Lower Extremity Prosthetics Program
The loss of a lower limb has a profound impact on a person’s ability to move through life. Hanger’s Lower Extremity Prosthetics Program (LEPP) works to restore mobility by combining an array of state-of-the-art components with our patented ComfortFlex™ Socket System. Under the direction of certified prosthetist Kevin Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP, a nationwide team of lower extremity practitioners undergo extensive socket design training.
The key to being a successful lower extremity prosthetic user is the fit of the socket. We know that comfort is the key and that when a socket is uncomfortable, the person is not going to wear it. That’s why ComfortFlex™ Sockets are custom-contoured to fit the bones and muscles of the person’s residual limb. New materials like urethanes, mineral based liners and improved silicone are much more flexible than the previously used hard plastics. People of all ages can wear a comfortable, flexible and lightweight prosthesis. With ComfortFlex™, users have more control and can be more active.
The muscles in their residual limb strengthen and grow, with the flexible socket material contouring to the individual’s anatomy and locking on to the bone and muscles without surface damage to the skin.
This unique approach to socket design is not just for the young athletic amputee, but older adults as well. Keep in mind that more than two-thirds of the people who will have a lower extremity amputation this year are older adults. A comfortable, anatomically-contoured socket is just as important to a 70- or 80-year-old patient as it is to a teenager. Not only do the contours work with the individual’s anatomy to help with proper transmission of forces through the prosthesis to the ground, but they also can enhance comfort. After decades of working on above-knee and other lower extremity socket designs, it is clear that most successful designs have come about by simply observing nature. Through direct observation of both deep and surface anatomy, many hours of study in cadaver labs, and computerized gait and balance analysis, our Lower Extremity Specialists have learned to ignore preconceived ideas and start from a clean slate using anatomical structures as our guide.
This scientific fitting approach has begun to spill over into other levels of amputation such as hip disarticulation and hemi-pelvectomy. Using the common sense approach of bone, muscle, tendon, and nerve contours makes great sense for any level of amputation. As a result of these developments, some prosthetic users have become involved in areas of work and play that they previously thought weren't possible.
Hanger’s Lower Extremity Team has extensive experience working with complex cases including hip-disarticulation and trans-pelvectomy amputations, bi-lateral amputees, and those who face unique challenges with their residual limb.
The LEPP offers a broad scope of care that helps individuals set and meet goals and ultimately, restore their lifestyles.