A cast is an impression of the stump which needs to contain as much information as possible to build an appropriate prosthetic socket. It is not just a copy of how the stump looks, but is pre-shaped to highlight structures of importance beneath the skin.
There are a lot of different techniques of casting to reach the correct result. We select individually the most appropriate technique for every stump from hand casting to using special equipment.
Photo below demonstrates the casting process where the Prosthetist manually modifies the shape at this stage.
Photo below demonstrates the use of a vacuum pump to apply a more even distribution of load to the soft tissues.
Photo below demonstrates the use of a weight bearing jig used to achieve an impression of the stump under vertical load as it would feel like when standing.
Photo below demonstrates an above knee cast. To get the best definition, two clinicians work together to pre-shape the different areas of the future socket.
It requires the amputee to stand for at least seven to ten minutes on one leg. The process is relatively messy so a change of clothing is advisable.