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  • Writer's pictureGainesville Prosthetics

Easy Donning of a Prosthetic Suspension Sleeve! Videos included

We often hear from patients that changing or adjusting the prosthetic suspension sleeve is very difficult for them to do. They want to take the sleeve off to clean it, but then have trouble putting it back on the prosthesis. This post will show you a unique and user-friendly way of putting your sleeve back onto your prosthesis.


Why do you have a prosthetic suspension sleeve?

One of the many suspension systems that you may choose for your prosthesis is a suspension sleeve system. A suspension sleeve is a type of system utilizing suction to keep your limb firmly and comfortably in your socket and attached to your prosthesis. It utilizes a sleeve garment made of soft, elastic materials; the sleeve is placed over the socket of the prosthesis, roughly midway up the socket, and is then rolled over the top of the socket and extends to cover most of the thigh. The purpose of the sleeve is to create suction between the limb and socket by creating a tight seal between the limb and sleeve. This suction keeps the limb firmly within the socket and attached to the prosthesis, ensuring comfort, flexibility, stability, and safety.


In order to don your prosthesis with a suspension sleeve, it is often much easier to first place the sleeve onto the socket before you don the socket onto your limb. Stretch the sleeve horizontally to place it over top of the brim of the socket, then pull it down so the bottom of the sleeve is roughly a bit more than halfway down your socket. Trying to keep the bottom of the sleeve in place, you should then flip the top of the sleeve to be inside out, then fold it down and over the bottom of the sleeve. After doing so, place your limb firmly and comfortably in the socket, then roll the top of the sleeve, which should now be beneath and overlapping the bottom of the sleeve, evenly over the brim of the socket and onto your limb. Your sleeve should come up over the top of your liner. Check the back to make sure there is no bunching or creases in the sleeve.


You may have trouble stretching the sleeve over your socket without the ability to use both legs or feet to keep the prosthesis in place. Some patients prefer to wrap their sound leg over and around the foot and components of their prosthesis in order to keep it in place while they add the suspension sleeve. Others may place the foot of their prosthesis between their thighs while seated to hold it in place. Taping, or the use of a belt like component on the bottom of the sleeve in place is also a good solution to ease the entire process, only requiring you to roll the sleeve up and down to don and doff the prosthesis. If you are struggling with the donning or doffing of your suspension sleeve or prosthesis, contact your prosthetist so that they may work with you on a solution.


User created solution for applying a suspension sleeve


A Transtibial patient donning a prosthesis that utilizes a suspension sleeve


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