Liners

With all of the options available, we know it can be confusing to find the best liner for you. We’re here to help break it down for you.

There are three key components in every liner:

Interface Material: This is the type of material that goes against your skin.

Fabric: This is the type of material on the exterior of the liner.

Profile: This is the thickness and distribution of the interface material.

Click on the sections below to learn about WillowWood’s interface materials, fabrics, and profiles and how you can find the right liner for you.

Interface Materials

Classic
High flow helps the Classic Gel adapt to uneven socket pressures. Low rebound means the liner will maintain this adapted shape over time.

Liners:
Alpha BasicTM Liner, Alpha Classic® Liner, Alpha Duo® Liner

Silicone
Low flow prevents the silicone from migrating away from highly sensitive areas, while high rebound helps the liner maintain its original shape.

Liners:
Alpha Silicone® Liner, Alpha Duo® Liner,
WillowWood® Express Liners

Hybrid
Hybrid Gel features balanced flow and rebound, making it a great intermediate solution.

Liners:
Alpha Hybrid® Liner

SmartTemp with Outlast®
Initially, a low flow prevents silicone from migrating away from sensitive areas. As the skin temperature rises, the silicone softens and feels similar to thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) but with a high rebound to maintain its original shape.

Liners:
Alpha SmartTemp® Liner

Fabrics

Original

  • Durable fabric that extends the life of a liner
  • Smooth texture allows for ease in donning prosthetic socket
  • Available in green/gray color

Spirit

  • Flexible unbroken loop fabric allows easy donning and doffing
  • Ideal for geriatric amputees
  • Available in buff color only

Flex

  • Helps knee bend
  • Ensures easy donning and doffing
  • Well-suited for amputees with limited hand dexterity

MAX

  • One-way stretch fabric minimizes pistoning yet maintains durability
  • Fabric allows for increased range of knee motion
  • Available in buff color only

Select

  • Allows for easy bending and flexing of the knee
  • One-way stretch fabric controls pistoning without a distal matrix
  • Allows circumferential stretch, yet maintains liner elongation within specified limits
  • Available in grey or taupe colors

Profile of Interface Material

Uniform

  • Gel is distributed evenly throughout the liner
  • Gel behind the knee thins to 3 mm for easy bending of the knee
  • Well-suited for most transtibial applications

Contoured

  • Uniform gel profile with additional 3 mm gel pads on anterior distal walls
  • Gel behind the knee thins to 3 mm for easy bending of the knee
  • Good choice for transtibial patients with prominent tibial crest

Tapered

  • Extra 3 mm of gel around the distal circumference
  • Gel behind the knee thins to 3 mm for easy bending of the knee
  • Ideal for conical residual limbs and applications

Progressive

  • Gel thins to 2.5 mm behind knee for broad range of knee motion
  • Provides 9 mm cushioning at distal end and 6 mm over tibial crest
  • Good choice for moderate to high activity level transtibial patients

AK Profile

  • 9 mm lateral gel pads protect distal femur
  • Thin top edge for slim profile under clothing
  • Ideal comfort for transfemoral amputees

Symmetrical

  • 9 mm gel thickness distally for maximum comfort
  • Rotatable to extend life of the liner
  • Good choice for transfemoral amputees who prefer a thin gel profile
  • Well-suited for transfemoral amputees who reflect liners for greater comfort at the socket trim line

Did you know that with WillowWood’s Alpha® Liners, you can switch liners without switching sockets?

WillowWood is the only brand to offer liners with a range of interface materials and profiles that retrofit with each other. If you need multiple liners to accommodate multiple activities, or if you are due for a replacement liner, you and your clinician don’t have to go through the time-consuming and costly process of creating a new socket.

What does this mean for amputees? Take Tony, for example. Tony has a sensitive limb and likes the feel of the Alpha Hybrid® Liner. But when Tony plays sports, he prefers the Alpha SmartTemp® Liner to help manage sweat. Because WillowWood’s liners retrofit, Tony can wear the Alpha Hybrid® while he’s at the office and switch to the Alpha SmartTemp® when he’s on the basketball court—all without switching sockets.

How does retrofitting work?

The key to retrofitting is the pattern and thickness of the interface material inside the liner, called the liner profile. Liners with the same profile will fit into the same socket. Because WillowWood offers a range of liners with the same profile, you don’t need to switch sockets to switch liners.

