Shoulder harness and cable protection I

I have a scar on my arm. I sweat. Our summers are hot. Sweat is normal. Air condition is not installed in many places. I work inside and outside the house, in the office but hopefully soon also back out doing cases on location. The harness and cable need to be protected with soft sturdy material that is easy to care for if not care free.

Problem list:

  • The Otto Bock shoulder strap plastic contains transparent plastic. After some days it starts to be really smelly. Cleaning it, even with detergent as specified by the manufacturer won't prevent smelling. And I really do not mind wearing the harness but it should not smell.
  • The Otto Bock cable protection contains comfortable bright gray fabric. However it turns dirty fast and cannot be cleaned. Either I have to replace that on a weekly basis or not wear the prosthesis every day.

What works well list:

  • The plastic ring works very well. People said it would be uncomfortable or a problem otherwise. That does not appear to be the case. The ring allows me to adjust the harness. The cable can be serviced easily. And I can replace the rubber sheath well.
  • The mechanism works well. The ring resides as far away from the prosthetic arm as possible. That gives me the option to use all of my back, both shoulders and the right elbow to pull the cable.

Now, the indestructible FREITAG bags made from used truck tarpaulins, safety belts and bicycle inner tubes. I own two of these and they are almost impossible to damage through regular use. The toughest parts appear to be the tube reinforced tarp edges. Besides these bicycle inner tubes are cheap and easy to round up. Even supermarkets have them. Using just normal detergent, the material keeps a neutral rubbery smell to it. And even with one hand I can replace the tube sheath if necessary.

So I used standard issue bicycle tubes to run around my harness and steel cable:

Steel Hook Otto Bock standard edition

Steel Hook Otto Bock standard edition

So far, no change of tubes were necessary.

After about two weeks, a technical problem occured: the indestructible bike tubes started to discolor my underwear:

Steel Hook Otto Bock standard edition

So I went ahead and replaced the el-cheapo standard issue bicyucle tubes with slightly more expensive Michelin Aircomp Latex tubes. So far, and since about a week, these are holding up great - absolutely comfortable, no smell whatsoever and still easily replaceable. The only thing is they're green.

Steel Hook Otto Bock standard edition

Steel Hook Otto Bock standard edition

Steel Hook Otto Bock standard edition

The next step consists in finding that material a bit thicker (so they better resist torsion) and a bit more decently colored (bright gray, skin colored). See part II.

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Shoulder harness and cable protection I; published 16/07/2008, 23:22; URL:

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1603666102, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Shoulder harness and cable protection I}}, month = {July},year = {2008}, url = {}}

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