A unique and innovative method of utilizing the properties of FARABLOC is to incorporate the fabric into the design of the prosthetic socket. Incorporating FARABLOC into the lamination process is not difficult, as Certified Prosthetist Tony van der Waarde explains..
After using Farabloc successfully in the "traditional" fashion for many years, some amputees were asking if the cloth could be worn inside the prosthesis during the day. The first one to try the "invisible" phantom pain treatment in 1994, was a hip disarticulation amputee who had rejected the Farabloc custom shorts or underwear, because it was not comfortable enough while using his prosthesis. Only after a few days he called and claimed that almost all of his phantom pain had disappeared because of the comfortable fitting socket.
You will have to remember, however that this amputee was never told about the incorporation of Farabloc inside the prosthesis, because of his less than favorable experience previously. The most interesting aspect of all of this was the fact that the "treatment-results" carried over to night and evening when the prosthesis is off and phantom pain usually strikes most severely.
When the patient gained a large amount of weight and could no longer use his prosthesis, his pains returned with the same intensity as before, requiring medication and many other treatments.
So why not spend a few extra dollars to give your clients some additional comfort. And please don't tell them about it until after they've discovered the results themselves. That way even the greatest skeptics cannot deny where the pain relief comes from.
Laminating the Farabloc into the socket does not weaken the over-all socket, nor does it add a significant amount of weight. Though the cloth can be laid-up into any part of the layering of materials, it is recommended that it be placed as close to the inner socket wall as possible, especially when using carbon fibre cloth.
Though most resins penetrate Farabloc well, the use of Carbon acryl is recommended. When laying the Farabloc onto the mold you'll likely get some wrinkles and sometimes may have to use more than one piece in an overlapping fashion. It is important that all of the socket has the cloth covering it. You may use adhesive spray or double sided tape to hold the cloth in place, ensuring that you don't use an excessive amount!
When trimming and grinding the socket in the usual manner, you will not encounter any unusual rough or sharp edges, like you might expect from stainless steel fibers. When making modifications using a heat gun, be sure not to heat the area to be modified too quickly, otherwise delamination may occur.
On a final note: when fabricating a thermoplastic frame, place the Farabloc on the outside of the cast and drape- or blisterform in the usual manner. The cloth will actually aid in removing the air from under the plastic. It is important to follow manufacturers guidelines for recommended temperatures, otherwise the cloth will look burnt and feel rough!
Tony van der Waarde CP(C)