Category Archives: Our Products

Fall Hike Must-Haves For Amputees!

Since August is almost over, summer beach days, water sports, and warm weather fun are about to be just a memory until the next summer, unless you are from a warm state or country. Luckily for me, I live in Kansas City, where it’s the perfect time of the year for a hike in the great outdoors!

ID-100446643

Image courtesy of blanscape at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Before heading out on any hike, be sure to check with your prosthetist. You’ll want to ensure that your fit is perfect for your desired level of activity, that all components are working as they should be, and that your overall prosthesis is fit for the challenge.

What to Bring

Depending on your amputation level and interface, you will want to bring a few things along to help you with this hike experience – especially if it is your first one.

First of all, bring a friend or several to join you on your hike. A friend provides safety in numbers, as well as someone to share the scenery and the fun!

Bring a good set of adjustable hiking poles, especially for hiking in rugged terrain. These help with both balance and even assistance with creating power while ascending, and breaking while descending.

It is important to wear proper foot wear. In this case a pair of lightweight, supportive shoes is best. The bottom of the limb takes a lot of force with extreme activity. A good set of shoes can help decrease some of the shock on the body and the limb. After all, if you only have one ankle, you obviously don’t want to injure it!

Always carry good quality prosthetic socks of a couple different plies. This is a crucial element when volume management is required, especially during high activity.

SoftSock-Group1

SoftSock-XStatic-Group

 

For more information about Knit-Rite soft socks, please visit our website.

 

Have a small container of chafe guard or barrier cream handy. This can be used to manage specific points of friction that may occur once temperature and sweat levels increase. Socket fit may be fine on a day-to-day basis, but hiking on uneven surfaces can create a lot of different pressure points that may not be present during normal daily activities.

Bring a small Allen wrench or any other useful tools for adjusting your prosthesis. While making your own alignment adjustments is not recommended, having the ability to tighten a bolt that may somehow have worked its way loose may be the difference between hopping and walking back from the trail.

And here is my personal favorite one – don’t forget all-time favorite fix it item: duct tape. We all know that there are 101 things duct tape can fix, and a prosthesis can be one of them! Whether it’s repairing a suspension sleeve that is torn on rocks, an unexpected broken foot or even an emergency suspension method, duct tape can get you out of a jam.

ID-100404847

Image courtesy of Yongkiet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Finally, remember the important things that all hikers should carry with them; such as a sturdy back pack, all important water and perhaps a nutritious snack for the trail.

Enjoy Fall season and don’t forget to safely hike and explore!

Tanya

Tips For Cleaning Your Prosthetic Gear

Having a clean liner, prosthesis and prosthetic socks is very important for many reasons, but the main reason is to avoid future infections or issues with your limb. This is especially true in the summer since lots of sweating occurs, a clean socket and socks are a must. Here are some tips on how to keep your all your prosthetic gear clean.

First of all, always clean the gel liner daily. The inside of the gel liner is in constant contact with your skin. Because of this constant contact, you’ll want to make sure your gel liner is kept clean to prevent health issues and make your liner last longer. Cleaning the liner is a simple process and can be done by following these steps:

  1. Remove the liner from the prosthesis.
  2. Spot clean the outside of the liner if needed and turn the liner inside out.
  3. Wash the gel section of the liner with anti-bacterial soap and warm water.
  4. Fully rinse the soap off of the liner and dry it with a clean cloth.
  5. Finally, turn the liner right side out and store it for future use.

Another thing to wash daily is your prosthetics socks or sheaths, just like any other sock or undergarment. Wearing a prosthesis sock or sheath for more than a day can cause the sock to quickly wear out and may pose a health risk. You’ll want to make sure that you are washing your prosthetic socks on a daily basis and are always wearing a fresh one. A few things to know – If your sock becomes soaked with perspiration, you should change it as soon as possible. Washing a sock will help keep it clean and restore it to its intended shape. Always follow washing instructions provided by the manufacturer to maximize the life of the sock and sheath.

4-way-shrinker_Earl

Although daily cleaning isn’t necessary for your socket due to not actually coming in direct contact with your skin, keeping it clean is still very important. Cleaning the socket will keep your artificial limb functioning properly and can help reduce unnecessary wear. Here are some steps to completely clean the inside of the prosthetic socket.

