Category Archives: Our Products

Product Spotlight: Knit-Rite Knee Interface

Have you ever had to wear a knee brace?  If so, you’ve probably been faced with a difficult dilemma.  Do you wear your brace under your pants and risk irritating your skin or over your pants and tackle the bunching and bulky uncomfortableness?  What you really need is a knee interface.

Knee Interfaces from Knit-Rite are worn snug against the skin under a knee brace.  The interface works as a comfortable and protective barrier between the brace and your skin, preventing and protecting from abrasions caused from the brace.  Knee Interfaces can also be worn alone – without a knee brace – for comfort or skin protection.

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Unlike many knee sleeves, the Knit-Rite Knee Interfaces are easy to put on and take off.  The products contain multi-directional stretch designed to allow a wide range of activities.  This 4-way stretch moves with your body during any activities without inhibiting any type of activity or movement. Our knee interfaces allow good circulation and are not as bulky as a neoprene garment.  The interfaces can also easily be worn under clothing.

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Our knee interfaces provide supportive compression, which will help to reduce any pain or swelling in the leg and knee.

Knit-Rite knee interfaces contain 30-40mmHg of gradient compression at a 50% stretch.

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Knee interfaces are available in a variety of options.  Color options include black, white and grey.  Sizing is measured in inches and includes 6, 7, 8 and 9.  Two lengths are available, also – a shorter 18 inch length and a longer 20 inch length.  Finally, you can choose either a straight or tapered sleeve.

Knit-Rite, Inc. Knee Interfaces can be purchased on Amazon!  Search for Knee Interface or click here!

Review On The Movie Stronger!

Have you seen the movie Stronger? It came out last year as a way to memorialize the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. It has a special connection to me because I am an amputee and a marathoner! It also has a special meaning to Knit-Rite because they used one of our products in the movie.

For a dose of something different, I thought I’d do a review on this awesome movie. So here it goes…

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Photo Courtesy of mandfilms.com

 

What is it about? STRONGER is a fact-based drama that takes on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. On April 15, 2013, Jeff Bauman was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, holding a handmade sign in support of his runner-girlfriend Erin. When she was still about a mile away, the two bombs went off, killing three people and injuring hundreds, including Bauman who lost both of his legs that day. When he regained consciousness in the hospital, he was able to provide the FBI a detailed physical description of one of the bombers leading to apprehension. Immediately, Bauman was hailed as a hero – both locally and nationally. The film does a nice job of telling Bauman’s story and how his life unfolded over the next few months. As he struggles with his new life challenges, including PTSD and adjusting to life as an amputee, he strives to do better. But, he simply doesn’t understand why he is viewed as a hero, and doesn’t particularly embrace what comes with that label, at least early on. (Welcome to my world in more ways than one – see last week’s blog. 😉 ) I won’t reveal the ending in case you haven’t seen it yet. But it is definitely worth the watch.

What do I think about the movie? Of course, at its core, this is an incredible story about how a normal guy had his life altered in a moment, as well as how he reluctantly became a hero after a tragic event.

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Photo Courtesy of time.com

 

This movie has educated people about the bombing, losing limbs and the long physical and mental recovery. I appreciated how the film focused on the everyday struggles of adjusting to life as an amputee — waking up, going to put your feet on the floor and falling flat on your face (phantom feeling), navigating large crowds, getting in and out of a car, and attempting stairs — all of the things you take for granted before an injury like this.

Why is it special to Knit-Rite? During production, the movie reached out to Knit-Rite and asked us to send them one of our products for the film. You might remember the scene after the surgery where his legs are wrapped in two white garments. These are our famous Compressogrip Shrinkers.

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Compressogrip Shrinkers are mainly used post-surgery to reduce the swelling of the limb, and to prepare and shape it for prostheses fitting in the near future. It was so awesome to see our product being used on the big screen. Big shout out to the movie producers for being so honest and accurate.

Things I wasn’t sure of? Jake Gyllenhaal is an excellent actor. However, I researched and learned that amputee actors were not given an opportunity to try out for the role. I do wish that actors with disabilities were at least given the opportunity, even if it ultimately went to Gyllenhaal.

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Photo Courtesy of time.com

 

Although, he portrayed Bauman very well, who better would know the true emotions of what Bauman experienced than someone who had a similar limb loss story.

