Frequently Asked Questions

The Socket-less Socket™ technology uses similar Medicare and insurance coding as conventional sockets; therefore not only is it accessible for most users, but the cost of the Socket-less Socket™ to paying sources like Medicare or insurance companies is the same as the cost of a rigid conventional socket. From a financial perspective, if your insurance or Medicare will cover a new socket, they should cover the Socket-less Socket™. The Socket-less Socket™ has numerous possible configurations including selecting various forms of suspension and tissue management options. As such, the end billing will reflect the socket design made for the end-user, using existing coding.

We expect that everyone fit with the Socket-less Socket™ technology experiences a transformed quality of life through new-found comfort. Since we are not able to control the quality of fit or workmanship of outside practitioners, we offer our Socket-less Socket™ technologies exclusively through our Martin Bionics Clinical Care network and through our direct clinical services model.

We created the most comfortable sockets that exists – and we know how to fit them better than anyone. Our clinical team is focused on restoring quality of life through comfort. We make sure that each of our socket fittings have the attention to detail, workmanship, and quality of care to ensure that you receive the most comfortable socket you have ever worn.

If you simply are not able to travel to a Martin Bionics clinic for your care, our clinical services model enables our trained and experienced practitioners to work alongside your local practitioner to ensure that every Socket-less Socket™ user achieves maximum comfort outcomes. While there is sometimes an economic disadvantage for outside clinics to engage Martin Bionics clinical services in the fitting process compared to them fitting conventional sockets, the outcomes through the Socket-less Socket™ can be transformative.

Most users sweat considerably less in the Socket- less Socket™ designs compared to wearing encapsulated conventional sockets. In conventional sockets, the carbon fiber lamination and inner socket materials are heat insulators. Conversely, the Socket-less Socket’s™ open design allows the limb heat to dissipate and makes the socket feel considerably cooler. Likewise, many users find that they use their limb muscles more than in static conventional sockets, which likely promotes limb circulation and allows the body to better maintain a more consistent limb temperature.
No socks required! The self-adjustable Socket-less Socket™ allows you to maintain a comfortable fit all day; therefore there is no need to wear or manage prosthetic socks. Most users wear a gel liner, which is typically used as a basis for suspension – how the socket is held onto the limb.

Many Socket-less Socket™ users find that they use their limb muscles more in the Socket-less SocketTM than they did in their static conventional socket, which helps promote better limb health.

In conventional sockets, users often complain that they feel like their limb muscles are hitting a rigid wall when they try to flex. Conventional sockets do not promote muscle contraction during walking, and a typical amputee experiences considerable limb muscle atrophy over time. Through the Socket-less Socket’s™ dynamic materials and open structure, the muscles are free to flex and results in the user feeling like they are using their limb muscles similar to how they used them when walking with a sound limb.

Many users share that their limb feels stronger and many put on limb muscle mass after a few weeks of use. The inherent adjustability that the Socket-less SocketTM uniquely offers allows the socket to remain fitting well, while accommodating for increased muscle growth.

