FAQs

What are the benefits of the HiFi Interface?

Better control, less energy expenditure, greater comfort, reduced heat, greater range of motion – overall a better fitting socket that will give you more confidence each and every day. These are just a few of the benefits of the High-Fidelity Interface. But don’t take our word for it. Check out a few of our patient and practitioner testimonials.

My socket is always rotating on my leg, does the HiFi help this?

Yes it certainly does! The alternating series of compression and release zones not only lock your bone in place but because of the unique shape these zones create, it is very difficult for the interface to rotate on the limb. It is just another benefit the High-Fidelity Interface has over traditional sockets as well as those sockets with elevated vacuum.

I’ve seen frame-style sockets before - what’s different about the HiFi Interface?

Having an inner flexible interface surrounded by a frame with struts and windows is a common approach that has been used for a long time. A traditional frame style socket is designed to save a small amount of weight while theoretically allowing some room for contracting muscles to bulge against the flexible material not backed by the rigid frame. It applies a global compression to the entire limb. This is not the same as applying the biomechanical principles of alternating compression and release, a hallmark of the High-Fidelity design. In the High-Fidelity Interface the level of compression imparted by the struts displaces a significant amount of your limb’s soft tissue out through the windows or release areas depending on the style of High-Fidelity Interface chosen. The reduced volume of tissue “left behind” allows the compression struts to get closer to the underlying bone because there is simply less soft tissue in the way. By being closer to the underlying bone, there is less ability for the bone to move within the interface itself, a common problem with traditional sockets.

Who is a candidate for the HiFi Interface?

We have had great success fitting both upper and lower limb wearers. And while this design benefits individuals of all activity levels, it is extremely effective for those who are very active and demanding on their prosthesis, especially above-knee and upper limb amputees who are looking for greater stability and comfort. If you are unsure if you are a candidate for this design or if you have questions regarding your specific needs, contact us for an initial, complimentary in-person or remote evaluation.

What’s so important about a socket anyway, aren’t the components more critical?

Absolutely not! The interface forms your connection with all the other components of the prosthesis. It is where all motion begins and is where all information from the outside world is ultimately received. It is quite literally the interface between humans and machines.  Traditional socket designs have shapes that resemble “tubes” or “buckets.” How could this possibly be effective and comfortable? This accepted Standard-of-Care approach reflects the general feeling that as long as the prosthesis stays on, and you can tolerate it, this is all you can hope for. We know you deserve more, which is why we created the High-Fidelity Interface. It captures your movements with precision, extracting maximum energy from your input, whether you’re walking or reaching, running or throwing, dancing or lifting. The High-Fidelity Interface utilizes superior biomechanical principles to stabilize your bone, thereby ensuring the maximum amount of energy you spend is transferred to the rest of the prosthesis rather than being absorbed by a freely moving bone inside the socket. Make sure you get the most out of your prosthesis by understanding it all starts with the right interface.

What type of suspension can I use with the HiFi Interface?

The HiFi Interface works with all currently available suspension techniques (i.e. skin fit, roll on liners, elevated vacuum, anatomical)

My above knee socket comes up really high in the back and the sides. Does the High-Fidelity Interface have the same trim lines?

Because the High-Fidelity Interface stabilizes the shaft of the bone and doesn’t rely on its upper portion for stability, the trim lines can be significantly lower than any socket design currently available, including elevated vacuum sockets.

I’ve heard elevated vacuum is the way to go. Is the High-Fidelity Interface System better?

Before answering this, please understand that elevated vacuum is a suspension technique, and although it influences interface design, it is, by itself not a socket or interface. Also keep in mind that elevated vacuum can be used with the High-Fidelity Interface design. This being said, elevated vacuum sockets work by drawing additional fluid into the limb from elsewhere in your body. It essentially keeps your limb tight inside the socket so the connection, or linkage as it is often called, is maintained. While this is certainly an improvement over traditional approaches, it doesn’t come close to creating the level of linkage the High-Fidelity Interface offers. By creating a biomechanical “lock” of your underlying bone via our patented and patents-pending compression and tissue release technology, wearers around the world continue to state their High-Fidelity Interface makes their prosthesis feel like it’s part of them. This feeling that an attached device is part of you is what is referred to as embodiment. It’s as close as you can come to osseointegration without the surgery. Now that’s linkage!

My socket causes pistoning , skin irritations and blisters. Does the HiFi prevent this?

Absolutely. Rashes, blisters and other skin irritations are often caused by subtle movements of your limb within the socket. Because other socket designs simply encapsulate the limb in complete disregard for proper socket biomechanics, it is common for slippage, pistoning, translation and rotation to readily occur. In a pistoning study done in Europe by Blatchford, the HiFi was shown to reduce pistoning by more than 50%. In our clinic, skin issues caused by insufficient limb capture are a thing of the past. Because we use targeted compression and tissue release technology, we are able to be more intimate, more stable, and have less movement of your limb within the socket.

My bone is always hitting inside the socket and it hurts. Does the HiFi prevent this?

By controlling the underlying bone, it no longer strikes the socket wall during walking or standing, or for upper limb prosthesis wearers, during lifting. Rather than allowing the bone to move freely within the confines of the socket, in the High-Fidelity Interface, unwanted bone motion is held to an absolute minimum, so the only thing that moves when you want it to is the prosthesis itself.

It looks like the High-Fidelity might be uncomfortable. Is it?