Finally, the language factor. Despite the movie being a true story, and the point of the movie is to show the tragic truth, I do wish the language was a little more PG! The movie has way too many F-bombs, and I wouldn’t want to show it to children. And sadly this is a lost opportunity to educate them. Even though we know that kids all know the bad words, the sheer amount of F-bombs was over the top. I do understand that this is the way the characters actually speak, but appealing to a younger audience would only benefit the lesson we can all learn from this situation.  This story needs to be shared with all but because of the language, it is limited.

Overall, it’s an excellent story about tragedy and recovery. This movie is an eye-opening learning opportunity about life after amputation! Be sure to put it on your viewing list, and let me know what you think of it!

Extra credit if you can spot Knit-Rite’s shrinker! 😉

Happy Viewing!

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Knit-Rite Is More Than Just Prosthetic Socks!

As you already know, I always talk about prosthetics and amputation. Why? Well probably because this is a big part of my life, and I enjoy sharing it! And since Knit-Rite is the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of innovative prosthetic and orthotic textile products for the last 90+ years, I can relate to this topic.

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However, today I would like to introduce you – my two-legged friends – to Knit-Rite’s sister company called Therafirm! One of Knit-Rite’s missions is to improve the lives of those who use our products. That goes far beyond prosthetics and orthotics.

Therafirm is a division of Knit-Rite and a manufacturer of quality compression hosiery and socks. The true gradient compression offered in Therafirm hosiery and socks delivers a controlled amount of pressure greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to promote blood flow, assist in preventing swelling and provide relief for tired and achy legs. Gradient compression hosiery is ideal for anyone who sits or stands for long periods of time, frequently take long flights, pregnant women, or anyone dealing with vein issues or DVT.

Therafirm includes several brands to offer the therapeutic benefits of gradient compression to different markets. Those brands include Preggers, our maternity compression line; Core-Sport and TheraSport, for athletic compression; and GOGO, Ease and CoreSpun, for comfortable and fashionable, easy-to-wear everyday compression.

 

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Maternity compression

 

Athletic compression

 

Comfortable and fashionable compression

 

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Eeasy-to-wear everyday compression

 

Another couple Knit-Rite brands that we don’t mention on our blog very often is SmartKnit and SmartKnitKIDS. SmartKnit features a line of diabetic socks, as well as AFO and KAFO socks.  SmartKnitKIDS focuses on seamless socks and undergarments for children with sensitivity issues such as sensory processing disorder and autism.

 

 

 

 

The goal of all the brands is to make the best quality products with the intention of improving lives of those who use our products! Isn’t cool how each brand and every single one of our products helps someone with some sort of medical need.

For more information on KnitRite, Therafirm, or any of our brands, please see the links to each brand above.

You can also find many of our products, such as Therafirm, Preggers, Core-Sport, TheraSport, Ease, CoreSpun, SmartKnit diabetic, SmartKnit AFOs and SmartKnitKIDS, on Amazon.

Thanks,

Product Spotlight! – Knit-Rite Torso Interface Protective Body Socks

For someone who has scoliosis and wears a brace to correct it, a special undershirt or torso interface protective body sock is a must.  It will protect your skin from chaffing and keep the brace more sanitary.

But, you won’t want just any t-shirt under your brace.  For maximum comfort, it’s best to wear a tight-fitting and seamless shirt.  A tight-fitting shirt will prevent wrinkles or bunching of the shirt underneath the brace.  And a shirt that does not have seams will reduce the tendency of the brace to cause skin irritation.

With some scoliosis conditions, it is necessary to wear a brace that comes up very high underneath the armpit.  This can be a further point of irritation and the wearer will need a torso interface shirt that has axillary flaps – or an extra flap of material that folds over the brace and protects the delicate skin of your armpit.

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To address the needs of those that wear braces, Knit-Rite designed, developed and introduced its Torso Body Sock to the orthotic profession in 1980.  Our body sock can be worn with all types of spinal orthoses and body jackets.

Knit-Rite’s Torso Interface Protective Body Socks offer the maximum comfort due to its superior quality.  Slightly heavier than a t-shirt, our Torso Interface provides more cushioning, moisture wicking and anti-microbial properties to keep skin dry, protected and comfortable.  Each torso interface has seamless finishing and helps to prevent skin irritation.  The garments are made with super soft materials for added soft comfort against the skin.  An outstanding stretch allows the garment to fit tight against the skin and be virtually wrinkle-free, reducing another point of irritation.

