The heat generated within the socket and resulting accumulation of sweat can be extremely uncomfortable for amputees and lead to serious medical problems such as skin degradation, rashes, irritations, and infection.
Additionally, sweat from the residual limb can compromise the fit of the prosthesis, resulting in dangerous falls or a patient being unable to wear their prosthesis for long periods of time. Research conducted by Leto Solutions suggests that many amputees are unable to wear their prosthesis 14-20 days a year due to painful friction blisters and skin ulcers.
At the extreme, these problems can result in infections and the need to undergo surgery to remove damaged tissue.
Currently, patients attempt to address the problem of sweat through the use of antiperspirants, talcum powder, super absorbent socks.
However, none of these options address the core problem – the heat that is generated at the limb-to-socket interface.
The accumulation of heat and sweat can severely impact the amputee’s quality of life – he or she can lose their independence and the ability to enjoy normal, daily activities. It is the goal of Leto Solutions to enhance the quality of life by improving the comfort of patients who wear prostheses.
Research has revealed that 74% of lower limb amputees experience a reduced quality of life due to complications caused by excessive heat and moisture buildup in their prosthesis socket.1
In this article, researchers concluded that all of the materials currently in use do an insufficient job of transferring heat away from the residual limb and ultimately result in significant elevation of skin temperature.2