By: Amanda Hawley
Elevated Vacuum Suspension – More Confidence From Innovative Breakthrough
Choosing a prosthesis is something that most people probably never expect to do. Most people might even cringe at the thought of seeing one (I know I did the first time I saw onTagse. That’s gotta hurt, right?). On the other hand, though, some people would never have the independence they once had if it weren’t for a great prosthesis. Accidents happen. Amputations happen. It’s life—Strive is here to help.
Strive Orthotics & Prosthetics (O&P) offers a team of dedicated specialists who “strive” to help their patients succeed at regaining physical independence. They are passionate about working with amputees, and providing the best patient-centered care. Matt and Melissa, CPO and CO, respectively, are board-certified, and they stay proficient with the newest technology, always researching improvements and advancements that constantly are being made in their field.
Matt specializes in providing prosthetic limbs for amputees of all ages, including pediatrics, making sure that any little ones in need of prosthetic care will continue moving swiftly, tuned to every growth spurt. With this range of experience, patients can trust in choosing a prosthesis at Strive that they will love and feel secure with. Strive accepts most insurance plans and will work with patients every step of the way to ensure you receive the care you deserve.
What is the best suspension system to use? When it comes to attaching a lower extremity prosthesis, there are many options to choose from. Some include: mechanical pin/shuttle locks, straps or lanyards, and seal-in suction. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages; there isn’t any “one size fits all” when it comes to choosing a prosthesis.
The most frequently used suspension system provided by Strive is called an Elevated Vacuum (EV) Suspension. After amputation, it is very important to choose a prosthesis that allows one to resume the activities that are important as an individual. The more active you want to be, the more attention you should give to suspension— the method by which the prosthesis connects to your limb.
Elevated Vacuum Suspension is a relatively new method for prosthesis suspension using a vacuum pump to remove the air from between the socket and residual limb. This solidifies the tissue, and creates a secured global connection between the limb and prosthesis.
Strive Orthotics and Prosthetics is the perfect source for anyone in need of orthotic or prosthetic care. Matt has more than 10 years of experience working with amputees. He will empower you and strive to ensure that everyone who comes to him for care reaches their fullest potential.
It is Strive’s goal to help you gain independence once again, with the utmost compassion and care.
5 REASONS TO CHOOSE A PROSTHESIS WITH AN ELEVATED VACUUM (EV) SUSPENSION:
PREVENTS LIMB VOLUME LOSS DURING THE DAY
One of the most dramatic benefits of elevated vacuum suspension is that it maintains limb volume throughout the day. With all other suspension systems, amputees’ residual limbs lose volume as wearers go about daily activities. This loosens the socket, which makes controlling the prosthesis more difficult, reduces proprioception, and increases the potential for skin damage. The amputee may add more sock layers as the day goes on, but this is a time-consuming inconvenience for busy people. By maintaining the fit of the socket throughout the day, socket comfort is dramatically improved.
- ELIMINATES PISTONING, SHEER FORCES & ROTATION
With all distal-locking liner suspensions, such as pin locking and lanyard systems, the prosthesis is suspended by the distal end of the limb. Because the weight of the prosthesis is attached to the very bottom of the limb, the limb will “piston” inside the socket to some degree while the patient ambulates (walks). As a result, fluid is pumped out and the amputee will experience volume loss. This causes a potential for further issues including swelling, skin breakdown, or rotation. With an EV system, however, the prosthesis is secured to the limb globally over the entire limb, minimizing the chance for negative pressure pistoning, sheer forces and unwanted rotation.
- INCREASED BLOOD FLOW & BETTER LIMB HEALTH
When a vacuum is applied between the limb and the socket, there is a reduction of positive pressure on the limb during stance, and increased negative pressure during swing. This means that blood is pulled into the limb rather than being pushed out (as with other suspensions). By improving blood supply in the limb, we improve circulation and overall tissue health.
- WOUND HEALING
Wound VACs have been used for decades to promote the healing of chronic wounds by applying a vacuum to pull out fluids and increase blood flow. Studies have shown that the use of an EV prosthesis actually promotes wound healing as well. Unlike other suspension systems, where the prosthesis must be removed for a wound to heal, an EV system will allow healing to happen while the prosthesis is being used.
- PROPRIOCEPTION & PROSTHESIS CONTROL
Elimination of movement between the prosthesis and the user will improve spatial awareness of, and control of, the prosthesis. If there is any movement between the socket and limb, stability and proprioception (the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body) is then compromised. Amputees new to EV typically express surprise at how the prosthesis feels like it is part of them (an immense relief, most people would say!). Improved gait symmetry, a result of an EV system, can lessen the propensity to fall, reduce low back pain and other ailments associated with inconsistent gait dynamics.
“Matt, you have no idea how much better you have made my life because I can easily walk again with no pain and no fear of falling. The connection between me and my prostheses gives me security I’ve never had. My stump doesn’t even move inside it, ever! Thank you so much for figuring out what was needed to get me walking again. Much appreciation.” – Ed “Matt, I chased my wife around the house for the first time in five years. I was never able to do this with any of my previous prostheses. Thanks for giving that back to me! Both of us ended laughing ourselves silly. Grateful, my friend.” – Bob M.
“Matt, you have no idea how much better you have made my life because I can easily walk again with no pain and no fear of falling. The connection between me and my prostheses gives me the security I’ve never had. My stump doesn’t even move inside it, ever! Thank you so much for figuring out what was needed to get me walking again. Much appreciation.”– Ed Matt
I chased my wife around the house for the first time in five years. I was never able to do this with any of my previous prostheses. Thanks for giving that back to me! Both of us ended laughing ourselves silly. Grateful, my friend. – Bob M.