Conventional sockets are rigid, heavy, and trap heat. The Socket-less Socket™ design uniquely offers user- adjustable volume accommodation, is lightweight, and breathable – qualities that most amputees desire. It has been successfully fit to all limb types – Short limbs to long, large limbs to small, geriatric to athletic, and on those with a lot of volume change to those without daily volume change. We’ve found that even those who do not fluctuate in volume (less than 2 sock ply per day) still love the ability to micro-adjust the socket fit in real-time, as well as benefit from all of the other great attributes of this socket design.
The unique modularity of the Martin Bionics’ socket technologies enable us to fit any amputation level, including unique fittings such as Symes, PFFD, Rotationplasty, and others. We can fit all amputations from partial finger through forequarter (past the shoulder) and partial foot through hemipelvectomy (past the hip). Our trained and experienced clinician team consists of specialists in various disciplines so that when needed we work in a team-approach enabling those with the most experience in fitting challenging cases to work alongside our other practitioners to ensure optimal outcomes for all of our patients.
The Socket-less Socket™ accommodates for a large amount of volume change because its fit is user-adjustable. We’ve seen several patients lose up to 40 pounds and still comfortable in their Socket-less Socket™. In conventional sockets, the comfort of the fit quickly degrades as the limb size changes compared to the static socket shape. The Socket-less Socket™ however should largely remain more comfortable up until the time a new socket is needed.
Yes, the Socket-less Socket™ works excellent with short limbs. Since our self- adjustable socket designs can so effectively capture and control the underlying limb anatomy, they provide greater limb control than a conventional rigid bucket socket. We’ve successfully fit below the knee and above the knee users who have bone lengths even as short as 3”- 4”. Because of the added control, many users claim that they have better proprioception of where their foot is during walking, without having to look down.
Yes, the Socket-less Socket™ works excellent with long limb lengths. It’s breathability makes the limb feel considerably cooler than in conventional sockets. The Socket-less Socket™ wraps around the limb, versus the soft tissue having to be pushed or pulled into a contained bucket, and its conformity allows the socket to match to the user every time it is donned. The open structure of the Socket-less Socket™ overcomes the challenges of Symes level fittings where a bulbous distal end often makes conventional socket fittings difficult.
Yes, the same advantages that the Socket-less Socket™ uniquely offers for unilateral amputees benefits bilateral amputees just the same – cooler, lighter, simpler to donn, and more comfortable.
Yes, the Socket-less Socket™ is simple to donn in sitting or in standing, and does not require pushing or pulling soft tissue into a contained bucket as conventional sockets require. Many geriatric users spend a considerable amount of time sitting, and the conformity of the Socket- less Socket™ allows for much greater sitting comfort. For above the knee users, there is no longer pressure behind the knee during sitting with then knee flexed, and for above the knee users there is no longer impinging into the abdomen from the brim of the socket, as well as no more hump underneath when sitting as the Socket-less Socket™ sits flat.
The Socket-less Socket™ can be fit to users ranging in sizes from pediatric to adult, petite to obese, and short limbs to long. The Socket-less Socket™ can be custom configured for heavy users, and we have fit patients over 400 pounds.
Our NASA-inspired lightweight design and materials are only a fraction of what conventional sockets weigh – with a typical weight reduction of around 2 pounds for an above the knee socket. With any of our socket levels, you’ll be amazed at how light a socket can feel.
Yes, all of our sockets use the industry-standard connection methods compatible with any foot, knee, or hip prosthetic components.
The gel liner type will be selected based on the type of suspension and tissue management method that will be used for the fitting. Martin Bionics clinicians will work with you to help select the optimal liner and suspension method to best fit your needs. You can integrate any form of suspension within the Socket-less Socket™, including pin, lanyard, SharkSkin Suspension™, suction, vacuum, or Velcro. In general, using a liner with integrated matrix will provide additional tissue management within the socket’s open structure, which many users prefer.
There is not one best suspension method for everyone, as each users’ needs and preferences are unique. Many of the Socket-less Socket™ fittings benefit from using either pin or lanyards, although you can also successfully use suction, vacuum, Velcro, or SharkSkin™ Suspension. The unique modularity allows for various forms of suspension to be evaluated during the fitting process to help decide which option is best for you.
Yes, vacuum systems can be integrated within the Socket-less Socket™ fittings through incorporating a short 1⁄2 length thermoplastic distal cup and using a sealing liner. Vacuum systems work very well within the Socket-less Socket™ designs, although in some cases their integration inherently limits some of the volume accommodation ability that the Socket-less Socket™ uniquely offers.
In most cases the Sharkskin™ alone is not designed to provide sole suspension, however most users prefer the feel of SharkSkin™ in addition to other forms of suspension, as it helps distribute the suspension forces 360 degrees around the limb and makes the socket feel more secure. Most fittings will use a pin or lanyard as primary suspension, though you can also use suction, vacuum, Velcro, or others. The modularity of the Socket-less Socket™ technology allows you to modularly try various forms of suspension in real-time during the fitting process.

