Rethinking the foam cosmesis for people with lower limb absence

Nicola Cairns, Jonathan Corney, Kevin Murray, Karena Moore-Millar, Gillian D Hatcher, Saeed Zahedi, Richard Bradbury, Joe McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aim: A recent survey of people with lower limb absence revealed that patients' satisfaction with their foam cosmesis is lower than desired. The aim of this project was to improve the lifelike appearance, functionality and durability of the cosmesis through a user-centred design methodology. Technique:Concept development and prototyping led to a new cosmesis design which features a cut-out located at the knee, inserted with an artificial patella made of a more rigid foam. It also features a full - length zip which provides easy access for maintenance. The new cosmesis was then mechanically tested for over 1 million cycles and clinically tested by six transfemoral prosthesis users over 18 patient months. Discussion: The new design is significantly more durable than the current standard model and has an enhanced lifelike appearance. It has potential to improve users’ body image and reduce costs for healthcare providers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalProsthetics and orthotics international
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2017


  • cosmesis
  • prosthesis design
  • transfemoral
  • lower limb
  • user-centred design


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