  1. Clean the inside socket at least once a week with soap and warm water.
  2. Lightly spray the socket with an alcohol-based cleaner and then wipe the socket dry.
  3. Make sure to keep any locking or pin mechanisms clean and free of obstructions.

Always be careful when cleaning your prosthesis. Your prosthesis may have certain parts that could be damaged, broken or otherwise ruined during a cleaning. Electrical components, mechanical devices and certain models of prosthesis can all be damaged by water or corrosive cleaning agents. Always talk with your prosthetist to learn more about how to safely clean your unique prosthesis.

11745616_10207558249981080_407661773995311605_n

Let’s be honest, bodies stink! It doesn’t matter if you have legs or if you don’t, our daily movements generate sweat and it smells, sometimes badly! Let’s help each other by always washing our socks, cleaning our sockets and gel liners. We aren’t just helping our neighbors, but also helping to keep skin free from infection and increasing the life of our prosthetic gear! It’s a win-win!

Tanya

 

Amputee tips for summer heat!

It’s almost summer time which means it is time for heat and humidity. If you are like me and love to run and stay outside, chances are you will be sweating a lot – and if you wear prosthesis, it will be extra uncomfortable. Here are some useful tips to keep you moving this summer.

  • Check that your gel liner is fitting properly. If it’s loose fitting, it’s more likely to have sweat pool around your skin.
  • Stop moving about if you feel your skin chafing. Remove your prosthesis and wipe it down with a wash cloth. Excessive sweating in a prosthesis can cause your skin to break down and produce uncomfortable rashes.
  • If you have a below-the-knee amputation, wear a sweat band just above the gel liner or suspension sleeve. This will help catch some of the sweat. Athletic socks, which are meant to wick off sweat, also work well for this.
  • If you are a new amputee, try walking it out. Your residual limb will sweat more than the rest of your body during the first few months of use, but as you get used to it, you may begin to sweat less.
  • Wear a Liner-Liner Prosthetic sock with X-static designed by Knit-Rite under a suspension liner next to the skin. It will relieve skin shear irritations and improve comfort with liners. Liner-Liner has X-Static silver fibers that inhibit odor in the sock and transport heat and moisture away from the limb. Washable interface keeps liner cleaner and helps control skin irritations.
  • Check with your prosthetist. Your prosthetist and physician can help you determine the best solution for beating the summer heat.

Don’t let sweat hold you back from enjoying a fun, active summer.

…3 Days Post The Liberty Hospital Half Marathon

17203008_1619731398042207_1201599846112372252_n

Here I am before the race all smiles!

 

Last weekend I was honored to run the Liberty Half-Marathon. It was my first time running this race, but I now have my 5th half-marathon overall in the books! It was a heck of a race – from lots of hills to even stronger winds! Gotta love Missouri and its weather! Hills are never my favorite and I knew this was going to be a hilly run. However, I did not expect to have all the wind and attempting to run up the hill against the wind. It was definitely a challenge and an excellent mental workout!

DSC_1980

Mid-Point of the race starting to struggle a little.

 

At mile 6, I started doubting myself; I am hurting, struggling with this wind and I am barely halfway there! Part of me wanted to say “I hate running!” or maybe I was just getting hangry! I asked myself, “Why am I doing this to myself, forcing my body to do something that not many blade runners are capable of doing! There is a reason why there are only a few long distance runners who wear 2 prosthetic legs.” As I was walking-running, I got a thumbs up from a stranger, and a “you got this” from another stranger. I started getting my positive energy back and boom, I was at mile 8! It is amazing how I am usually the one who encourages others, but this time it was others encouraging me and giving me that boost of energy that I was lacking in this run. As I came to the last mile, I had a friend of mine pushing me along until the end! My back was in so much pain, my hips and legs didn’t want to run anymore – but my mind just wanted to be done with this race! What I am trying to say is, having positive runners around you is important! 
I didn’t PR in this race – but it was not my worst time! I would consider this to be one of my hardest races I’ve ever done, but I would gladly do it again because it challenged my mind more than my body! We forget that we are capable of so much more!

