Elevated vacuum is a term that describes a particular style suspension utilized in transtibial (below the knee) and transfemoral (above the knee) prosthetic sockets. An electric or mechanical pump is attached to the socket and provides a constant, monitored suction; pulling the liner and the patient’s residual limb towards the inner socket walls. This vacuum prevents excessive motion within the socket which leads to unwanted friction and shear forces from occurring. Circulation is improved thus providing a healthier residuum. A silicone liner interface with a sleeve suspension is used in conjunction with the pump to complete the elevated vacuum system.
This system has worked well with many patients and it allows for the option of a brimless design socket for transfemoral amputees. Brimless, meaning shorter trimlines, is to avoid pressure in the peroneal (groin) area, as well as allowing for better range of motion at the hip. All these factors that increase comfort for the amputee will allow the amputee to wear their leg longer and ultimately be more functional.
There isn’t one universal system that works well for everyone but at Excel Prosthetics the clinicians are proficient in using many different techniques and will work with the patient in finding the right one for their specific needs and concerns.