “too tight,” or “too loose” and the number of sock ply worn each trial). We found consistent relationships between peak sensor measurements and socket fit in our sample. Also, all users expressed an interest in the device, highlighting its potential benefits during early prosthesis training.Implications for Rehabilitation Ensuring socket fit is challenging for many prosthesis users. A novel wearable sensor system can be used to identify socket fit issues for some prosthesis users. This type of system could be most helpful for new prosthesis users and those with sensory and cognitive challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2374-2381
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©, This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.


  • Amputation
  • prosthesis
  • rehabilitation
  • sensor
  • socket fit

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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