IMG_4258

Finally finishing the race.

 

In a month I am doing my first ever marathon – the St. Louis Marathon! Doing the Liberty Half Marathon was my way to prepare for a full marathon! From what I’ve heard, the St. Louis Marathon is nowhere near as hilly as the Liberty Half-Marathon. However, it is a full marathon, so there will be more mental training! In the next month, I’ll be increasing my running mileage, improving my nutrition and continue lifting. I am so nervous but super excited! I’ve dreamed of doing a full marathon for more than 4 years now and I’ll be doing it in just one month!

17191005_1619731394708874_8310486005515248628_n

Knit-Rite/TheraSport was a Silver Sponsor at the race.

 

Huge shot out to Liberty Hospital Half Marathon for a wonderful organized race. Thank you to Knit-Rite for your support, Doyle, my prosthetist at Decker IO&P for always making sure my legs are ready to run, Dr. Jim from Fit Muscle and Joint Clinic for making sure my body is in place, and finally, my family, friends and everyone else for all of your patience with me and my crazy running journey!

St. Louis Marathon, I’m coming for you!

 

New & Improved Soft-Sock®

 

Long time Knit-Rite customers already know all the benefits to our Prosthetic Sock-Sock®.  But, since we know that even great things can be improved upon, Knit-Rite has done just that.  After listening to customers and practitioners alike, and following a detailed research and development process, we have improved our Original Soft-Sock® to an even better design!

KR-SoftSock-FBpost

We know that comfort is key, so one of the improvements made to the Soft-Sock® is a fully non-roll top.  The new top lays flat against the skin and doesn’t roll, eliminating the annoying bunching that could occur with the original or other prosthetic socks.

The other great addition to the Soft-Sock® is a reinforced distal hole option.  The “Eye-Hole” is knit into the sock.  The new reinforced feature allows the eye-hole to sit in the proper position without stretching and moving out of place on the leg.  This feature is patent-pending.

The new Soft-Sock® contains all the other features of the original Soft-Sock®.  The soft and cuddly material feels wonderful next to the skin.  The toe is rounded and 3-dimensional providing better comfort.  The antimicrobial nature prevents odors, while high-tech fibers wick moisture away from the skin.  The sock stretches and recovers to help it conform to the limb.

Like the original, the new Soft-Sock® is available in many options.  These include with and without the eye-hole; in original white CoolMax® material or grey X-Static®; a multitude of sizes for both adults and children; and lightweight, 3-Ply, 5-Ply and 6-Ply weights.

Therafirm-Sponsored Marathoner Wins Santa Barbara Race

On November 7, 2015, 36-year-old Moninda Marube won the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon in Santa Barbara, California for the fourth time with a time of one hour, eight minutes and 41 seconds.  The event was the culmination of Moninda’s 3,700-mile journey that began last July in Auburn, Maine.

11202110_1082913825076675_26384294600919384_n

Moninda grew up in Kenya.  A lack of steady money and political violence contributed to a difficult life as a youth.  But, his talent for running allowed him a way out, and his journey landed him in the United States.

In the U.S., Moninda began training, but ran into financial difficulties.  To help out, he began training with other Kenyan runners under a manager.  It was with this manager that Moninda fell victim to human trafficking.  The manager would keep winnings from the races the Kenyans ran, leaving little for living expenses.  Moninda lived in a house infested with bedbugs with no air conditioning and very little food.  Finally in 2012, Moninda met Dan Campbell, the technical director of the Santa Barbara Half Marathon.  He ran the Marathon and broke the course record.  Campbell helped him get out of his situation and relocate to Auburn, Maine, where life is finally good.

Becoming involved with the Auburn, Maine Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and motivated to help others, he began The Moninda Movement to help bring awareness of human trafficking.  The Moninda Movement consisted of Moninda’s one-man goal of running 3,700 miles in four months and finishing with the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon. This amounted to running roughly 30 miles per day, 6 days a week.

Early into his journey, The Moninda Movement gained two sponsors – Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies located in central Maine, and Therafirm, a compression hosiery manufacturer based in Hamlet, North Carolina with corporate offices in Kansas City, Kansas.

Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies has a long history of serving its local community.  As a small, family-owned and operated business headquartered in Auburn, Maine, they are a company that cares about their customers like family. Providing the community with the best quality medical supplies and equipment available is how they strive to inspire and empower individuals to take life’s challenges as they come, and to live life on their terms. They are also proud to be one of the last independent pharmacies in the state of Maine.

Moninda’s mission was a perfect fit for Therafirm.  The U.S. manufacturer produces true gradient compression socks and hosiery including a line of athletic compression socks and leg and arm sleeves.  Gradient compression in athletic socks and sleeves feature compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to help increase energy for endurance, better performance and reduces muscle fatigue and recovery times.  But, equally important, Therafirm, as well as parent company Knit-Rite, Inc., holds improving lives as its mission, not only in the products it makes, but also in the many causes it supports locally and beyond.

The co-sponsorship included Therafirm-branded compression socks and sleeves and Moninda’s athletic apparel.  Custom screen printing on Moninda’s apparel advertised The Moninda Movement’s message.  Bedard and Therafirm also donated a portion of the proceeds from retail sales of Therafirm’s athletic compression products over an eight-month period to Moninda’s foundation in support of ending human trafficking.

11026212_10153325481533845_2478493870251972348_n

Originally, The Moninda Movement’s 3,700 miles was to be a cross-country journey where Moninda would run from Auburn, Maine to Santa Barbara, California stopping in several cities along the way.  Unfortunately, the logistics of getting his team of supporters through each leg of the journey proved difficult and the cross-country run had to be scrapped.  Moninda did not let the setback discourage him from his goals, however.  He continued to run his 30 miles each day from his home in Auburn, Maine making sure he reached the 3,700 miles it would have taken him to run from Maine to California.

Moninda finished his 3,700 mile run in time to catch a flight to Santa Barbara to run in the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon – a race that he won for the record-breaking 4th straight year.

12227217_10153326548778845_4046646939015961171_n

Just in Time for Spring – EASE Sheer!!

Just in time for spring, Therafirm has released its brand new line – Sheer Ease!  This exciting addition to the already popular Ease line is sure to turn heads.

Like Ease and Core-Spun products, Sheer Ease garments are made with ultra-stretchy yarns making them easier to put on and more comfortable to wear.  And also like Ease and Core-Spun, Sheer Ease hosiery products are the highest quality gradient compression, but the beautiful and comfortable sheer fabrics give the impression of everyday sheer hosiery.

Sheer Ease garments are very durable and will hold well to repeated wear, resisting many of the rips and snags common to other sheer hosiery.  And contributing to exceptional comfort, the super soft and breathable material is moisture wicking helping to keep you cool and comfortable.  Sheer Ease’s soft, knit-in bands on the knee highs stay in place while providing non-binding comfort.  The knit-in pantyhose waistbands stay in place and prevent rolling, while the silicone band on the thigh highs keep them comfortably in place.

Like all Therafirm products, Sheer Ease features true gradient compression, which is designed to improve blood flow.  Gradient compression delivers a controlled amount of pressure which is greatest at the ankle of the garment and gradually decreases toward the top.  Sheer Ease premium gradient compression garments are designed to help promote better circulation and help control swelling, leg fatigue, mild to moderate varicose veins, leg discomfort, edema and DVT.

Sheer Ease is available in styles including open and close toe knee high, thigh highs and pantyhose in three compression levels – mild (15-20 mmHg), moderate (20-30 mmHg) and firm (30-40 mmHg).  Mild and moderate closed toe styles are available in Black, Natural, Sand, Bronze, Coal, Cocoa and Navy.  All open toe styles and firm compression level products are available in Black, Natural and Sand.

Ease Sheer is here.  Be one of the first to experience this beautiful and comfortable high quality compression hosiery.  Your legs will thank you.

 

** Contraindications: Compression products should not be worn and is contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions: severe arterial insufficiency, cutaneous infections, acute dermatitis, wet dermatosis, uncontrolled congestive heart failure, skin irritations, or allergies to dyes.