To see which liners are best suited for particular activities, click on “Which liner is right for me?” above.

Profiles

Uniform

Transtibial
Gel is distributed evenly throughout the liner and thins to 3 mm behind the knee for greater flexibility.

Progressive

Transtibial
9 mm distal gel thickness, 6 mm at the tibial crest, and thins to 2.5 mm behind the knee and proximally.

Symmetrical

Transfemoral
9 mm distal gel thickness thins to a uniform 2.5 mm throughout the liner.

How should Alpha® Liners be cleaned?

At the end of the day, wash the liner with water and a body soap that does not irritate the skin. Rinse thoroughly, then allow the liner to dry on the drying stand overnight. Once a week, disinfect the liner by wiping the gel with ethyl or isopropyl alcohol, rinsing thoroughly, and allowing the liner to dry overnight.

 

How should I travel with my Alpha® Liner?

  • Trim the drying stand to a shorter length to make it easier to fit in a suitcase.
  • When packing a liner in a suitcase, put some socks or a t-shirt in a plastic bag and roll the liner over it.
  • How to dry a locking liner without a drying stand: Take a shoe string (or other similar string), tie a slip knot on both ends, slip one knot over a coat hanger, slip the other end around the pin on the end of the liner, and hang the liner to dry.
  • Avoid leaving Alpha® Liners in hot places (like the trunk of a car), because the heat can deform the liner.
  • Pack some volume management pads to help deal with daily volume fluctuations.

 

What might cause an Alpha® Liner user to develop a skin irritation?

Although our Alpha® Liners have proven to be very skin-friendly for most amputees, we do occasionally hear reports of skin irritations. Possible causes:

  • Not cleaning the liner daily. Neglecting to clean the liners daily may cause a rash to occur on the residual limb due to a buildup of bacteria from the skin.
  • Not rinsing all the soap off the liner. Soap residue may cause an irritation to develop.
  • Not drying the liners correctly. Drying the liner gel side out (instead of gel side in) can damage the liner and can allow dirt to stick to the gel, which can lead to skin irritation.
  • Not disinfecting the Alpha® Liner with alcohol every week. If a rash appears after two or three months of using an Alpha® Liner, this is the likely cause. Note: Using an anti-bacterial soap instead of alcohol is not an effective means of disinfection.
  • Use of a harsh or irritating soap, lotion, or cream. Use the same soap on the liner that is used in the bath or shower. Do not use talcum powder or any creams or lotions that contain animal fats or oils (lanolin, vitamin E oil, etc.) or hydrocarbon oils (petroleum jelly, silicone oil, etc.).
  • Pulling the liner onto the limb instead of rolling it on. Some amputees will grab the top edge of the liner and try to pull it as high on the leg as possible, like putting on a boot. This can lead to irritation along the top edge of the liner. Be sure to roll the liner onto the limb without pulling.
  • Gouges, holes or other damage on the gel surface. Cleaning the gel by scrubbing it, instead of wiping it gently, can cause damage.
  • Liner is loose. If a liner is too big, or if the limb has shrunk, air can get trapped between the skin and the liner. This can result in excessive sweating that can lead to a rash. Also, a liner that is too loose allows the limb to rub back and forth on the liner. Try applying volume management pads to the area that has shrunk.
  • An allergic reaction. Although we’ve never had a documented case of an allergic reaction to the Alpha® gel, it’s possible. To rule this out, put a clean piece of Alpha® gel somewhere else on the body for a few days to see if the skin reacts the same way.
  • Fungal and/or bacterial infection. This will require treatment from a dermatologist.

 

What might cause my Alpha SmartTemp® Liner to stop cooling my limb?

Your Alpha SmartTemp® Liner works by storing your body heat and preventing a rise in temperature. Once it has stored all the body heat it can, the liner will behave like any other prosthetic liner. At this point the stored body heat needs to be discharged from the liner as follows:

  • Remove the liner from your limb.
  • Place the liner in a cold or air-conditioned environment for a few hours.

Simply running the liner under cold water for a brief time will not completely discharge the stored heat. Submerging the liner in a cold basin of water for an extended period of time would be more appropriate.

Note: The conditions required to discharge the stored body heat will vary depending on the environment and how much energy has been stored.

NOTE: Always contact your clinician for prosthetic care advice. The following descriptions are available to help you get started in choosing which option may be best suited for you, but should never replace prosthetic advice from your clinician.

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