LIM INNOVATIONS: RE-ENVISIONING THE PROSTHETIC SOCKET
Making prosthetic legs easier to wear — and easier to get
MAKING PROSTHETIC LEGS TRULY WEARABLE
The majority of lower limb amputees find their prosthetics so uncomfortable that they return to wheelchairs.
THE DESIGN SOLUTION
AN EXPONENTIALLY MORE COMFORTABLE FIT
LIM Innovations' new approach to the prosthetic socket dramatically improves fit, comfort, and performance over time.
"The athletic shoe has evolved with technology. Why shouldn't the prosthetic interface?"
– Jesse Williams, CTO and VP of Engineering
Prosthetics too uncomfortable to wear
A prosthetic leg needs something to hold it to the wearer's remaining limb. That interface — the socket — traditionally takes up to three months to fit, and even so, problems with fit and performance lead more than half of amputees to abandon even the most advanced models. LIM Innovations' Infinite Socket is a completely revamped approach to the prosthetic socket. It can be produced in four days or less and lets more than 90 percent of users stand and walk in comfort for hours.
HOW IT WORKS
LIM Innovations created a design inspired by high-performance sporting goods.
A proprietary tool translates photos and scans of the patient's limb stump into 3D CAD files.
The CAD files generate a custom-fit design combining ultra-light carbon fiber struts with a padded fabric cradle.
Ergonomic straps and fasteners let wearers easily adjust the precise fit for comfort throughout the day.
Garrett Hurley, a San Francisco clinical prosthetist/orthotist, developed rough concepts for an improved prosthetic socket to address the functional limitations that regularly made his patients abandon their artificial limbs. He brought them to Dr. Andrew Pedtke, then a resident in orthopaedic surgery at the University of California - San Francisco. After making a joint clinical outreach trip to Nicaragua, where they saw firsthand how difficult it was for people there to get prosthetics, Pedtke gave up his plans for a fellowship in favor of partnering with Hurley to launch LIM Innovations.
Q & A
Why is the LIM Innovations Infinite Socket revolutionary?
Sockets have to be customized for each wearer. The Infinite Socket combines modern manufacturing and materials with modular components to achieve a better fit in less time and, ultimately, at lower cost.
The LIM Innovations Infinite Socket is currently available in above-knee and through-knee versions, with a below-knee version under development.
What are your plans for the future?
Millions of people around the world literally don't have a leg to stand on. We want to help with that through a nonprofit that redesigns our sockets so they're affordable and appropriate for the developing world.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LIM INNOVATIONS
One year after LIM Innovations introduced the Infinite Socket, it already has about 150 users. The company is currently collaborating with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, leveraging leadership and funding from the US Department of Defense to advance technology and better define clinical outcome metrics in the orthotics and prosthetics industry.