Prosthetic Socks

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You have just received a supply of prosthetic socks from your prosthetist. They come in different materials and thicknesses. Prosthetic socks are used as ‘Shims’ to maintain an intimate fit between your residual limb and the prosthetic socket.

Prosthetic Sock Thicknesses

Standard thicknesses (Ply’s) of the socks are 1, 3 and 5 ply of socks. It is important to maintain the desired fit for comfort and function of the prosthesis. Your prosthetist will work with your residual limb and the desired fit using one or more sock ply thickness.

How to determine the correct sock combination

The fit between your residual limb and the socket is important to avoid problems. Too few ply of sock can be painful, loose socket fit and excess wear on the prosthetic components. Should you find any areas of concern, contact your practitioner prior to wearing the prosthesis.
‘Total Contact’ is the term used to describe the optimum (correct) fit of the limb within the socket. When donning (putting the pros thesis on), place the last worn comfortable fit sock (s) combination on your residual limb and insert your limb into the socket. The residual limb should go in with a gentle pressure and when completely in the socket, be comfortable and allow full flexion and extension. If your limb went into the socket easily, GRADUALLY increase the ply fit, increase it 1 ply at a time until the optimum comfortable fit is achieved. If the fit was overly snug, your limb may have swollen since last wearing the prosthesis. If that
is the case, then REMOVE 1 ply and try donning the prosthesis until the optimum comfortable fit is achieved.


  • Remember to ‘Ask Questions’ if you are not sure of anything regarding your device.
  • Make sure that the prosthetic socks are the correct thickness (ply) when
  • Make sure that the  sock (s) are smooth and wrinkle free on your
    residual limb
  • Make sure that the sock is long enough to extend past the top of the socket
  • Prosthetic socks should be replaced after 1 year or less, depending on the
    level of use

Check the sock for

  • Any worn or thin areas. If found, discard immediately
  • Rips, tears or holes. If found, discard immediately.
  • Wash prosthetic socks as per directions from the manufacturer
    with hypoallergenic soap and water.