The Socket-less Socket™ is designed to provide long-lasting durability and comfort. Its materials are designed to hold up to even the highest- activity users, and the self-adjustable and conforming materials allow the socket to match to the underlying body every time it is donned, allowing the socket to remain comfortable for longer. The human body is very dynamic, and making the socket’s fit dynamic provides a long-lasting comfortable fit.

The conformable materials used in the Socket-less Socket™ create a longer life expectancy than in many rigid conventional sockets. The SwingBrim™ webbing for instance is designed and rated for nearly 4000 pounds of force and is similar to the webbing used in seatbelts. We see very few durability related issues, but if something were to wear out, our unique modularity allows the socket to be repaired quickly and easily and is often field serviceable even if away from your prosthetist.

Martin Bionics was invited by NASA to transition our work in fabric-socket technology into the Space Program to help NASA create Ironman-like Exoskeleton suits for space and military applications. Our success on those programs lead to the discovery and creation of counter-intuitive new materials and methods of making prosthetics more comfortable, which we have since transitioned into a new way of fitting clinical prosthetics. Many of the specific material and methods used in fitting our Socket-less Socket™ technologies were created or discovered during our work with NASA, and are designed for optimal comfort and conformity, yet are incredibly lightweight, durable, and breathable.
The Socket-less Socket™ is typically lower profile than a conventional socket, although in some configurations the socket’s surface is not smooth. Most users find that even under tight-fitting clothes the socket is not noticeable.

The Socket-less Socket™ fits like no other socket available. It’s the difference between sitting into a hammock versus a rigid bucket, or as your most comfortable pair of sneakers versus an ultra-stiff pair of dress shoes.

What makes the Socket-less Socket™ unique is that it eliminates a static brim and static socket shape, it eliminates a rigid ischial seat and in many configurations eliminates the rigid distal end – all providing an unparalleled amount of conformity and user-adjustability.

The unique open frame structure dissipates heat and greatly reduces sweating. It offers a greater sense of control and stability during ambulation. And its unrestricted range of motion results in full comfort in sitting without impinging.

Additionally, there is no need for socks or suspension sleeves to maintain the fit. Instead, the adjustability of the Socket-less Socket™ enables a user to self-adjust their fit in real-time, matching the socket to the user, versus managing sock ply to make the dynamic limb size fit into a static conventional socket.

Martin Bionics’ patent-pending AirHammock™ system provides a true ‘hammock-fit’ for various Socket-less Socket™ configurations. Instead of the limb sitting into a rigid bucket, the limb rests into a conforming hammock – eliminating the jarring feeling and distal end discomfort as conventional sockets have. The AirHammock™ provides a perfect balance between limb support and hammock-like cushioning.
While the Socket-less Socket’s™ unique open frame design will allow water to get within the socket and will get the gel liner wet, its conformity, security, and comfort makes it work well for unique applications such as a water leg. All screw attachments are stainless steel, and the webbing materials are quick-dry. The Socket-less Socket’s™ unique modularity allows for socket components to be quickly and easily swapped out with simple hand tools as needed. If you desire to use your new prosthesis in water applications, let your practitioner know so that they can use suspension, knee, and foot components that work well in water applications.
The Socket-less Socket’s™ unique modularity allows for customization for even the most challenging fits, and can accommodate for various limb types and needs. The patent pending Soft-Socket™ configuration uses ultra conforming webbing-based materials to float the limb in a conforming 360º fabric hammock support without any rigid structure to hit. The ICON™ BK configuration uses our patent pending AirHammock™ technology to gently support the limb with conformity and unequalled modularity. While both sockets designs are incredible, some patients limb types do better in one configuration than another, and our clinicians are trained to determine which configuration will work best for each patient’s limb. The Soft-Socket™ technology is only available through a Martin Bionics Clinical Care location, while the ICON™ BK can be fit either in our clinics or through our direct clinical services model – where our trained and experienced practitioners work alongside your local practitioner.

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