The High-Fidelity Interface is much more comfortable than traditional sockets because it makes you and your prosthesis feel connected, rather than simply hanging off of you. While the compression zones look aggressive, by combining them with alternating areas of tissue release, the design actually eliminates all of the issues associated with an uncomfortable socket. The main issue for just about everyone is the fact that the bone moves inside a traditional socket far too much. If this doesn’t result in pain or discomfort from striking the wall of the socket, then at best the moving bone wastes energy, and makes the prosthesis feel heavy and unresponsive. The socket trim lines can be much lower than traditional designs because the High-Fidelity Interface stabilizes the shaft of the bone and doesn’t rely on the height of the socket for stability. If an open window design is used it can be considerably cooler, even if using a silicone liner, all contributing to a more positive, more functional and much more comfortable experience.

I saw a casting/scanning device in your HiFi Interface video. How does this device work?

In order to ensure the best result during the casting or scanning process, biodesigns created a unique piece of equipment. The patented and patents-pending High-Fidelity Imager compresses your limb in specific areas during the casting or scanning process to ensure optimum compression and tissue release is transferred to your new socket. Upon feeling the compression and release imparted by the Imager, patients are immediately able to feel the advantages of the HiFi design. Also, it allows the patient to be an active participant in the design of their socket as they give live feedback during the casting/scanning process. This approach is unique to the High-Fidelity Interface System and allows us the ability to create intimate, well-fitting and incredibly high performing interfaces.

I hear a lot about adjustable sockets. Is the HiFi adjustable? What about other adjustable sockets?

There is a lot of talk about adjustability saving the day. But let’s be clear. Adding adjustability to a “bucket” socket will not yield ideal results – just tighter and looser buckets. Now most prosthetists and manufacturers are fine with this. We are not. We believe in a higher standard of socket performance. While our HiFi is indeed adjustable, its adjustability is not intended as a Band-Aid for a poorly fitting socket or to simply help keep the prosthesis on, but rather for targeted and purposeful adjustability on a micro and macro scale. Our method of adjustability ensures both small and large volume adjustments while also controlling bone positioning within the interface (imagine that!). We eliminate bone strikes with the socket walls by allowing you to dictate not only where the bone rests within your socket but where it stays as you walk, run, climb stairs or simply get on with your life as you deserve. No more distal end pain, callouses or inflamed skin from constantly doing battle with your own socket.
We know there’s so much more to adjustability than simply turning a dial and shrinking a bucket. The HiFi is a more intimate, more comfortable design, that is secure and stable, not one that feels like you are being strangled, or that you’re dragging your prosthesis along behind you. There are always exceptions, but most HiFi wearers do not have large volume fluctuations throughout the day because of the way our compression and release system controls fluid flow into and out of the limb so you can wear your socket all day long without worrying about adjusting anything. The HiFi Interface is rooted in science, not art, and if you prefer to have the way you live, work and play dictated by painters and sculptors then the HiFi isn’t for you. However, if you believe that art can still exist, but only within, and most importantly, secondary to an overall framework of a scientific approach based on physics, biomechanics, clinical excellence and logic, then we’re here for you. The HiFi comes in multiple configurations and with many options. Next time ask for a better overall design – The High-Fidelity Interface System. Make a new friend…with your socket.

I heard about Osseointegration surgery. How does the HiFi differ from the results of Osseointegration?

We appreciate the premise of Osseointegration (OI) because, like us, they believe that a solid linkage is important. Unlike us, however, their connection requires invasive surgery to implant the artificial limb while our connection does not. In addition to rehabilitation time, infection, medications, fear of bone fractures, caution over activity levels, etc., OI is currently non-reversible.  Our issue with OI is that many wearers with excellent limb length and condition are not being told about the HiFi as an alternative to existing sockets. Because so many wearers have only their traditional socket to compare, OI could seem like a fantastic way to go. And if all we offered was a sloppy bucket that was uncomfortable, clumsy and made you feel like you were dragging an anchor around, then maybe we’d agree. However, because we feel strongly that unless you have a limb that simply cannot be fit with an interface because it’s too short or too damaged, we offer a better solution.
You see, we don’t consider performance as something measured on paper, but rather on your total quality of life. Which makes sense, right? If you consider the health risk of not only the surgery itself, but what happens to your body as you are asked to stay immobile for weeks and even months (think atrophy of muscle and connective tissue, as well as osteoporosis), the risk of additional infection in and around water environments, the risk of high impact activities and how they might fracture the bone or cause other irreparable damage to the attachment site, the unknown effects to tissue health as well as overall health of reduced vascular flow due to your limb simply hanging down, having to rely on muscles that have been shortened and reattached without the aid of a surrounding frame to enhance limb compression, and therefore compromised in their ability to actively pump fluids back into your body, the fact that your limb will always drain fluids, and finally, the cost of the surgery and your rehabilitation. Believe me, we could go on and on, but unless someone takes the time to go over all of these potential risks with you, no one will. Why? As I was told by a particular surgeon who performs OI surgery, it makes for great PR. This is not to say that OI hasn’t helped individuals migrate from a poorly designed removable socket, or given hope to someone who simply isn’t a candidate for a socket, but to make the leap from “my bucket is uncomfortable and underperforming” to “I need surgery” is simply a leap too far in our opinion. Give the HiFi a try first, and then make your decision.

If I can't travel to your facility in Southern California, how can I still get the HiFi Interface?

Randall Alley, HiFi Inventor, offers prosthetist training in his patented and patents-pending HiFi Interface Technology to those facilities that demonstrate a higher level of clinical skill and understanding of the importance of achieving bone control in a socket. We have trained a select group of prosthetiststs in the states and abroad who are committed to improving the Standard of Care socket with our proven HiFi design. Pictured above is a recent HiFi training of an NIH facility in South Wales.

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