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The torso garments are made in different materials to meet the varying needs of most patients.  Material options include CoolMax®, Silver X-Static® and Cotton/Lycra.  The CoolMax® option, which is white in color, is a premier moisture wicking fiber.  Silver X-Static®, which is grey in color, is especially helpful when skin rashes are noticeable.  Both of these fibers are antimicrobial to help eliminate odor in the garment.  For those that prefer a natural fiber, there is also a Cotton/Lycra option, which is a light beige in color.

Many people that wear a brace and torso interface want to be able to adequately hide it under their regular clothes.  For this reason, the torso interface is made in several different styles – a basic crew neck, sleeveless garment; a crew neck with sleeves; a crew neck with axilla flaps (for the brace that comes up high under the armpit); a basic V-neck, sleeveless; a V-neck with axilla flaps; a V-neck with only a left side axilla flap; a strapless option and a turtle neck.  The turtle neck is only in smaller sizes and intended for use with a Mehta Procedure.

Knit-Rite Torso Interface Body Socks can be purchased on Amazon or on www.knitritedirect.com!

* Not all size options are available in every material option.

Product Spotlight! – SmartKnit Seamless AFO, KAFO and SMO Socks

SmartKnit Seamless AFO, KAFO, and SMO Socks from Knit-Rite are truly a difference maker for anyone who wears an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO); knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO); or supra-malleolar orthosis (SMO).

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AFOs, KAFOs and SMOs are plastic splints or braces made to keep feet and legs in the correct position for standing and walking.  They can be worn for a number of reasons including realigning the joints; providing support to weakened joints or muscles; stopping or limiting abnormal motion; helping to control abnormal muscle tone; and providing protection, any of which can affect people who have one of these conditions: cerebral palsy; multiple sclerosis; polio; Charcot disease; ALS; dropfoot; adult-acquired flatfoot secondary to posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD).  Most orthotists, the practitioner who fits patients with their braces, recommend that their patients wear a good AFO sock under their braces to protect their skin.  AFO socks must be long enough to cover all the areas of skin which will come into contact with the AFO brace.  They must be well fitting.  And they must be pulled up firmly to eliminate any creases or other points of irritation.  SmartKnit Seamless AFO, KAFO, and SMO Socks are made especially for adults and children that wear these braces.

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The most important criterion to those that wear braces is their seamlessness because sock seams can be a major point of irritation.  Our socks are made the same way that a caterpillar spins its cocoon – starting at the toe and circling to the top.  This process is critical because it is what makes our socks seamless – there is nothing to stitch together.

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Another important aspect of our AFO socks is their form-fitting design.  Our socks are made with stretchy Core-Spun and Lycra® yarns that provide that much-needed form-fitting design to hug the feet and legs.  Fitting snugly against the skin results in a wrinkle-free sock eliminating additional points of irritation.

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Another point of comfort is the moisture-wicking properties contained in our AFO socks.  In addition to the Core-Spun yarns, our AFO socks contain Polyester, or X-STATIC® — The Silver Fiber® with Lycra® spandex for superior moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties.  Moisture-wicking fibers help to control odors in the sock, as well as keeping feet dry by wicking moisture away from the skin.

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Finally, a non-binding Halo Top allows for a comfortable fit keeping the socks from slipping down the leg.  Most socks have elastic bands at the tops of the sock that can pinch, bind or be a source of irritation.  Our socks do not have a heel, which also allows a better fit.

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SmartKnit Seamless AFOs are available in an infant size, three child sizes and three adult sizes.  Color options include white, black, grey, charcoal, pink, purple and navy.*  KAFOs are available in an infant, size, three child sizes and two adult sizes.  Color options include white, black, grey, pink, purple and navy.*  SMO socks are available in five different sizes and in white, black, charcoal, pink, purple and navy.

SmartKnit Seamless AFOs, KAFOs and SMOs can be purchased on Amazon or on www.knitritedirect.com!  Search for SmartKnit Seamless AFO Socks or click here!

* Not all size options are available in every color.

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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