Use of a partial foot prosthesis with vacuum-assisted suspension: A case study

Brian Arndt*, Ryan Caldwell, Stefania Fatone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Vacuum-assisted suspension uses the creation of a negative pressure differential to hold a gel liner securely to the walls of the prosthetic socket to reduce the migration of the residual limb within the prosthesis. The eliminated movement or pistoning of the residual limb within the socket is believed to contribute to increased comfort and function in persons with a transtibial amputation by reducing peak pressures during ambulation. A new socket system was developed with vacuum-assisted suspension for a person with partial foot amputation to take advantage of this better coupling. The purpose of this case study was to evaluate the use of a partial foot prosthesis with vacuum-assisted suspension in a 68-year-old man with a right transfemoral amputation and a left partial foot amputation, both of traumatic origin. A questionnaire was used to compare the subject's satisfaction and function between his previous and new prosthesis. Photographs of the residual limb were taken before initial fitting of the new prosthesis, 10 days after initial fitting, and at 2-month follow-up to document the appearance of the residual limb. The subject rated the prosthesis with vacuum-assisted suspension higher with regards to comfort during standing and walking (i.e., it was more comfortable) and lower for pain while wearing the prosthesis (i.e., it was less painful). Photographs at 2-month follow-up showed that the skin was healthier in overall appearance when compared with initial fitting. This case study suggests that the use of a prosthesis with vacuum-assisted suspension may be a viable design for improving comfort, function, and residual limb health for persons with partial foot amputation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Prosthetics and Orthotics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • artificial limb
  • partial foot amputation
  • prosthesis
  • vacuum-assisted suspension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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